LIFE & LIVING
Rachel Gilbert talks to another local inspirational woman.
Kim Grose is constantly juggling a flurry of commitments. She balances her career in the police with being a mum, managing a holiday let and maintaining her house while her husband works overseas for six weeks at a time. “I just get on with it,” Kim said. “I find the time.”
As if that wasn’t enough, one of Kim’s biggest projects right now is acting as manager and a team captain for Beccles Netball Club. Kim founded the club after having her daughter as a way to get active again.
Kim joined the police when she was 23-years-old, looking for a change of pace. “I wanted something different, and to get out from behind a desk,” Kim said. She has now had a career spanning 24 years during which she has worn many different hats.
In the past, Kim has worked on the drugs squad and in the criminal investigations department, but now she works in the safeguarding team, helping vulnerable children and victims of violent crime. She uses the netball team as a way of switching off.
“It’s good to be part of a team separate from the police because you can let go of your day,” Kim said.
Kim’s first sports love was rugby. After moving to Suffolk to join the police, she wanted to make friends so joined the Southwold Rugby Team. She quickly proved herself and joined the police team, eventually making the police national rugby squad.
After having her daughter, Kim wanted to find her way back to sports, but decided rugby was too physical. She learned about Back to Netball, a scheme run by England Netball to encourage women to pick the sport up again. The scheme has helped more than 110,000 women try the sport.
Kim eventually contacted England Netball about getting a coach — a group of seven mums looking to get active founded the base of what would become Beccles Netball Club. At the time, Kim was a single parent working full-time.
Within a few years, Suffolk Netball reached out about forming a junior team within the club. Kim obtained her Level 2 Coaching certificate and now manages the two club teams, the Hawks and the Bluebirds, both of which play in the Lowestoft League.
Kim never saw the club growing as big as it is now — with 25-30 members. When the club first started in 2010, they had very little funding.
Some of the ladies are competitive when they hit the court, but some are more there for the social aspect.
“They had a good long break for COVID, but I think they would be lost without it,” Kim said.
Netball has become a family affair with Kim’s daughter training with the club. Kim would love to make a difference through sport, and encourage more girls to get involved. She said the sport provides junior players with a safe space to let off steam.
“The girls bring it out on the court,” Kim said. “They can just relax and be confident.”
However, in encouraging her daughter, Kim said she has met her match — “I have created a mini me!”
Kim pushes her daughter to stay optimistic and independent, and spends any days off cheering her mini me on at football practice.
When thinking about who inspired her to become who she is today, Kim immediately thought of her Nan. Kim said she inspired her and pushed her to join the police and pursue her goals in rugby. Kim now hopes she can inspire other people to get involved in sports.
“If you haven’t tried sports before, just take it one step at a time,” Kim said. “It can be daunting but keep it fun with tiny steps.”
Sometimes Kim feels left out of social plans with friends, but the netball club provides her with such a fun social base that she doesn’t mind. If anything, Kim has big goals to continue to develop and grow the club in the future. When she retires, she hopes to continue to pursue coaching and teaching.
As long as she can keep cramming everything in: “Life isn’t about living in the fast lane, it is about finding that good work/life balance,” Kim said. “If you enjoy something, you can fit it in and make it fun.”
If you are interested in getting involved sessions are on a Thursday at Beccles sports centre; Junior (9-15 years) 1800-1900; Senior (15 years and up) 1900-2000.