Joanne Brown is aiming to bring through a new generation of netball-mad youngsters after receiving a large cash grant for coaching excellence.

The 44-year-old, who already coaches members of the YWCA Bury Netball Club and Bury Athletic Club, is one of just 50 coaches from across the UK to have been awarded a Gillette Great Starts Grant.

Brown will front an England Netball-backed club based in Middleton in the new year, and is already a level two athletics coach. She has decided to expand her expertise further by picking up qualifications in netball.

“It’s great, I only applied after thinking there was nothing to lose,” she said. “I’m trying to develop myself more and develop skills and qualifications in different sports.

“Hopefully both clubs will benefit from what I learn and continue to develop through competitions and the work we do with children within schools.” “I was into sport at school and when I left it was what I wanted to do but it didn’t work out that way, but now thankfully I’m able to be involved as it’s something I really enjoy.

“I took up coaching netball because schools seem to think athletics is just for the summer, so that way I can coach all-year round.

“I think netball works so well because children not only get so much fun out of team games, but learn what it takes to be a team member and respect one another.”

The 2013 Gillette ‘Great Starts’ campaign celebrates community coaches and inspires the next generation of coaches by providing them with grants to fund their next level qualifications.