Lightning Coaches Rally Together

Sunshine Coast Lightning’s coaching team prides itself on being smart, experienced and unafraid to challenge the status quo.

Their dynamic is further complimented by the longstanding relationships and subsequent understanding held between Head Coach Kylee Byrne, Assistant Coach Christine Voge and new addition Vicki Wilson.

This pre-season, Lightning’s athletes have been put through their paces, with each Coach bringing a unique perspective and expertise to mould and shape the team of 2021.

Behind the scenes they’re not just supporting the team, they’re also supporting each other.

Just before Christmas Christine was met with confronting personal news, being diagnosed with Lymphoma, a form of cancer.

The entire Club was quick to rally around their own in support, while affording her the time and space required away from the Club to undergo treatment.

Voge has remained an integral member of the coaching team and continues to influence Lightning’s pre-season program, however her role has predominantly been from afar this year to date.

Given the positive response to treatment, Lightning look forward to more contact hours around the Club from Christine in the coming weeks as pre-season preparations continue to ramp up.

Voge’s physical absence has prompted Wilson to take a more active role in court sessions at USC, providing a fresh perspective ahead of season 2021.  

As Byrne continues to drive the overarching pre-season program, Wilson has been a welcome presence and is a wealth of knowledge for our players and staff alike.

The level of flexibility and compassion shown by the entire coaching team speaks volumes about their value as coaches and mentors around the Club.

“At Lightning our people mean everything to us and it has been heartbreaking to watch my close colleague and friend, Chris, and her young family going through this tough, personal battle,” Byrne said.

“She has shown insurmountable strength and integrity in recent months and we are grateful for what she has been able to contribute to Lightning in her role.

“Vicki has also come into the Club, slotting in seamlessly and has been a great support for myself and the wider team.

“I truly believe in what we are building at this Club and look forward to what we can achieve in 2021.”

The trio will continue to work in conjunction with each other as a coaching unit for 2021, each playing a role in the overall Lightning program.  

Lightning CEO Danielle Smith echoed Kylee’s thoughts, adding, “I’ve admired incredibly Chris’ strength and courage as she has been fighting this personal battle.

“Whilst we have placed no pressure on Chris to return to her coaching role, we appreciate that it is also a welcome relief from treatment, and we are so grateful to have her working in the background, and have her physical presence at the Club where possible. 

“Our Lightning family, and the wider netball community, is a wonderful source of love and support for Chris and her family as she continues with her treatment and recovery.”

Donations can be made to Australian charity ‘Mummy’s Wish’, which has been a direct support for Chris during her treatment.