Mon | Sep 26, 2022

$25,000 a week!

Meagre salary is another big reason why netball coach Francis could quit her job

Published:Saturday | August 13, 2022 | 12:12 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Sunshine Girls head coach Connie Francis.
Sunshine Girls head coach Connie Francis.

National senior netball coach Connie Francis, who earlier this week indicated that she could walk away from the position because of the mental pressure that comes with the job, said yesterday that the low salary she gets from Netball Jamaica (NJ)...

National senior netball coach Connie Francis, who earlier this week indicated that she could walk away from the position because of the mental pressure that comes with the job, said yesterday that the low salary she gets from Netball Jamaica (NJ) is another big reason why she could step away.

Francis, who signed a four-year contract with NJ at the end of 2019 to become the head coach of the Sunshine Girls team, is currently earning $25,000 per week.

This in comparison to club coaches in the Australian Suncorp Super Netball League who earn an average salary of US$150,000 per year or J$22.9 million.

In the United Kingdom, the average salary for a netball coach is £33,150 per year or J$6.1 million.

Francis, who guided the Sunshine Girls to a historic silver medal at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, told The Gleaner that it is very difficult for her to operate with that remuneration due to the rise in prices across the world.

“When I signed on, I signed on for a certain amount of fees, but you know everything has escalated and I am really trying to hold on to see if the compensation that I am getting can go as far, but it is very challenging,” said Francis.

“It is not only my future, it is also my daughters, especially the last one, but I have always known that the need for coaches is always out there. But as I have said, it is a four-year plan and I am trying my best to finish it but I might not because it is about fixing me first before I can proceed,” she said.

“It is about a journey and yes I have to look about my life and my future which is important. But it is not about the money but I just think that we need to get some more,” Francis said.

ASSESSING FUTURE WITH TEAM

The veteran coach underscored that the Sunshine Girls are now on a two-week break and therefore she will be using the time off to assess her future with the team.

Francis also stated that unlike the Australians, New Zealanders, England and South African players, the Sunshine Girls do not get any pay or stipend whenever they represent the country and that’s very disheartening.

“I try never to let that salary be the issue, but the girls are not getting anything and I want them to get something because if they get something, then probably something may spill over on the coach,” she said.

Tricia Robinson, president of NJ, said she understands Francis’ situation and therefore her organisation has been working assiduously in seeking sponsorship to increase her salary.

“As long as corporate Jamaica comes on board and supports us and the Government comes on board and plays their part, then we should be able to tap that (salary) because it isn’t a lot,” said Robinson.

“The girls do not get paid and they do not get a stipend and so what our coach gets is very minimal and so we are hoping to get more funds on board,” she said.

“She is human and it takes a certain character to be a champion. She brought us the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and it took a lot of hard work to get there. She goes off on a little break and so hopefully she will come back refreshed,” Robinson said.