Gomes wins prestigious Gweneth Benzie Award

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Gomes wins prestigious Gweneth Benzie Award
Queensland defender Chanel Gomes has won the prestigious Gweneth Benzie award, an award that recognises the athlete at the Australian Institute of Sport that has the most potential to become an Australian Netball Diamond.
Gomes has had an outstanding 2010 season, finishing third in the New Idea Australian Netball League with the Australian Institute of Sport, winning the 19/U DealsDirect.com.au National Championship with Queensland, being selected into the 19/U Australian team and the 21/U Queensland side.
The recipient of the Gweneth Benzie Award is the athlete considered to have the greatest potential to represent Australia as an Australian Netball Diamond. The athlete possesses a sound attitude, commitment and work effort; displays the attributes of good sportsmanship and is a worthy ambassador for Netball.  Past recipients include Jane Altschwager, Demelza Fellowes, Susan Pratley, Laura Geitz and Amy Steel. Written by Netball Australia.
Player Feedback – Energy Netball
At age 15 Mel took a chance in me pulling me up from Tier Two to Tier One.
Being of this age I was very shy and unconfident in my ability. Mel coached me for 3 years and in that time I developed skills and confidence I never believed I had, reaching state and national level teams for those 3 years.
Mel’s coaching skills are individual in itself. I have learnt defence skills from her that I have enabled me to become confident, agile, aerial and a much more successful defence player. This year, at age 18 I received a scholarship at the Australian Institute of Sport for netball and I believe Mel has been a major part of my success to date.
I not only look at Mel as a coach but a dear friend. Her dedication, commitment and love of the sport makes her a very respected coach by all that have and will be lucky enough to go through her pathway.
Thank you Mel
Chanel Gomes
Coaching Chanel was challenging and enjoyable.  I was an athlete at the AIS and worked for the AIS for six years.  There are few that can handle the AIS life as it is a huge commitment to both being away from home and to perform to an expectation of the coaches.  Getting to know Chanel over the three years of coaching her I knew she would fit into the AIS life and to win this award demonstrates how she has thrived with the AIS lifestyle.
I remember when we filled out the documents to apply for a scholarship and how nervous Chanel and her Mum were and look how far she has come.  My Wildcats team of last year, my manager Danna and myself are so proud of this achievement and look forward to Chanel wearing the Green and Gold for the Diamonds.
Written by Melissa O’Brien