Chani Wopara returns to Bath
Former Team Bath Netball defender Chani Wopara says she is relishing working with a youthful squad eager to learn and improve after returning to the club as Assistant Super League Coach for the 2023 season.
Wopara, who first joined the club at NPL age-group level in 2005, represented the Blue & Gold during the 2012 Super League campaign and helped them reach the semi-finals. Among her team-mates that year was Kadeen Corbin, who has also rejoined Team Bath for the 2023 season.
She also played alongside Team Bath Netball Head Coach Asha Francis for Team Bath Toucans, a side with which Wopara experienced her standout moment as a player when she won the Premier League 1 title in a squad that featured Serena Guthrie and Eboni Usoro-Brown.
Now, after successful coaching spells with Bristol-based Premier Romans and the University of the West of England (UWE), Wopara has reignited her partnership with Francis to help a new-look Blue & Gold squad – with an average age of just 22 – bond and develop.
“I’m loving being back,” said Wopara. “I obviously know the club really well but things feel fresh and new, it’s an exciting time. We’ve been back in training since the start of October and it’s going really well. I’ve forged a great partnership with Asha and I’m getting to know the girls, building those relationships week on week.
“I knew Asha would come in and put her stamp on things, she is truly inspirational and I wanted to be involved with that. She has put together a youthful and exciting squad, and they all have the desire to learn new things. That’s something that drives me as well, I have a growth mindset and am always looking to improve so it’s a great environment to be a part of.”
Francis said: “I am really excited to have Chani on board. Not only am I able to reconnect with an old friend but she is also a fantastic coach who is so eager to collaborate with myself and players.
“We share many of the same values and clearly understand where we want to go and how we want to get there. It’s been great so far and we are looking forward to the season’s challenge.”
Francis and Wopara will see the fruits of their early work with the squad, sponsored by Haines Watts, when Team Bath host a tri-tournament against London Pulse and Saracens Mavericks on Saturday 3rd December (1.30-6pm).
Nearly 800 tickets have already been sold for the pre-season event featuring three matches at the Team Bath Arena and remaining seats are available to book at netball.teambath.com/tri-tournament.
The 2023 Super League season gets underway in February and there are eight opportunities to enjoy matches at the Team Bath Arena. Season and match tickets are on sale now, visit netball.teambath.com/tickets to find out more.
Team Bath Netball is supported by its Principal and Pathway Partner, chartered accountants Haines Watts; Bath Building Society and Rengen Developments, who are overall Team Bath Partners; Centurion Chartered Financial Planners; Ecus Ltd, our environment partner; and PDS Coaching, who provide performance mentoring. Team Bath’s suppliers include O’Neills, 2XU and Pulseroll.