England netball captain Serena Guthrie reflects on what she wants her legacy to be
England netball captain Serena Guthrie has been reflecting on the legacy she desires when she finally decides to hang up her bib.
Guthrie, 31, has represented England since she was 18 and explained how her role as captain is to motivate those around her while also inspiring the next generation.
With a home Commonwealth Games fast approaching, Guthrie is leading the side during one of its most exciting periods.
And the Vitality Roses and Team Bath ace, who will lead her team against Jamaica at London’s Copper Box Arena on Sunday, said: “Obviously to win and get the results, that's the ultimate dream.
“It would be great to be able to call ourselves double Commonwealth Games champions – an England team has never done that before.
“That's the new challenge and I think after that, we just want to continue to grow and inspire girls and people who haven't necessarily heard about netball, or know about netball, to get involved in the game.
“The Commonwealth Games is going to be a great opportunity to see what we can do and for people to see the sport.
“We speak a lot about legacy in the group and how everything that we do is a lot larger than just stepping out on the court.
“It's about connecting with the fans to show just how professional and how amazing our sport is.
“It'd be great to be a part of a team or to be able to lead a team who are paving the way for young women and girls and boys that want to take netball more seriously and get more career pathways.
“And then be a part of that professionalisation of the sport, because that's really the next step for netball domestically in this country as well.
Guthrie represents the elite level of netball in England Netball's rebrand that focuses on everything, from the grassroots to the highest level
“I suppose I'd like people to think of me as someone who gave absolutely everything and somebody who was able to inspire and motivate others and, as a captain, that's all I'm ever trying to do: enjoy the journey and inspire and motivate my teammates.
“If I managed to inspire the next generation of young women and girls and boys and get them to try and achieve what they can achieve and understand their potential, then that'd be enough for me.”
Guthrie was speaking as she helped to launch England Netball’s new ‘Adventure Strategy – a 10-year plan for the sport to accelerate the development and growth of the game at every level.
She took part in a photoshoot to launch the new strategy, that also reveals a new brand identity for the governing body for netball in England alongside other members of the netball community – from players to coaches, to volunteers and officials.
And she added: “The new strategy is incredibly exciting. It's really well-timed in that we've got the Commonwealth Games next year and highlights the real ambition we have to grow the sport from the elite game to the grassroots and in communities where netball impacts so many lives.
Netball bridges boundaries for people age 5, 95 and every age in between, for an adventure that can last a lifetime.
“Taking part in the photoshoot was really inspirational. It's funny because meeting everybody yesterday was like: ‘oh, it's Serena and she plays for England’, and actually I was just in awe of them, their stories and their commitment to the game.
“I love this game, I love playing it but some of these women, girls, guys, they've actually committed a huge chunk of their life – some double the amount of time that I've actually played the game, and that's massive.
“I think for me to be able to see that was really inspirational and motivational because these are the people that care so much about what we do, so to be able to go out and connect with them and hear their stories was great.”
Guthrie’s immediate focus now turns to the upcoming three-match ‘Vitality Netball Roses Reunited Series’, which sees the Vitality Roses take on Jamaica on home soil.
Sunday’s clash in the capital kicks off three back-to-back fixtures against the Sunshine Girls and Guthrie said: “There is no feeling in the world like putting on the iconic red dress, but it is always a bit more special when we get to wear it in front of a home crowd.
“The team have been preparing well, and it is great to be reunited with familiar faces and welcome new faces to the camp.
“We cannot wait to get back on court and do our country proud.”
For more information on England Netball’s new ‘Adventure Strategy’ / or to find out how to get involved in netball in your area visit www.EnglandNetball.co.uk