Jean Foster, who has been continuously devoting her time to Llantrisant Netball Club for 40 years (amongst many other Netball causes), is Wales Netball’s Volunteer of the Month for the start of 2024!
Jean founded Llantrisant Netball Club in 1983, based out of a school. She then went in search of a nearby leisure centre, hoping to gain access to courts and posts. Her first junior squad was formed in 1995, and they trained in the unmarked, overflow car park. The juniors went on to win the local championship that year and continued to improve, placing strongly in national competitions.
She currently coaches three junior teams in addition to serving as the head coach of one Cardiff & Vale squad. With players ranging from 6 to 60, the club now has a sizeable membership of 250 players throughout junior and senior divisions, with many more on waiting lists. Her approach to coaching is described as direct but fair.
“Her coaching style is to get results in the best way. She does not molly-coddle anyone and tells players what they need to hear even if it’s not what they want to hear at that time. She always offers positive feedback to tell players how to improve.”Rhian Boulter
Throughout her years of coaching, there have been upwards of twenty talented players who have gone on to represent Wales in Pathway and Senior squads, such Lateisha Kidner and Dawn Donovan. She has not only nurtured some incredible athletes, but Llantrisant Netball Club has also been the home for some talented umpires – namely Rhian Edwards who now umpires all over the world as an International and Super League Umpire.
Jean has dedicated countless hours to make the club what it is now, including weekends and four evenings a week. Her desire to encourage girls to play netball is admirable. Influencing three generations of athletes, with some of her first players’ grandchildren now playing at the club. As someone who embodies selflessness and willingness to help others, Jean is frequently asked for advice and support by newly formed local teams, and she consistently delivers it.
Jean carries out the aforementioned in addition to serving as the club’s Chair and Accountant. Constantly looking for opportunities with local sponsors, she will spend hours fundraising to help with kit costs and lower fees for junior players and socials. She applies for National Lottery funding as well as local grants through Sport RCT. Other roles include Chair of the Glamorgan Valleys Junior Netball League, being on the Board of Europe Netball, and being the Vice President of Wales Netball.
Netball in Rhondda Cynon Taf and beyond wouldn’t be the same without you, Jean, an amazing woman who goes above and beyond for her sport and everyone involved. Thank you for working so hard and being so dedicated to your various commitments!
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