Lucille nets technical director

Netball in the Cayman Islands is set to gain better leadership. 

The Cayman Islands Netball Association has announced Gillian Lee as their new technical director and national coach. Lee was previously Australia’s Monash University Central head coach for nearly a decade. 

Association president Lucille Seymour states she is excited about the hire. 

“I’m certainly delighted and looking forward to Gillian coming from Australia,” Seymour said. “She brings a wealth of experience and I look forward to her working with us and forming a national strategic plan to put netball into the 21st century. I look forward to the expansion of netball and it taking its place among the focus sports.” 

Lee is a highly certified coach who served as coaching director of Netskills, a netball resource centre. She was also the assistant coach for the Victorian Institute of Sport (1994-1995) and the Australian National League’s Melbourne Phoenix (2004, 2005). She has been at Monash in Melbourne, which is a Victorian State League team, since 2004 doing both coaching and lecturing. 

Lee is the youngest of three daughters and comes from a netball family as her mum and two older sisters played. She began playing in primary school, for a local Under-16 team. From there she was selected as a defender for the Victorian U16 side and progressed to Australia’s national U21 squad. She is now the author of netball books and a coaching DVD series.  

Seymour states Lee is expected to begin work in Cayman this month. 

“We’re currently in the process of getting the work permit. She is coming the end of this month around 24-27 April. We need paid people to do the whole work of pro-social activity. 

“Apart from familiarizing her with what we have here, we want to get her to work with the coaches here. Her primary priority for the next six months is to help us develop a strategic plan for the next five years. In the short-term, she will help develop coaches and also work with teams and players. Without the technical knowledge of people, the game will not progress.” 

The association has been going through the hiring process since at least last October. The position was listed on the International Federation of Netball Associations website, applications were submitted and at first the successful candidate was slated to start in January. The post is for two years initially and offers a salary range of $40,000-$50,000, with Lee expected to earn near the maximum figure. 

As with the other focus sports (namely athletics, basketball, cricket, football and swimming), local government is offering financial support. According to the 2011-2012 purchase agreement between Cabinet and the netball association, government budgeted $77,393 as a grant to netball. 

The purchase agreement indicates a percentage of that money was put towards hiring a technical director. The document also points out that the government allotment for netball is nearly double compared to the 2010-2011 term (which was $34,200).  

Director of Sports Collin Anglin, who himself has played mixed netball, previously stated the association has sole responsibility for their technical director. 

“Most associations have a technical director and in the past, for the focus sports, those persons were employed by the Department of Sports,” Anglin said. “However we have found that creates confusion as the department and the association have slightly different organisational objectives.  

“We’re all working for the betterment of sports but now we can rectify that issue and make a more efficient line of communication. It’s been done already in football, our national sport. The technical director reports to government and there is consistency in structure.” 

netball techdir

Netball is concerned about its future in the Cayman community. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES

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