We are proud and delighted to announce that former England international and global netball pioneer, Hellen Manufor, has been appointed to the Board of Welsh Netball as our first ever Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Director.
Manufor, whose most recent role in netball has been as International Brand Manager for Gilbert Netball, brings with her a wealth of experience, knowledge and insight from the world of netball. A Commonwealth Games medallist as a player, Manufor has worked at every level in sport, including as an official co-ordinator for Team Nigeria at the 2012 Olympic Games. She has also played an instrumental role in the re-introduction of netball to Nigeria, and the federation’s recognition with the International Netball Family.
In addition to her work in sport, Manufor has been involved with a range of charity and developmental projects in Africa for netball. This includes UNICEF’s work in Nigeria which has helped to tackle inequality and poverty, and empower girls aged 12-18.
It is fitting that Manufor joins the Board of Welsh Netball as it was against Wales that she made her international netball debut for England in 1991.
On joining the Welsh Netball Board, Manufor said: “I have always wanted to impact the world through sport, whether as a role model, an educator, or through contributing guidance to help others get opportunities.
“I have seen first-hand the global power of netball and how it can raise and transform communities, as well as individuals. Netball has the amazing ability to unite us, by providing a language which everyone can understand, regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, age, ability, size, gender or religion.
“I look forward to working with the Board to ensure that equitable policies and practices are fully integrated into the organisation.
Sarah Jones, Welsh Netball CEO is thrilled to have Manufor join the Board of the National Governing Body. She said: “We are very pleased to have Hellen join our Board of Directors. Her knowledge and experience in netball is unrivalled and she will bring a huge level of expertise and dynamism to the sport in Wales. We interviewed a number of high-calibre candidates for this role, but Hellen’s impact on our global game made her the ideal candidate.
“Hellen is well known and much loved across the netball and sporting world and she is passionate about helping to guide Welsh Netball along its equality, diversity and inclusion journey. We can’t wait for Hellen to get stuck in and to help our sport thrive in the post-COVID world.”
Speaking more broadly about Welsh Netball’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion, she added: “Having Hellen join us as our first-ever EDI Director is a big statement of intent from our organisation.
“Sport in Wales must do more to tackle a lack of diversity in its governance and we are looking to accept this challenge and deliver on the expectations and needs of the twenty-first century netball community in this regard. I am excited about what Hellen’s appointment means for our organisation and our sport as we look to grow the game in communities across Wales.”