Claire Johnson is the assistant director of sport at Cheltenham Ladies’ College.
What school (s) did you go to?
I attended Pate’s Grammar School in Cheltenham
What’s your earliest sporting memory?
Being selected as a reserve in the Under 11B team at school.
Who were your sporting heroes growing up?
My PE teachers and, as I became involved in county and club netball, the senior county netball players. When I was a teenager, very little sport was televised and we only had four TV channels, so sporting heroes were the ones you actually saw play.
What are your best sporting memories of school?
I have always been physically active and loved playing as much sport at school as possible. PE lessons were the best lessons of the week. My best memory is being selected to attend England Netball development trials as a West Midlands regional team player at U18s.
What are your worst sporting memories of school?
My worst memory is having our feet checked for verrucas by the PE teachers at the start of each term and doing cross country in navy blue PE knickers and white aertex polo shirts.
Can you recall a memorable sporting teacher?
What sports do you play these days?
My passion has always been netball and, if I could play every day, I would. It has taught me crucial life skills and I have made some fantastic friends. I play in a fun league netball. I also coach Old Chelts U16 teams in the Gloucestershire Junior League. I also umpire in the league. I also swim, run, and go to the gym.
In what other ways do you stay healthy?
I always aim to get eight hours sleep a night, which I rarely achieve. I try to eat healthily and drink plenty of water. I have a Fitbit, so make sure I complete at least 12,000 steps a day, which in my job is pretty easy to do.
What is your favourite sporting memory?
When I returned to Cheltenham from university, I set up a netball team with a friend. We had to start in the lowest division, but we won the division and were promoted for three years in a row. I remember some very happy times playing netball with my friends.
What’s been your most embarrassing sporting moment?
Injuring my calf in the first 20 seconds of a netball match and having to leave the court to go to A&E.
What’s your biggest sporting bugbear?
Male and female sport are not equal in terms of money, sponsorship, and media attention, although this is slowly improving.
When was the last time you cried at a sporting event?
Watching England beat Australia in the Netball World Cup when Helen Housby scored the winning goal in the final seconds of the game.
Which three sports people would you like to have around for dinner and why?
Tracey Neville, the England netball coach. I would ask her endless questions about her playing and coaching career. Barbara Slater, director of sport at the BBC. I would like to ask her about her job and the challenges she has faced. I would also be interested to know her thoughts on Sports Personality of the Year. Jennie Price, CEO of Sport England. I would like to know her most successful initiatives across the country and her vision for women’s sport in the future.
MY SPORTING LIFE