PURBROOK have much to celebrate as they approach their third anniversary next month.
The Portsmouth Netball Association club recently celebrated a double at the Havant Borough Council Sports Awards.
I found this overwhelming and emotional due to a very difficult period in my lifeJacqui Hussey
Two new coaches have been brought in to handle the emerging outfit’s rapid expansion.
Meanwhile, everyone at the club will be pleased to hear how impressively chairwoman Jacqui Hussey has dealt with her rehabilitation from a stroke she suffered last September.
Hussey is a popular figure at Purbrook, who have three teams competing in the Portsmouth League – Purbrook Passion (division one), newly-promoted Purbrook Petals (division three) and Purbrook Poppies (division four).
And her commitment and passion for the whole club saw her recognised as runner-up in the coach-of-the-year category at last month’s Havant Sports Awards.
That followed stalwart Hussey & Co picking up the club-of-the-year accolade at the prize-giving ceremony.
And six months on from an event that brought her life to a ‘virtual standstill’, the club chief admitted to being very emotional at the recognition.
‘I found this overwhelming and emotional due to a very difficult period in my life,’ said Hussey.
‘Unfortunately, in September, I suffered a stroke which brought my life to a complete standstill. But after six months of rehabilitation and by doing as I am told, which is difficult for me, I am well on the road to recovery.
‘I have so many people to thank for the support over this difficult period that I cannot name everyone but you know who you are.’
Hussey’s vision has always been to treat each player as an individual, to give them the confidence they need and, most importantly, to be the best they can be.
This approach is adopted by all coaches at the club – something that has seen Purbrook increase their membership from an initial 15 to 52 in three years, with players’ ages ranging from eight to 53.
As a result, level one coaches Clare Searle and Marony Choppen have been drafted in to help keep pace with Purbrook’s emergence, while Charlotte Taylor will achieve her coaching accreditation next month.
Training sessions also accommodate all levels of players – novice/beginners, intermediates and advanced. This is something Hussey is very proud of.
‘The sessions are tailored around the needs of the individuals, with all coaches being involved,’ she said.
‘Additional to this, the club has encouraged some of the girls to become qualified umpires and is currently helping four of the junior members – who have done the umpire beginners’ course and are currently umpiring in the adult league – to become fully qualified.’
Charlotte Belcher, young ambassador of the club, said: ‘Jacqui is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met.
‘She cares for every member’s individual needs and treats all the girls like her own daughters.
‘Jacqui is always honest and gives constructive criticism but always follows this with kind words of encouragement.
‘I know I speak for all the members of the club when I say, without Jacqui, none of what we have achieved would have been possible.’
Due to their rapid success, Purbrook have very limited availability for new members.
But if you are interested in joining, please contact Julie Belcher on 07930 226563 or Hussey on 07717 211024.