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Nelson to lead NSL

Claire Nelson departs Netball Scotland after 8 years to take a new role leading the Netball Superleague.

CEO Claire Nelson announces her departure from Netball Scotland after almost 8 years to take up new post leading Netball Super League

Claire Nelson will be leaving her role as CEO of both Netball Scotland and Strathclyde Sirens Netball Super League Club at the end of May to take on the newly created position of Netball Super League Managing Director where she will lead the professionalisation of the sport in the UK.

Claire joined Netball Scotland in October 2015 after having previously held a position as a non-executive Director on the Board. She came in with a huge passion for the sport and a clear vision for what she wanted to achieve, and has been on a mission to take netball in Scotland to new levels ever since. Now an award-winning and globally recognized National Governing Body, Netball Scotland has been ground-breaking in its approach to challenging the gender equity gap on and off the court through participation, performance, and profile, and with Sirens they have created one of the most engaging, game-changing and innovative women’s sports brands today.

On leaving her post Claire said:
“Making the decision to leave Netball Scotland and Sirens has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do because leading this sport and organisation has been so much more than just a job for me. It has wholly and unequivocally been a labour of love. I have poured my heart and soul into building a business that can stand tall not only in women’s sport, but in the industry as a whole, and I really believe we’ve done that. I am so proud of all we have achieved on and off the court, the impact that we have made, the barriers that we have broken down, the standards we have set and the bar we have raised. We have led the way in what it means to be a women’s sports brand and business. We have grown and strengthened the domestic netball system and pathway to create more and better opportunities to enjoy, develop and thrive in our sport. And most importantly we have inspired, engaged and meaningfully impacted tens of thousands of people along the way as we remained committed to our purpose of trying to change the game for a better, fairer future for the women and girls of Scotland and beyond.

“Whilst it will be extremely difficult to leave Scotland, my new role presents to me the same opportunity that I was faced with when I took on the NS CEO role nearly 8 years ago – the opportunity to lead, shape and influence what netball should and could like. But this time I will be doing it on a bigger scale, and I am ready for that challenge. Our sport, and the nations and Clubs within it, will thrive when we have the best professional domestic Leagues across the world, and I am committed to ensuring the UK builds the best.

“It has been an absolute honour to lead Netball Scotland and I am beyond grateful that I’ve been able to work with the most incredible people, from the NS staff and Board to our members, players, partners and fans. Our Netball Family here in Scotland is the most supportive community of people, and I’d like to personally thank every single one of you who makes our sport what it is. I will miss you all terribly.

“I will be proud to pass the baton on to the next CEO who will lead the organisation into the next, and arguably most important, phase of our journey where we will strive to seize the immense opportunities ahead of us as a sport. Netball in Scotland is only just getting going and there is a very bright future ahead!”

Chair of Netball Scotland, Lucy Faulkner, added:
“On behalf of the Netball Scotland Board I would like to express our deep gratitude and thanks to Claire for what she has done for netball over the last seven and half years. Claire’s leadership, fortitude, resilience, creativity, and innovation has raised the profile of our sport, influenced many people to support it, and helped them recognise the power of netball. Claire has been a gamechanger for our sport and this is evident in the vision, ambition and drive Claire has demonstrated to build relationships and secure commercial income to establish Strathclyde Sirens in the Netball Super League.

“Through her leadership we have made a difference to the lives of many thousands of women and girls, and this has never been more evident than through the work of her team with young people, supporting and nurturing them through adolescence and beyond to choose a healthy lifestyle, be proud of their bodies, and to approach life with a positive mental attitude.

“Claire has a great skill of bringing the best people to Netball Scotland whilst building, supporting, and developing the incredible domestic talent we have in coaching, administration and officiating, and during her tenure the Scottish Thistles reached a peak ranking of 7th in the world, have remained in the top 10 and have consistently qualified for the Netball World Cup.

“The search for her successor has already begun and I am confident that we will attract a range of excellent candidates. Our new CEO will have the opportunity to build on Claire’s successes and support us to take netball in Scotland to the next level. We look forward to working with Claire in her new role as MD of the Netball Super League and wish her well in it.”

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