Felicity Elford’s polocrosse coaching journey is relatively new, but she has already made a name for herself after being acknowledged at the Polocrosse Association of NSW’s 2023 season awards presentation last weekend.

The awards event was held during the PANSW state coaching weekend at Dunedoo on Saturday, and Elford was named the rookie coach of the year.

The 24-year-old Narrabri Polocrosse Club player and coach has been a qualified coach for about four years now, but she enjoyed what was a breakout coaching campaign in 2023.

Elford both selected and coached the NSW state ones team at the junior challenge in Albury that went through the three-day event undefeated, and she was the assistant coach for the NSW under-16s girls’ state team at the annual Barastoc series in Warwick. She also coached the North West Plains junior mixed first team that was crowned undefeated champions at the NSW Zone Championships in Dunedoo.

She told The Courier she enjoyed coaching and helping junior players improve in the sport, and she was proud to have been recognised for her efforts.

“I was shocked to be honest,” Elford said of being announced as the rookie coach of the year winner.

“It was really humbling to win the award and it’s nice to see that other people are acknowledging that I’m coaching alright and doing good by the kids.

“I’ve enjoyed coaching the NSW and North West Plains teams and I look forward to doing a bit more coaching this year.

“I really love polocrosse. It’s taken me to some great places overseas and all across Australia.”

Elford is now hoping to be selected to return as a NSW coach at this year’s Nationals and Barastoc events, and she is also eyeing another successful campaign as a player at club, zone and state level in the sport as well.

PANSW’s state coaching weekend began last Friday and continued on Saturday. Elford was a junior selector at the event and was one of the people tasked with helping select NSW sides for this year’s Nationals. There were more than 160 riders in attendance.

Also being announced as an award recipient at the awards presentation was Galloping Gully Polocrosse Club’s Holly Turnbull, who was named the best under-21 girl.

A full list of award winners is as follows:

Community coach of the year – Barb Wiscombe; rookie coach of the year – Felicity Elford; coach of the year – Colin Parkinson; women’s umpire of the year – Kyla Street; men’s umpire of the year – Brandon Parkinson; administrator of the year – Kayleigh Anderson; sub-junior encouragement award – Cameron Clarke; best junior girl – Erica Stuart; best junior boy – Jim Henry; best under-21 girl – Holly Turnbull; best under-21 boy – Tom French; best women’s player – Lucy Grills; best men’s player – Will Weston; best masters women’s player – Leith Pryor; best masters men’s player – Greg Davidge.

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