Popular Milton Keynes netball coach wins national award

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She has achieved 'outstanding' results, judges heard

A netball coach from Milton Keynes has won a national award for the work she has done to support and encourage young people through sport.

Julie Maiden was one of 18 winners honoured this week at the UK Coaching Awards 2021.

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She is head coach for MK Dons and also MK Netters Netball Club and has achieved outstanding results producing young talent in netball, the judges heard.

Julie was presented with her award this weekJulie was presented with her award this week
Julie was presented with her award this week

Julia has been involved in setting up multiple youth projects with councils and sports partnerships, and developing a successful community and

performance club that offers a pathway for all ages and ability.

Committed to her players in every way, she even arranged for a psychologist to provide a classroom session so the group could develop more understanding on mental wellbeing and resilience.

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Julie said: “I am absolutely delighted, I feel that there was just an amazing array of people in the room with me, it makes you so proud to be recognised. This has really inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing in Milton Keynes really.

“I see my role as trying to help people get to where they can be without telling them how to get there. Sometimes I compared it to being a music conductor, getting people to work and play together in perfect harmony. The main thing is that I want people who participate to have fun, I love the individuals I work with and as long as I focus on them, I feel I’m in the right place.

Julie added: “I'm really lucky to be part of a very proactive club with a great team of volunteers carrying out a variety of roles- the pandemic has affected so many people in different ways, especially our younger athletes. I remember planning how we parachuted our whole club onto Zoom,

the moment we went into lockdown- which resulted in our club stepping up and delivering tactical sessions, strength and conditioning sessions and an education programme that covered a holistic approach to being an athlete including the mental health and wellbeing.

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“Nothing tops being a coach, without any doubt. I have found where I should have been all along in my life. I go home from every session feeling that I have helped someone, and there is no better feeling than that.”

UK Coaching’s CEO Mark Gannon said: “Congratulations to Julie and to each of our winners. The UK Coaching Awards recognise the huge variety of ways coaches make a difference to people’s lives, whether that is through training and improving skill level, through education and development, or mobilising their community and bringing people together."