With netball role models “few and far between” ex-England captain Pamela Cookey looked to others for inspiration – including Nelson Mandela.
A seriously active child, Cookey’s wide range of pursuits as a youngster included ballet and taekwondo before she eventually concentrated on netball.
Cookey would go on to become one of the sport’s most recognisable personalities, winning 114 caps and seven league titles before retiring from netball last year.
Now Director of Netball at Severn Stars, Cookey says she has made a conscious effort throughout her career to try and be someone that youngsters can look up to.
“I’ve been so blessed throughout my career to have achieved what I have achieved,” she says in the fifth instalment of Sky Sports’ My Icon series.
“When I was growing up netball wasn’t on TV so I didn’t really have anyone to look up to in the sport. Because netball role models were few and far between it was something I aspired to become.
“Nelson Mandela is a big non-sporting role model of mine.
“His sport has the power to change the world is my favourite quote ever because it really does. It brings people together from all walks of life and I have found that throughout my sporting career.”
Cookey talks about her journey in the latest instalment of My Icon, which premieres on Thursday at 7am on Sky Sports Mix and is available On Demand. The episode is repeated on Thursday at 1pm, 6pm, 10pm.
Coinciding with Black History Month, Sky Sports’ #MyIcon campaign brings you 31 exclusive interviews with top BAME sports personalities across the month of October. For more information click here.