Elite coach Louise Brown talks leadership, winning

LEADERSHIP: Louise Brown was recognised as an elite coach at the recent South West Sports Awards. Picture: Morgan Hancock
LEADERSHIP: Louise Brown was recognised as an elite coach at the recent South West Sports Awards. Picture: Morgan Hancock

Louise, let’s discuss some of your premiership wins in netball and basketball. Which netball win is special to you?

I would say it was in 2010 when I played with Koroit. It was a cold freezing day and we defeated Camperdown to win the flag.

My sister-in-law Gabrielle played in the side so did my cousin Kate and my sisters Carly and Cloe.

I played as the goal-attack, but I had an ordinary sort of game.

I was lucky that Rachel Dobson was there in her role as goal-shooter.

She had a really good game. It was a team effort.

I’ve often thought of the performances of Koroit as a club, whether it be in netball or footy, and they have achieved remarkable results in both sports for a club in a small country town.

I played for Merrivale back in 2016 when we lost the netball grand final to Dennington.

What about your basketball premierships?

I played with the Warrnambool Mermaids when they won the premierships in 2005 and 2007, and last year I was the playing coach of the Mermaids when they won the Big V title.

We defeated Wallan to win the flag.

The result was decided in the best of three games.

We won the first game by 30 points and the second by 12 points, so there was no need for a third game.

How are the numbers in local basketball?

The sport is really thriving in Warrnambool, whether that be in the domestic competition or with the Seahawks or Mermaids.

There’s really strong community support for basketball across the region, and in particular Warrnambool.

The sport is very lucky to have so many volunteers that freely give the time to see the sport grow within the community.

We’re lucky basketball has some great sponsors, but we’re always on the look out for more to get involved.

More and more young children are getting involved in the sport.

The young basketball players have a great pathway to play senior basketball within Warrnambool, whether that’s with the Seahawks or the Mermaids.

Louise, when did you start playing basketball?

I was seven years old when I commenced playing basketball.

I can still remember playing in an under 10 domestic side out at the old YMCA.

I liked playing netball, but my first love has been basketball. A lot of my close friends play basketball, I suppose that another reason I like the sport.  

I played for Bendigo Spirit in three Women’s National Basketball League from 2007 to 2010.

We played against sides from Perth and Townsville in that competition.

We used to fly all over Australia for games.

It was a wonderful experience to play against some of the best players in Australia.

We used to train seven days a week to play basketball at that level.

Were you paid much money to play for Bendigo Spirit in the WNBL?

I got paid roughly $5000 a season from 2007 to 2010.

It was a big commitment to train and play. I think the minimum payment for players now is $15,000, but some get paid between $50,000 and $100,000.

Have you suffered many injuries during your sporting career?

I snapped ligaments in my right ankle in 2008 and tore ligaments in my right shoulder in 2010.

I was out for six months with the shoulder injury.

I’ve been lucky during my career in both sports that I haven’t sustained any more injuries.

Louise, you’re the head coach at the Mermaids this season. How is the side performing at this stage of the season?

We had the bye on the weekend. We’re in third place on the ladder.

I’m very happy with how the side has been performing. There’s 10 games left in the season, so there’s still plenty of water to go under the bridge before the finals.

We’re not getting in front of ourselves, but I’m quietly confident that we’ve still got some more improvement in us.

Can I ask what you do for a job?

Yes. I’m a teacher’s aide at Brauer College.

I’ve been in the role for six years. It’s a great school.

I went to school there and it’s amazing to see some of the teachers that taught me are still there today.

The school has grown a lot since I was a student.

I’m also in charge of the basketball academy at Brauer. The academy is open for students from year 7-12. This year, we have 55 students involved in the basketball academy. The numbers have increased over the last few years.

Louise, a few weeks ago you were recognised as an elite coach for your involvement in basketball at the South West Sport Awards, and your son Jaylen was named the male disability athlete of the year. Undoubtedly you would have been proud to have won the award?

Yes, it was a special night. It was a great honour to win the award personally.

It’s just wonderful to be acknowledged at such a night for South West sport.

I must admit I was really excited and proud with the win by Jaylen. He loves his sport, whether it be taking part in the wheelchair basketball or playing footy for Koroit’s under 14 side.

Away from the netball and basketball courts have you been involved with any other sports?

I played volleyball when I was young and when I went overseas to America for three years to finish my secondary education.

I competed in the state hurdling championships in the school events.

I barrack for Essendon, but I must admit when my brother-in-law Jonathan was playing with the Brisbane Lions I changed teams.