Dawesville resident Gay Nash cements herself as Peel netball star

JUGGLING: Gay Nash has played netball since she was seven years old, and says she'll play until she's old and grey. Photo: Peel Lightning.

JUGGLING: Gay Nash has played netball since she was seven years old, and says she'll play until she's old and grey. Photo: Peel Lightning.

Coaching two PFNL netball teams, assistant coaching for Peel Lightning, raising two daughters and testing methane in landfill - that's just a day in the life of Dawesville resident and netball veteran Gay Nash.

This year marks one of Nash's busiest years to date, coaching both the league and reserve teams for South Mandurah while acting as assistant coach to the Peel Lightning state team.

"Every coach will tell you that the joy is in the coaching itself and the strategising," she said. "The work is behind closed doors, planning strategies and training - but we wouldn't do it if we didn't love it."

Nash started playing netball at just seven years old and when she got older played for a number of different clubs.

"You go where the competition is. I was an area rep for the Swan District."

Nash took 10 years off from coaching at a state level when she had her two daughters, who she said are her pride and joy.

"I coach my daughter Jesse in the South Mandurah reserves team - she loves netball and will probably play it until she's old and grey like her mum," Nash laughed.

"Regan, my youngest loves to play netball too, but she is my dancer girl - she is preparing for dance comps right now.

"I also coach my daughter with the Panthers - they're my club with Mandurah Netball Association."

The work is behind closed doors, planning strategies and training - but we wouldn't do it if we didn't love it.

Gay Nash
SOUTH MANDURAH: Gay Nash (centre) has spent the last two seasons coaching for PFNL's South Mandurah Falcons. Photo: File Image.

SOUTH MANDURAH: Gay Nash (centre) has spent the last two seasons coaching for PFNL's South Mandurah Falcons. Photo: File Image.

After earning her intermediate accreditation, Nash decided to come back and put it to good use, taking on her coaching roles and becoming part of the inaugural coaching staff for Peel Lightning.

"Naomi Pannell, the head coach of Peel Lightning has been a great friend and mentor for me, so getting to work with her and the 20s coach has been fantastic.

"The girls in the team are amazing - they are incredible athletes and they make your job a hell of a lot easier.

"I've also been very fortunate coaching through MNA's Talent Development Squad - I always seem to get great kids and great teams."

The difference between coaching young children and adults has proven to be an engaging challenge for Nash.

It has obviously been my passion for a very long time.

Gay Nash

"When you're teaching the little ones you're teaching them how to play - with the adults it's more about strategising.

"It's a massive jump from coaching 12 and 13-year-olds to coaching 28-year-olds."

Nash said another passion of hers was expanding to include a boys competition. "It's a world sport and it'll be great to open it up to a lot more people."

As for her getting back on the court, Nash has never left it.

"I still play socially - the social team I play with are competing at the Australian Masters in October," she said.

"It has obviously been my passion for a very long time, and most of my very close friends I've made through that avenue over the years.

"Fantastic, lifelong friends that I'll continue to have whether we play netball or not."