Sara Moore first joined Wales Netball in 2018 as an Assistant Coach to the Welsh Feathers Squad. She became a full-time member of staff in September 2021 in a hybrid role that was split into two key functions: Welsh Feathers Head Coach, and Head of Elite. This saw Sara lead on the strategic aspects of performance netball in Wales, including overseeing the Wales Netball Performance Pathway and the Celtic Dragons Franchise.
Now, after undertaking this combined role since 2021, Sara’s remit with Wales Netball is evolving and as such, she will be moving on from the Welsh Feathers Head Coach element of her role to fully immerse herself as Head of Elite, focusing on driving the strategic direction of performance netball in Wales.
Whilst we are saddened that Sara won’t lead the Welsh Feathers at the Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa in 2023, we are delighted that she will remain a part of the Senior Leadership Team here at Wales Netball and strategically oversee the campaign.
Despite Sara starting her Head Coach position just before the Covid-19 pandemic, she steered the Welsh Feathers to qualification for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
As part of their Commonwealth Games qualification campaign, Sara led the Welsh Feathers to a three-match test series win against the Isle of Man, who Wales had never faced previously. Sara led the squad to back-to-back victories in the Wendy White Trophy in a home international test series in Ebbw Vale, in January of 2022. Sara and the Welsh Feathers then made history by being the team with the highest point increase in the history of the Netball World Rankings. This placed Wales in 8th position, which sealed qualification for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Under Sara’s leadership, the Welsh Feathers squad displayed impressive performances at the Commonwealth Games in the summer of 2022. The squad reached 7th and 8th playoff and finished 8th in the competition, losing narrowly to Malawi. The squad finished 12th position in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia, so this was another huge achievement for Sara and for the squad.
After a successful Commonwealth Games, the focus quickly turned to qualifying for the 2023 Netball World Cup. Sara and the newly branded Welsh Feathers made their intentions clear from the start and dominated the competition, despite several changes to the squad that went to Birmingham. Sara led the squad to qualification with an unbeaten run in the competition. A fantastic achievement following the disappointment of not qualifying for the last World Cup in 2019.
Sara moves immediately to being full-time Head of Elite here at Wales Netball. In this role, Sara will continue to seek to drive systemic change in Wales and Celtic Dragons performance programmes and will continue to develop a framework for long-term success across all performance aspects.
Of Sara’s change of role, Vicki Sutton, Wales Netball’s CEO said “Sara has done a fantastic job in this hybrid role. The stability she provided as Head Coach was invaluable as we navigated our way out of the pandemic. As well as ensuring consistency in the performance programme, she has also led the Welsh Feathers to an 8th place finish in Commonwealth Games and ensured our qualification for the Netball World Cup in 2023. These were two key performance objectives in our 2023 strategy.
I am thrilled that we are retaining Sara as full time Head of Elite and look forward to watching her further embed our key values into all elements of performance netball in Wales.
The search begins for a new Welsh Feathers Head Coach to lead the squad into the next exciting phase, and I look forward to working with the successful candidate.”
Sara added “I feel privileged to have been able to lead the Welsh Feathers as Head Coach since 2019. It has been an absolute honour and pleasure to coach the National Team, and I have been humbled by the support I have received from the athletes, team management, supporters, and staff at Wales Netball. I am just so pleased that I can leave the Head Coach role having achieved our targets of a top 8 placing, securing a Commonwealth Games and a World Cup.
Whilst I am sad to be leaving this fantastic Welsh Feathers Squad, I am sure that they will go on and achieve great things under the new Head Coach. This next step in my career will allow me to focus on ensuring that the future is brighter than ever for each of our Welsh Feathers athletes, and for our Franchise and Pathways. I am absolutely focused on driving performance netball further forward in Wales, and having one focus as Head of Elite will allow me to do that much more effectively.
I am also looking forward to spending more time with my husband Steve, and my family. I have been involved in performance netball at international level since the age of 16, first as an athlete and then as a coach, and I am looking forward to seeing what this new chapter in my life looks like. Thank you to everyone who has been so kind and supportive of my journey.”
With the Welsh Feather’s Head Coach Role becoming vacant, we are actively seeking a suitable candidate to step into the role. We are looking for an experienced Head Coach who can continue to lead and drive the success of the Welsh Feathers National Squad in the lead up to the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town.
To find out more about the role including how to apply, go to our vacancies page, or click this link.