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Head Coaches announced for Season 2023

Head Coaches announced for Season 2023

Exciting new changes are afoot at #OurBlaze as we appoint our Head Coaches for the 2023.

The Blaze has announced a new Head Coach for the U23s team, with Heather Smith taking the helm in 2023. The Blaze has also reappointed Opens Head Coach, Marji Parr, to the role for next season. Talented netball professional Maria Lynch also joins Blaze in 2023 as our High Performance Manager.

IMB South Coast Blaze Chair, Karina Franke, said both Head Coaches bring a wealth of expertise and talent to the netball franchise.

“We are thrilled to have Marji back on deck for next season and couldn’t be happier to have experienced coach Heather move into the U23s Head Coach role for 2023,” Ms Franke said.

Heather Smith is taking over from Regan Tweddle, who has decided to take a break for the 2023 season. Ms Franke says Regan will be sorely missed.

“Regan has been the Head Coach of the U23s team since the netball franchise’s inception in 2019 and has been an invaluable part of #OurBlaze. Her experience and expertise are unrivalled and while we’ll miss her, Regan will remain part of the Blaze family as an integral part of our development programs in 2023” Ms Franke said.

New U23s Head Coach Ms Smith moves into the role after being the Blaze’s Opens Assistant Coach in 2022. She brings extensive High Performance Pathway Coaching experience, and a passion for emerging talented players in the Netball NSW pathways.

Ms Smith is the Western Sydney Academy of Sport Athlete Program Manager and Netball Head Coach, an Accredited Emerging Elite Coach, and in 2022 was the Assistant Coach for the Netball NSW Metropolitan Emerging Talent program, winning their campaign.

Ms Smith said she is delighted to move into her new role and continue to build pathways for young emerging talent in the game.

“Blaze is an exciting progressive environment that supports the entire Blaze family to be their best,” Ms Smith said.

“I am excited for the opportunity to create a team of strong young women in the U23s Blaze playing group and partner with each of them for a successful premier league season in 2023.

“I strongly value the opportunity to lead with my experience, and to guide the Blaze’s promising young talent to achieve their goals and nurture their passion for our great game.”

Returning Opens Head Coach Marji Parr will continue to bring a wealth of experience to #OurBlaze, both as an elite international player for Fiji (2003 and 2007) and the Sydney Swifts. She is also an Elite Coach having served as the Netball Head Coach for the Illawarra Academy of Sport from 2015 to 2019, NSW Assistant Coach for the Under 19s in 2020, and specialist coach with NSWIS.

Ms Parr said she’s delighted to return as the Opens Head Coach in 2023, her third year in the position.

“I am delighted and honoured to return as the Opens Head Coach for IMB South Coast Blaze. This coming season is the perfect opportunity to continue to build upon previous year’s successes by our club,” Ms Parr said.

“Our region has always provided a strong depth of talented representatives from our partner associations, right through to NSW and Suncorp Super Netball, so continuing the focus on developing athletes of this standard will always be a priority.

“Blaze remains an important accessible pathway for all our athletes, working hard to create one team and be the club of choice for players and officials alike. It’s something I’m very proud of.”

Ms Franke said the netball franchise also encourages talented netballers aged 16-years old and over to apply for the 2023 season, joining talented coaches Ms Smith and Ms Parr.

“We have established a strong franchise over the last three years and the 2022 season was the best yet for #OurBlaze.

“We are looking for players who are competitive, committed to support and grow our strong Blaze culture, focused on team goals, dedicated to conditioning, and can be a team player both on and off the court.”

All players wishing to be considered for the IMB South Coast Blaze Opens and U23s teams in the Netball NSW Premier League for 2023 are required to apply online and be available to attend selections.

Media release:
7 October, 2022

Heather Smith, Opens Assistant Coach, South Coast Blaze

Heather Smith

U23s Head Coach

Meet Heather

Marj Parr, Opens Head Coach, South Coast Blaze

Marji Parr

Opens Head Coach

Meet Marji