Claire Maxwell retires
Netball Scotland’s most capped player Claire Maxwell has announced her international and Super League retirement.
In the world of netball, one name shines brightly above all others when it comes to the Scottish Thistles – Claire Maxwell. Her remarkable journey from a young girl with a dream to the most capped player and captain of the national team is an inspiring tale of dedication, passion, and unwavering support from her loved ones.
Claire’s netball journey began in the most humble of settings – her primary school in Aberdeen. It was there that she first picked up a netball under the watchful eye of a special coach – her own mother. Little did they know that this would be the first step on a journey that would see Claire represent her country on the international stage.
As her talent blossomed, so did her commitment to the sport. Traveling from Aberdeen to Glasgow for training camps showcased her determination to improve and reach the highest level of the game. This dedication did not go unnoticed, and in 2009, Claire earned her first cap for the Scottish Thistles, a defining moment in her netball career. Her debut match against Wales marked the beginning of an incredible 14-year journey with the national team and an incredible 128 caps.
Reflecting on her illustrious career, Claire shared her thoughts after her final match against Wales, where she captained her squad to their highest final ranking at a netball World Cup since 1991. She said, “My time in a Thistle dress after an amazing 14 years has come to an end. As a young girl, playing for Scotland was a dream of mine. To become the most capped player and captain of our National Team is something I could never have imagined, and to have shared a small part of my time in the dress with my daughter has been an honour.”
It is evident that Claire’s family played a crucial role in supporting her throughout her career. She acknowledged the unwavering support from her husband and family, who allowed her to pursue her dreams and achieve greatness on the netball court. Her success is a testament to the importance of a strong support system in achieving one’s goals.
Throughout her journey, Claire formed strong bonds with her teammates, coaches, and the passionate Thistle Army – the dedicated fans who rallied behind the team. Addressing all those who contributed to her success, she expressed her gratitude, saying, “To all my current and ex-teammates, the Thistle Army, coaches, support staff, you have all shaped me into becoming the person I am off and on the court. I’m truly grateful for everyone who has supported me, and I can’t wait to be the next generation of Thistles players’ biggest supporter!”
Her impact on the sport extended beyond the court, as she embraced leadership roles and served as an inspiration to aspiring netball players across Scotland. Her dedication to the game and the values she embodies have left their mark on the sport’s landscape.
In recognition of her incredible contributions, Tamsin Greenway, head coach of Scottish Thistles shared her thoughts, saying, “Claire has been the ultimate Thistles on and off the court. Her commitment to the team and the sport is unmatched, and she has been an inspiration to everyone around her. Her legacy will continue to inspire generations of Thistles players to come.”
The Chair of Netball Scotland Board also had words of praise for Claire, stating, ” Claire has been an outstanding player and leader for the Scottish Thistles. She is known for her resilience and determination on court and her motivation and commitment off court. Claire is a role model to so many people in netball in Scotland and we would like to thank her for all the amazing moments she has given us in the record 128 games representing the Scottish Thistles. A legend.”
As Claire Maxwell closes this chapter of her netball career, she leaves behind a legacy that will continue to inspire and shape the sport in Scotland for years to come. Her journey from being coached by her mum in primary school to becoming the most capped player for the Scottish Thistles is a remarkable tale of passion, perseverance, and the power of dreams. We celebrate Claire’s achievements and eagerly anticipate her future endeavours as she takes on the role of the next generation’s biggest Thistles supporter!