England star Serena Guthrie has confirmed she is taking a break from netball – but she will still be part of the Team Bath Netball family for the 2020 Vitality Superleague season.
The superstar centre, who returned to Team Bath last season after four years in Australia, has been playing for club and country since the age of 16.
Now 29 and after an intense 18 months which saw her win Commonwealth Games gold, lead England to bronze at a home World Cup and move back to Bath from Sydney, Guthrie has decided to take time out and focus on her off-court commitments.
Among them will be an ambassadorial role with Sporting Family Change, the Bath-based charity that is partnering with Team Bath Netball in 2020 to make a difference through sport.
Serena will also support Team Bath with activities off-court to engage with fans and stakeholders alike.
She said: “It’s been a big decision for me to decide to take this year away from the court physically. After what has been an intense 18 months with Commonwealth Games and World Cup it feels right to for me to take some time off physically and enjoy some other opportunities around the game and my life.
“I’ve always had a holistic approach to life and the same rules apply for me when it comes to my netball career. I’m looking forward to still being a part of Team Bath and working with them with some off-court opportunities and seeing where I can add some value off court.”
Team Bath Netball Superleague Head Coach Anna Stembridge said: “We have been in discussion with Serena throughout this process and her decision is one we support wholeheartedly.
“She has been playing her all-action, high-intensity game at the very highest level since the age of 16 and has just come off a very demanding World Cup campaign, so it will be good for her to take some time out, recharge and focus on other aspects of her life.
“Serena is an outstanding leader, a true Team Bath legend and it is important that we all respect and support this time out. I have no doubt that we will see her back in the Blue & Gold in the future in some capacity.”
Team Bath have recruited an exciting international Netball World Cup star to play in mid-court next season and she will be announced shortly to join the seven stars already confirmed in Blue & Gold for 2020 – Imogen Allison, Kim Commane, Mia Ritchie, Abi Robson, Rachel Shaw, Fionnuala Toner and Eboni Usoro-Brown.
Fixtures for the 2020 season have been revealed and match-day tickets are now on general sale. Visit netball.teambath.com for more information.
Team Bath Netball is partnering with local charity Sporting Family Change in 2020 to help make a difference through sport. Centurion Chartered Financial Partners are Team Bath’s people development partner and Rengen are Team Bath’s overall partner.