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Former England Captain Appointed to Universities' New Professional Netball Team

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A FORMER England Captain is to help steer the University of Worcester and University of Gloucestershire’s new professional netball team.

The University of Gloucestershire has appointed Pamela Cookey, a two-time Commonwealth bronze medallist for England and seven-time Superleague winner, to head up its netball program

In her role she will also work with the University of Worcester’s Director of Netball, who is yet to be appointed, to build strong foundations for the overall development of the Severn Stars franchise.

This team is one of a number of new franchises in the Vitality Netball Superleague following a successful joint bid by the University of Worcester and the University of Gloucestershire.

Pamela will become the University of Gloucestershire’s first Director of Netball from the beginning of October, working alongside newly appointed Severn Stars Head Coach Mo’onia Gerrard.

Thirty-one-year-old Pamela, who was born in Birmingham and now lives in Bristol, won bronze with England in the 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games.

She announced her retirement from international netball in November 2015 and will leave Superleague champions Surrey Storm to take up a full-time position at the University of Gloucestershire.

Pamela will combine her director role with a Senior Lecturer post in the School of Sport and Exercise, with a brief in the development of university sport.

She said: “I hope to pull together my experiences from my own playing career and those from my roles in business and management to reach the high performance targets we are aiming for at the university. With this opportunity and the way we ended last season in regaining the title, I feel this is a good time to step down from playing Superleague.

“Netball is in my blood, being part of the new Severn Stars franchise is a fantastic opportunity to stay involved and one in which I really aim to make a significant impact off court.”

Mick Donovan, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Worcester and co-founder of the Severn Stars, said he was thrilled with the appointment.

He said: “We are excited at the University of Worcester at the opportunity to work with Pam under the Severn Stars umbrella and can only see huge benefits at so many playing levels.”

Fellow co-founder Dr Anita Navin, Head of School of Sport and Exercise at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “Pam will bring an abundance of expertise from her career in both netball and business.

“She will support our performance athletes across a range of sports at the University of Gloucestershire, offer support within our taught programmes and most of all drive the development of netball to another level with Stars coach Mo'onia Gerrard.

“Pam will lead technical shooting sessions as part of the work in the franchise and also connect fully in selling the Severn Stars vision to young participants in our partner schools and colleges.

“Our vision is ambitious, however we now have a superb ambassador and expert to turn this vision into reality.”

The news brings to an end a glittering career for Cookey who was equally at home as a goal shooter or goal attack and won 114 caps over 11 years for England.