The Vitality Roses have been named Team of the Year at the 2018 Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year Awards.
The Roses secured a surprise gold medal in the Commonwealth Games by scoring in the dying seconds against home favourites Australia. The team's history making heroics have since seen them move to second in the International Netball Federation’s world rankings behind Australia – their highest position to date.
The netball squad were up against the women’s British Wheelchair Basketball team, Chelsea Football Club and Team GB’s 4x100m relay team, and the voting public helped secure another victory for the Commonwealth gold medallists.
Head Coach Tracey Neville said: “Thank you to all who voted for the Vitality Roses and have supported us in our journey to winning Commonwealth Games gold."
"The players have been accountable to each other, both on and off the court, this win has inspired them to work harder, commit more and push on to achieve more as a team.”
The team's success at the Games has led to an ever-growing fan base for both netball and the Roses, and according to a recent survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of England Netball, 130,700 women have started playing netball or playing more netball as a result of the Commonwealth Games gold medal.
The Roses will get a chance to face rivals Australia again in the January 2019 Quad Series in both Liverpool and London, which will be a great test ahead of the 2019 Netball World Cup where England will be eager to win back-to-back gold medals in major competitions.
By Kate Lightfoot