THE permanent return of one of Jersey’s greatest sporting exports has been rubber stamped, as Island netball embarks on a new and exciting chapter.
Serena Kersten (née Guthrie) was set to be officially unveiled as the new performance lead at the Jersey Netball Association today, following her decision to retire from the game and relocate back to the Channel Islands before the birth of her first child.
The 32-year-old will take over some of the reins from long-serving coach Linda Andrews, while using her international and Superleague experience to implement fresh ideas that should help open doors for up and coming talent.
Her appointment coincides with news that officials at Strive are working on fresh plans for a dedicated netball arena in St Peter – one which could host global fixtures within five years.
A new project, Youth Nets, has also been launched.
‘The aim of Youth Nets is to improve access and opportunities for all youngsters on the Island to play netball,’ Kersten explained. ‘It’s the first of a few small changes to help improve access for more people.
‘We have a big vision and Strive have supported us by investing and committing to build a stadium. It’s going to be brilliant. It’s one of the reasons why I came back to Jersey.
‘Strive is going to be the new home for netball in Jersey and we’re really excited about it. We’re excited about having our own place to grow the organisation, put more classes on and generate a larger workforce.
‘With the facilities in place we can look at having a Superleague team, hosting test series, World Cups or major championships. It won’t just be a home for Jersey netball; it will be a hub for netball in the UK and the northern hemisphere.’
League fixtures and training programmes for all ages and abilities will continue to be held at Les Ormes until 2026.
‘We do really appreciate the support from Les Ormes and we desperately need them until then,’ Kersten added. ‘But we do face a capacity issue and we can only put on programmes from September through to March. We need to be able to do it all year round.’
More to follow.