Her sport has taken her as far afield as Singapore and the Cook Islands but it isn’t the travel which keeps Wendy enthused about netball, it is the sheer delight of watching people play the game she loves.
Wendy started playing netball in school and later set up a village team which competed at county level. A new nursing career brought with it night shifts, making it difficult for her to always play, so she moved into the administrative side of the game.
She tells her story with a laugh: “I was voted in as secretary of the Swansea League whilst I was away on holiday.” Nevertheless, it was an astute decision as Wendy has stayed in post ever since, working hard to ensure netball thrives locally and nationally.
Every night of the week is given over to netball and there’s often refereeing duties at the weekend too. Wendy’s enormous commitment includes her role as Team Manager of the Afan Nedd Tawe Performance HUB and running Swansea’s Summer and Winter Senior Leagues. She also manages Swansea’s junior teams and their summer league. On top of all that, she works with the local authority and primary schools in the area to grow the game. She was Wales and Celtic Dragons Team Manager for 19 years, but retired last Christmas.
One of the high points of Wendy’s volunteering career was managing the Wales team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: “There is a brilliant atmosphere as you are all there for one thing and you get to see top people playing.”
Wendy has combined volunteering with her work as a carer and there have been sacrifices along the way, including a “normal” social life. She brushes off compliments about the time she puts in:”It keeps me out of mischief! I love being involved and seeing others enjoy the sport, especially the youngsters. It has also been fantastic to travel and meet others of the same mindset.”
Her reaction to being nominated as a finalist: “Absolutely amazed! Very honoured.” And she offers some advice to those thinking of volunteering: “Be prepared for the commitment, it has to be everything, it can’t be half-hearted.”
It is this attitude which has made the game what it is today. As Kyra Jones, Wales Player, explains: “Wendy is an incredibly dedicated volunteer. She puts her heart and soul into netball and will do absolutely anything she can to make it better and easier for us as players to be the best we can.”