England’s senior netball team, the Vitality Roses, last night attended the 65th BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards and scored two awards.
The Vitality Roses took home the Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year Award, which they were nominated for following their historic win at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018.
England’s triumphant moment at the Gold Coast was up against stiff competition for the award, which was opened up to public votes, including England’s win against Colombia on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the moment Alastair Cook reached a century during his last Test innings before retiring, Tiger Woods’ win at the season-ending Tour Championship, and Tyson Fury coming back from two knockdowns against Deontay Wilder.
Ama Agbeze, captain of the Vitality Roses and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, said: “We're ecstatic to be the recipients of this award. It's amazing to be part of something that England Netball have been trying to achieve for years. It has been a long, long journey and each member of the squad and wider support network has a different story of the path they have taken towards their contribution.
“It's been quite a whirlwind since the Games, with netball thrust into the spotlight in the UK, and more people taking the sport up daily. We love this game and are happy that others can share in that joy.
“To even be nominated for such a prestigious award is an honour; alongside some household names and other amazing achievements, but to win is unfathomable. There's still so much we have to do, especially with the Vitality Netball World Cup next year in Liverpool.
“Thank you to the netball community, including the many new inductees - we're grateful for the support.”
The excitement didn’t end there. The Vitality Roses were soon after crowned the winners of the prestigious Team of the Year Award.
Joanna Adams, CEO of England Netball, said: “We are so proud of all that Tracey Neville and the Vitality Roses have achieved over the last 12 months! Thanks to their incredible commitment, the hard work of everyone at England Netball and the support of all those that play, watch and support netball throughout the country, this wonderful sport has grown significantly and netball fever has well and truly swept the nation. I’d also like to thank Sport England for their continued support of England Netball.
“After their success at the Commonwealth Games in April, Tracey and the team truly deserve these awards. A huge congratulations to all of them!”
The Vitality Roses will come together for the final time in January at the Vitality Netball International Series, as part of the Netball Quad Series, when they will face Australia, New Zealand and South Africa for the last time before the Vitality Netball World Cup in July 2019.