‘Extra special’ evening for England netball

Netball | Published:

SERENA GUTHRIE admits England’s netballers did not expect to beat globally recognised squads to the Team of the Year award, let alone collect a second trophy for the greatest sporting moment of 2018.

Serena Guthrie (far left) celebrated with her England team-mates after the Roses were named Team of the Year. They were also awarded the Sporting Moment of the Year trophy following a public vote Picture: David Davies/PA Wire

The Roses topped the shortlist to be named the best team in the country at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show on Sunday, finishing ahead of England’s World Cup footballers, Manchester City FC and the European Ryder Cup golf team. Their beyond-the-buzzer winning goal in the Commonwealth Games final, to claim gold at Australia’s expense, was also voted above a handful of high-profile achievements from the sporting calendar.

Guthrie, who captained England to victory over Uganda earlier this month, appeared on stage with her team-mates to collect both trophies, before joining main award winner Geraint Thomas, runner-up Lewis Hamilton and England football captain Harry Kane as the live programme drew to a close.

‘We were pretty surprised with both, to be honest,’ said Guthrie.

‘They were reeling off all these big teams like Man City and England football, but we were thrown into the mix and to be voted as winners by the public [for the sporting moment award] is what we were most surprised about. That makes it extra special.

‘It was really cool to get recognition at that level – netball needs to be seen in the public eye and hopefully we can continue to increase our exposure off the back of [Sunday] night.’

Guthrie also discussed an encounter with BBC presenter Clare Balding at the event’s after-party.

‘I had a dance with Clare afterwards,’ she laughed. ‘She’s such an advocate for netball and we need people like her – big name presenters who want to talk about us.

‘Those people live, breathe, eat sport daily – that’s all they do. So the fact they thought we deserved to win is great.’

She added: ‘I got a selfie with Frank Skinner too. Big highlight.’

Jason Fox

By Jason Fox

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