Favourite coach gives his all

Much-loved: Airds Lyrebirds Netball Coach James 'Jimmy' Brown picked up the 'Spirit of Sport' award from Wests Sports Council in May. Picture: Simon Bennett
Much-loved: Airds Lyrebirds Netball Coach James 'Jimmy' Brown picked up the 'Spirit of Sport' award from Wests Sports Council in May. Picture: Simon Bennett

If ever there was somebody who embodied the ‘Spirit of Sport’ it’s James Brown.

The Mount Annan resident coaches the 12Bs side with Airds Lyrebirds Netball club and is loved by players, umpires, other coaches and even opposition teams.

He was recently awarded Wests Sports Council’s Spirit of Sport award for his commitment to the game.

Brown was surprised by the win.

“I just try to make sure they all have fun,” he said.

“I always tell them to keep up the hard work and have a good time.

“There’s no point if you’re not having a good time.”

Brown is well-known in netballing circles for his voracious encouragement of players.

He can even routinely be seen applauding opposing teams.

“If they do a good pass or get a good goal they deserve a pat on the back as much as my girls,” he said.

The coach, who has also spent years working with horses at Menangle Park Paceway, started coaching just two years ago when his daughter Dakota joined the team.

He is immensely proud of the team – who he calls his “babies” – and hopes his own positive outlook extends to them.

“My goal is to set them up with good values on and off the field,” he said.

“I hate negativity and always want everyone to keep their heads up and be proud.”

Club staff describe Brown as a “passionate and jovial coach” whose “ability to encourage confidence and ensure the players are enjoying both training and games is important to many within [the] club”.

Other winners in May’s Wests Sports Council awards were Samantha Wylie, Alannah Whitfield, Paul Eden, the Ironman Triathlon Team and Caitlin Sendt.