Loughborough Lightning Netball are delighted to unveil Sara Bayman as their new Director of Netball ahead of the 2019 Vitality Netball Superleague season.
Bayman is a former England International and brings with her a wealth of top level playing experience. Boasting 84 caps with the England Roses, having competed in two World Cups and two Commonwealth Games, Sara hopes to apply her knowledge to the programme here at Loughborough University.
Lightning have missed out on the top prize in both the 2017 and 2018 Superleague, making it to the Grand Final on both occasions and narrowly missing out on the win. Having won the Superleague four times as a player with Team Bath and Manchester Thunder, Bayman will look to draw on her experience to guide Lightning to the top for the first time in 2019.
Moving to Loughborough in September from fellow Superleague side Sirens, where Bayman spent her 2018 season playing, Sara will spearhead a strong staff team including Pathway Head Coach Emily Perry who is currently developing the Lightning Netball Academy. Also applying her trade to the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) programme, Bayman will undertake the responsibility of guiding the University teams to the Championships where the student side claimed Gold in 2017.
Sara has been involved with age group level competition since a young age, having previously captained the England U21 side and therefore hopes to work closely with Perry to enhance the development and progression of the youth members within the Lightning and University programmes.
Of her new role Bayman said: “I’m really excited to join such an ambitious programme and work with some of the top athletes in the UK.
“Loughborough Lightning have shown a commitment to developing players and creating a strong team culture.
“I will look to build on this through my experiences at the top level and can’t wait to take Loughborough into the 2019 season.”
Of this key appointment Franchise Director Olivia Murphy commented: “I am extremely pleased to welcome Sara to Loughborough Lightning.
“Sara is a fantastic character and I have no doubt she will be a brilliant Director of Netball for us.
“I have worked with Sara previously and have seen that she is a great leader and role model.
“She has always shown great desire to improve herself and those around her and she has the platform at Loughborough to continue to strive to do this.
“I am very excited for the next chapter for Lightning under Sara’s leadership.”
Bayman will replace outgoing Head Coach Anna Carter in September, who leaves the franchise having guided the team to a second Grand Final in as many years.
Bayman’s first outing with the Lightning squad will be at the 2018 Fast 5 All Stars Competition in October, where the girls will be looking to defend their title.