Debbie Laycock is recognised for making a difference

Left to right: Debbie Laycock, Rachel Teal, Emma Collier and Kelly Wallis

DEVELOPMENT community coach Debbie Laycock celebrated her fifth anniversary of working for England Netball in style by picking up the Energise Me award for making a difference.

Portsmouth-based Laycock, responsible for organising, promoting, delivering and sustaining new-to-netball participation in south east Hampshire, attended the County Sport’s Partnership ceremony.

The award was presented to Laycock by Ben Smith, who ran in Portsmouth last year on his way to completing his challenge of 401 marathons in 401 days.

She said: ‘To be shortlisted for the Energise Me making the difference Award was a great achievement in itself.

‘The award ceremony fell on my fifth anniversary of being an England Netball national development community coach, so when the winners were announced it was a perfect moment.

‘I sent three of our most loyal and hardworking coaches up to collect it, Kelly Wallis, Emma Collier and Rachel Teal, they were thrilled to be presented the award by the 401 marathon man Ben Smith.

Laycock added: ‘It really is a team effort and I wish we could have had more of our coaches, hosts and volunteers attending.

‘I am really lucky to have my dream job but a lot of the delivery team go above and beyond on a regular basis, so, as much as I am delighted to be given the award, our success and this latest achievement really is down to a whole host of amazing local people.’

The Energise Me award comes on the back of other successes for Laycock and her team.

Another record breaking year has seen participation figures for new netballers rise in the area for the second year in a row with 1,252 new participants through back to netball, walking netball and netball now sessions. The walking netball programme based at Fareham Leisure Centre also picked up an award recently, winning project of the year at the Hampshire Netball Volunteer Awards.

Laycock added: ‘There were quite a few back to netball and walking netball nominations at the Hampshire awards and it’s great that new netball is being recognised by our local committees. I

‘It’s testament to our fabulous Fareham ladies that we won the award, especially those who have been with us from the pilot sessions.

‘It also shows what achievements can be made when you work with a great partner such as Everyone Active.

‘We’re seeing more than 20 ladies attend every Monday lunchtime, the benefits of that are seen through their health, their confidence and their social networks – it really has made a difference.’

Also picking up awards at the Hampshire award ceremony were back to netball volunteers Janine Robinson for senior volunteer of the year and Angie Osborne for service to sport.

More from Sport