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Strathclyde Sirens appoint Atkinson as Technical Director

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05: Claire Maxwell of Strathclyde wins the ball during the match between Strathclyde Sirens and Surrey Storm during the Vitality Netball Superleague Super 10 at Arena Birmingham on January 5, 2019 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images for England Netball)

Karen Atkinson has been named as the new Technical Director for Strathclyde Sirens. This innovative move see’s the former Loughborough Lightning Director of Netball and ex-England International take on the strategic leadership of Scotland’s national Franchise, the Strathclyde Sirens.

Tasked with creating an ambitious and visionary strategy for the Sirens that not only delivers consistently improved performances in the VNSL, but also complements Netball Scotland’s new long term performance objectives and ambitions on the International stage, Karen will work alongside Netball Scotland’s Head of Performance, Gail Parata, and University partners, University of Strathclyde, to create an enhanced and high performing performance pathway through Sirens.

Netball Scotland CEO, Claire Nelson, said of the appointment:

“Netball in Scotland has grown rapidly in recent years and our Superleague Franchise, Strathclyde Sirens, has really helped to put us on the map. We are proud to say that we have one of the most professional, dynamic and impactful brands in women’s sport in the UK today, and this year, as we head into a Netball World Cup, our Franchise has given our national athletes the unprecedented opportunity of being able to train and play together week in, week out, in what is undoubtedly one of the best domestic netball Leagues in the world.

As we move into our next strategic cycle and look beyond this year’s Netball World Cup, now is the time for us to build upon the strong foundations of seasons 1-3 and raise our game to deliver a programme which enables our team and athletes to realise their full potential. We believe that Karen Atkinson has the skills, experience and passion to do this.”

Atkinson, who is based in Italy with her family and has been supporting ex-Siren player and current Loughborough Lightning Director of Netball, Sara Bayman, in her debut season, said of her new role:

“This is an extremely exciting opportunity and challenge.  I am looking forward to working with everyone at Strathclyde Sirens. I aim to create an outstanding high-performance programme that will realise the potential of the players within the Scottish pathway as well as attract high-quality players with the required work ethic, mindset and values.  Sirens already possess excellent people, facilities and resources. This creates a fantastic platform from which we can develop something very special.  I can’t wait to get started!”

Atkinson represented Vitality Roses at the 1999 and 2011 World Championships as well as at the 1998, 2006 and 2010 Commonwealth Games. Atkinson’s domestic netball career saw her play for Hertfordshire Mavericks, Loughborough Lightning, Captial Shakers (New Zealand) and West Coast Fever (Australia). After retiring from playing Atkinson coached Hertfordshire Mavericks, Loughborough Lightning and the Vitality Roses Fast5 team.

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