Patron and President

Netball Scotland is thrilled to have 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist Dame Katherine Grainger DBE as our PatronPatron. Grainger – who is Britain’s most successful female rower – won gold in the double sculls along with partner Anna Watkins at the 2012 Olympics in London. The Glaswegian has won three silver medals in previous Olympics, and has also an impressive six world championships titles under her belt. Katherine’s fantastic year of achievement in 2012 was topped off by being awarded the DBE at Buckingham Palace. She was named Scotland’s Woman of Influence at a prestigious awards ceremony held in Glasgow, as well as receiving the award for Inspirational Performance at the Sunday Mail sportscotland Scottish Sports Awards and a coveted shortlisting for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. (Full details of Katherine’s achievements, work and charitable partners can be found via her website

Netball Scotland’s President, Freda Hutchison, felt that Katherine’s achievements both in and out of her sport made her the perfect role model for other Scottish girls and women wishing to get active and take part in a sport – either as an athlete, or as a supporter or volunteer – and was delighted when Katherine Grainger agreed to be the organisation’s Patron.

Freda said, “I think it is very important for us to have a successful Scottish sportswoman as our Patron to encourage and motivate women and girls to participate in the sport of netball and who better fits that bill than Katherine Grainger DBE’’.

Although a rower, Katherine enjoyed playing netball during her school years and sees the sport as a fantastic way of not only getting active and participating in a sport, but also of making friends and building new skills.

Katherine said of her position as Patron, “I feel deeply honoured to take up the position as Patron of Netball Scotland. I think netball deserves much more recognition than it gets and if I can help to raise awareness of the events and opportunities around the sport here in Scotland, then I will be delighted. I enjoyed netball as a girl, and I enjoyed joining in the training sessions with the Thistles and the children of Holycross and Hyndland secondary schools.

Sport has enriched my life in so many ways and I would love to see more young people getting involved and getting active, and I think netball is a great sport to get started with.’’

You can see a range of photos from our launch with Katherine Grainger via the Netball Scotland Facebook page (

We very excitedly welcomed Katherine Grainger as our Patron back in 2012, and since then Katherine’s career has continued to go from strength to strength.  No longer “just” an Olympic Gold medallist, now Dame Katherine Grainger DBE is the proud owner of 4 Silver and 1 Gold Olympic medals from over 5 consecutive Games (2000 – 2016), as well as 6 World Championship titles. 

Dame Katherine has a law degree, a Masters of Philosophy, and most recently added a PhD to her name.  Author, TV Presenter, sports pundit.  Is there anything this woman cannot do?  Most recently, Dame Katherine took on the role of Chair of UK Sport and we are positive that this wonderfully inspiring role model and Champion for women and girls in sport will continue to make ground breaking strides in the world of sport for many, many years to come. 

Netball Scotland is pleased to announce the appointment of former Chair, Freda Hutchison MBE, as the inaugural President of Netball Scotland Limited.

This prestigious new role sees Freda take on an important ambassadorial position for the organisation where she will be a public figurehead for the sport and its people, both domestically and on the international stage. A champion for our members, and an inspirational representative of the values and ambitions of Netball in Scotland, Freda will support and advocate for the work of the Board and staff.

As a previous Chair of the Netball Scotland Board from 2011 to 2017, Freda has contributed to the outstanding progress of Netball in Scotland setting the pace for meaningful change, and still plays an active role within the organisation as Chair of the Wellbeing and Protection Panel. Outside of Netball, Freda has had an impressive career in education spanning 36 years, holding multiple teaching roles including Head of PE, Principle Teacher and Equal Opportunities and Development Support Officer, before being appointed as the Head Teacher at Earnock High School and then finally at Calderside Academy before her retirement in 2010.

Since joining Netball Scotland’s Board of Directors in 2010 Freda has dedicated herself to boosting the sport’s growth and profile, an achievement which was recognised in December 2018 when she was awarded an MBE at Buckingham Palace for Services to Netball.

Netball Scotland would like to acknowledge the Past Presidents of the previous voluntary organisation, the Scottish Netball Association, who managed the performance of netball until the organisation was formally incorporated as Netball Scotland Limited in 2007:

1963 Nancy Bathgate

1966-1968 Muriel Getty

1969-1970 Winnie Taylor

1971-1977 Maeve Wilson

1978-1979 Jane Allan

1980-1981 Brenda Emerson

1981-1987 Moira Ord

1987-1988 Denise Neilson

1989-1990 Pat Brown

1990-1995 Helen Hepburn

Speaking on her appointment, Freda says: “I feel very honoured and proud to be appointed as the first ever President of Netball Scotland Limited. As a previous Chair of the Netball Scotland Board until 2017, I’m absolutely delighted to be involved again. I look forward to working with the Chair, whilst supporting the fantastic and ongoing progress achieved by our CEO, the Board, the Netball Scotland staff and also all of our hard-working volunteers.

I am very excited to get started soon in my new role as President. I will wholeheartedly support Netball Scotland’s tremendous work ethic and extensive developmental initiatives to ensure we enhance our profile and status both at home and on the world stage. I want to play a very positive part in achieving this vision of our Netball future.”

As part of her role as President, Freda will continue the work she began on the Netball Scotland Board and will be a visible champion for driving participation, involvement, and opportunities within Netball.

Claire Nelson, CEO of Netball Scotland added: “I am beyond delighted to welcome the incredible Freda Hutchison MBE into this high profile new role with Netball Scotland. As we continue to grow as a sport we felt it was important to ensure that we had an organisational figurehead who would not only be an impassioned, respected and influential ambassador for Netball in Scotland, but that would also provide our members, fans and volunteers with a champion who would effectively engage, listen and represent their views to the staff and Board.

Freda appointed me as CEO back in 2015 and has supported my vision and drive for our sport ever since, and so it brings me absolute joy to announce her as our first ever President. I know that she will do all of us, and our sport, proud throughout her term of office.”