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    December 14, 2023

December Volunteer of the Month

Our Wales Netball Volunteer of the Month for December goes to an incredibly passionate individual who is the driving force behind Chepstow Junior Netball Club, and has been for decades! Let’s all applaud the incredible commitment and work carried out by Meryl Slaymaker.

Meryl has been the brains and energy behind Chepstow Junior Netball Club for over 27 years. The club run three age groups encompassing 60 netball players. Meryl currently coaches the U12-U14, but throughout her time has coached all age groups including the U9’s, allowing her to provide support to players throughout their whole journey at the club. Her coaching style is described as progressive, and she is exacting in her standards. As a primary school teacher outside of netball, Meryl harnesses learnt skills to promote her fair, patient, and enthusiastic approach to coaching at the club. Not only does Meryl enjoy coaching, but she also motivates others to get involved, inspiring adult players to give coaching a go and helping the U16’s at the club achieve their first coaching qualifications.

Whilst Meryl is heavily involved in the coaching the club, she is also the main driving force of all it’s admin needs. Some of her responsibilities over the years have included applying for several community chest grants and liaising with parents. Meryl has also spearheaded a strong committee to which she is able to delegate tasks with efficiency to admin and coaching groups; it’s this club structure set up by Meryl that allows the club to run so well. Additionally, she umpire’s regularly for Chepstow Netball Club, and has organised South East Wales tournaments when they were held in Cwmbran, and now Monmouth Netball League which Meryl set up alongside other junior clubs.

As well as ensuring the club runs effectively, Meryl works hard to guarantee that those involved are having positive experiences with the sport. Meryl is passionate about developing netballers to make progress, not necessarily to become the best of the best,
but to improve from their individual starting points. A holistic approach is promoted ensuring that the girls not only become great netballers – but become nice, considerate, and kind individuals. This is reflective of Chepstow’s club philosophy and ethos -to create a welcoming and social community. Meryl is also a keen advocate for developing physical literacy within her players. She aims to promote netball as a part of the players sporting journey, but to also create thoughtful, activated learners and movers outside of the netball too.

This is in part due to Meryl’s own positive journey and sporting values, believing all people should be active. In the past, Meryl was a keen netballer, and at present, she is a boules player and walking netball enthusiast. Meryl believes in not just enjoying the competitive aspect of sport but appreciating the benefits of having a healthy body.

Thank you so much, Meryl, for working so hard over the past 27 years to ensure that your members and the greater netballing community may participate in the sport safely whilst having fun!

Wales Netball’s Volunteers of the Month will be announced at the beginning of every month, with an article going on our website and posts going out across all social media channels. If you would like to nominate your coach, an umpire, or someone who helps your netball club and the wider community, complete the nomination form using this link https://forms.gle/fREqFRkPFyHnoPRn6

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