England’s gold medal-winning netball team capped an amazing year by securing two awards at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year show on Sunday night. After their historic Commonwealth Games win in April, the Roses were named Team of the Year and also won the Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year award for their dramatic victory in the final over hosts Australia. We spoke with Emily Dack, BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting student at UCFB, and captain of the netball team, about another famous night for the sport…

How did you feel when you saw the result? And what impact do you think it could have on netball in the UK?

England beat Australia 52-51 in the Commonwealth Games 2018 final in Queensland

I was so happy and shocked when I saw the news that England Netball had won both the Team of the Year and Greatest Sporting Moment awards.

It’s an incredible achievement for Head Coach Tracey Neville and the girls after all their hard work, especially in April.

I think I’d be lying if I said I expected them to win in both categories, only due to the fact that the men’s England football team and the European Ryder Cup stars also had a very tough year with great outcomes but when their name was called out I was over the moon.

I think it’s also a great achievement for netball as a whole as I believe it will now show people how exciting and fun the sport is and will encourage them to play and follow.

Beating Australia in their back yard, 52-51, in the first ever Commonwealth Games final that wasn’t Australia v New Zealand – how big of an achievement was that win?

Being able to win the Commonwealth Games on the siren and to be the first team to win it other than Australia or New Zealand just highlights how great this England team is – it wasn’t an easy match either which made the win even more significant.

It was such a dramatic final with Helen Housby having seconds to go in the last quarter but I think it really opened the nation’s eyes to see how significant this win and achievement was for England Netball.

After the award announcement, Head Coach Tracey Neville said that the win in Queensland had made “every netballer’s dream come true” – as captain of the UCFB netball team what did the win mean to you? And how do you think that amazing moment can inspire other players around the world?

Emily helped set up the UCFB netball team

I think Tracey has summed it up for me! It really was so great for England netball to be able to go down in history as the first team to win the event other than Australia or New Zealand.

As a captain myself I know how hard it is to motivate your team when you’re losing or struggling to keep going, this game is something I look to and show the girls how every pass or shot counts even down to the last seconds.

I think it’s really important for all young girls now to look up to this team and Tracey as an inspiration as I didn’t have this when I was younger. I believe that it will encourage more young girls to play and follow the sport.

Tell us about the UCFB netball team and how the season is going far?

We have done so well this year and I’m so proud of all the girls. When I joined UCFB there was no netball team and it took me nearly 2 years to set one up! We have played five games so far this season and remain unbeaten.

There is actually only nine of us and we train by ourselves every week so being able to say that we are still unbeaten is something I know we are all so proud of. We currently sit second in the league with Kings College just three points in front of us.

When we played them in November we had a 14-point deficit in the second quarter and managed to pull it back to draw 32-32. That was a really tough game for us all but we are looking forward to more challenges in the new year especially as we have a quarter-final in the cup in February.

The UCFB netball team remain unbeaten after 5 games of the season

As a BA (Hons) Sports Business & Sports Broadcasting student at UCFB, how important is the result and the awards in terms of growing the sport and reaching more people?

As a Broadcasting student I know how important media coverage is in sports and also how limited it is on sports like netball. So along with the achievement in April and this past weekend’s awards it will hopefully show people how great this team is and how they can get behind the girls.

I know with upcoming events, especially next year with the World Cup, people will hopefully be more interested in watching the girls and supporting them. If the Commonwealth Games final is anything to go by I’m sure it will be a dramatic tournament and something we can all get behind the girls with.

The 2019 Netball World Cup is being held in Liverpool in July – are you looking forward to the it? Will you be attending or watching any games?

I’m really looking forward to the World Cup next year especially as it is in England. This will be our third time hosting the event and I think this is the best time for the nation to get behind the girls.

I remember watching parts of the last World Cup in Sydney whilst I was off on my summer holidays and I can still remember seeing the atmosphere as Australia won it on home turf, it would be so incredible if we could do that next year. I am really hoping to go especially if I can get the UCFB team to come along with me. Other than that I definitely will be watching and supporting along!