When it comes to club sports (and much else besides) we are lucky to have Jes on our team here at Premier Awards. Not only can Jes navigate the full range of club sports trophies and guide and support our customers in their choices, but she is also a netball player, coach, umpire and umpire coach extraordinaire. For the final in our series on Participation Trophies we sat down with Jes to get her take on participation trophies from both sides of the field.
Jes has played netball ever since she was five years old. She started assistant coaching at thirteen. At present she coaches two children’s teams as well as meeting her umpiring, and umpire training commitments. We asked Jes what she has gained from club sport and what she believes young girls are gaining from it now.
She gave a big smile and spoke eloquently about her own experience as a child, how looking back she can see that netball has shaped who she is, that the experience of being in the sport, as a part of a team and a club, has given her confidence in dealing with a range of different people (which we see she is certainly adept at in her Sales role at Premier Awards). She said that she used to really look up to her coaches, and that having healthy role models like that is invaluable. She has observed that the club netball experience definitely helps positively shape the character of the girls in the club. She pointed out that many of the girls come from various schools and the netball experience gives them an opportunity to widen their friendship group, and in many cases form lifelong friendships.
We asked Jes what, from her experience in trophy sales as well as a coach, are the kinds of participation trophies that her netball girls prefer?
She said that the younger ones prefer something with a figure on them. They like to see the girl in the netball dress. The older ones are not as fussy about participation awards, but are really happy when they receive a medal for their efforts during the season, and that this gives a sense of team unity.
On starting the season late, and the effect of Covid19 on the club, Jes pointed out that her club sees it as particularly important to provide participation trophies this season, even though the club’s fundraising efforts have had to be curtailed. At Premier Awards we can relate to this in the feedback from other clubs. After such an unpredictable season—and the unpredictable situation we continue to find ourselves in as families and communities—it’s good that participation awards can contribute to a sense of belonging for our children. Finally, we asked Jes to describe the atmosphere on presentation night. She said that the image that comes to mind to sum up awards night is the front row being full of parents trying to get photos of their children holding their awards- whether that award be participation or otherwise. The awards ceremony is a way to mark the culmination of the season, and the witnessing and recording of each child receiving their award is a proud family and community moment.