#wedNEWSday: Melksham’s NC Charity Tournament is a huge success

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles. Make sure you check out our website each week to keep up to date and if you have a great story let us know using the details below!

Melksham’s Netball Club’s Charity Tournament is a huge success

On Sunday 21st January, Melksham Netball Club (Wiltshire) held a fundraising tournament aimed at raising funds for the club and for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance. The tournament was held to mark what would have been the 40th birthday of former player, Michelle Phillips, who sadly died in a car accident in 2004. Teams from all over Wiltshire and Oxfordshire took part in the event which saw over 100 women take court.

The tournament was won by Melksham Robins following a tough final with Chippenham. A fitting tribute as five of the Melksham team used to play with Michelle.

Not only was the tournament well supported by local teams and local businesses, but Rachel Shaw, a Team Bath Superleague and former England player also attended the event. Rachel spent the afternoon at the Dome and had the unenviable task of choosing the “Player of the Final” which was awarded to Cath Watts of Melksham. Rachel presented numerous prizes alongside Marsha, the new Wiltshire Air Ambulance mascot, and Michelle’s parents, John and Sandra Phillips.

Eboni Beckford-Chambers, another Team Bath and England player donated an hour’s training session which was auctioned along with a helicopter ride and signed Bath Rugby shirt with all the funds going to Wiltshire Air Ambulance. Following the successful auction, the total amount raised for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance is now £1,500.

Thanks to all those involved – a great day was had by all and a very fitting tribute to a much missed Michelle.

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a photo, to Rachel Bussey (rachel.bussey@englandnetball.co.uk)

wedNEWSday: North Dorset’s youngsters relishing the challenge of regional netball

Each week we bring you a good news story from the South West, this week we caught up with North Dorset Netball Club U14’s Coach, Channon, to get an insight into the team’s first season in the South West U14 regional league…

Make sure you check back every wedNEWSday for another great netballing story.

North Dorset’s youngsters relishing the challenge of regional netball

Following a highly competitive seeding tournament in October (which saw 18 of the top South West U14 teams come together), North Dorset Netball Club found themselves drawn into Division 2 in what was set to be their first ever season competing in the regional league. The tough seeding tournament, had left the Blandford based club unsure about whether to continue in the regional league, but the club decided to take the leap and pushed forwards to take on the challenge. Long training sessions and hours and hours of planning followed, but the players and coaches felt ready to test themselves.

Finally the first match day arrived, the girls were very excited and prepared for a fight against Somerset based, Yeovil. The game was end to end for a full 60 minutes and with fresh legs on the bench, the team was thrilled to have secured their first ever region win winning 31-28!

The team were well aware that their second match (vs Hucclecote) was likely to be a tough one, and although Hucclecote grasped an early lead, the NDNC girls fought right to the end. Despite losing the game (13-33), the team now had lots to take away and work on.

Full of optimism from hard work at training, their third match was the team’s first away game to Swindon to play Pinehurst. After a very strong start, tired legs forced the team to make some changes and whilst Pinehurst eventually pulled away (17-25), this was a great chance to try out some different combinations and expose players to top level netball.

NDNC’s last match of 2017 saw them travelling away (through the snow!), to current top of the table, Team Bath.  The players relished the chance to challenge themselves and their opposition, and despite facing another loss (13-32), the team showed determination and team work throughout the game.

So North Dorset Netball Club finished the first half of the season with four losses and one win under their belts. Channon and the girls are the first to admit it’s been tough at times but are learning at every step of the way and have loved being able to have the chance to regularly test themselves against the best teams from across the region, in the newly expanded U14 league!

NDNC would like to take this opportunity to thank the parents and umpires for all of their support venturing into the unknown. Roll on 2018…

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a snazzy photo, to Rachel Bussey (rachel.bussey@englandnetball.co.uk)

wedNEWSday: Ladies in Totnes are getting a WIggle on

Each week we bring you a good news story from the South West, and this week is no different. Make sure you check back every wedNEWSday for another great netballing story.

Ladies in Totnes are getting a WIggle on

Following the announcement last week that England Netball have entered a national partnership with the Women’s Institute, this week’s WedNEWSday story is all about the Totnes WI who have been running a Walking Netball pilot with England Netball since October 2017.

Lili John from the Totnes WI trained as a WN host back in October 2017 and soon after started delivering sessions exclusively for the members of her WI group. The sessions have been really well attended by members who have discovered friendship and teamwork as well as reaping the rewards both physically and mentally of walking netball. Recently the group, who meet on Mondays at 6pm at Totnes Leisure Centre, have opened up the sessions to other local WI groups, so that more ladies can get involved in the fun on court.

Hear from members of the Totnes WI and why they love Walking Netball so much here

We are incredibly excited about this new partnership and looking forward to working with more WI groups across the South West in the near future – if your WI group wants to get involved please get in touch and register your interest with us directly!

To find your nearest Walking Netball session, please visit the England Netball session finder.

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a snazzy photo, to Rachel Bussey (rachel.bussey@englandnetball.co.uk)

wedNEWSday: Walking back to recovery

Each week we bring you a good news story from the South West, and this week is no different. Make sure you check back every wedNEWSday for another great netballing story.

Walking back to recovery

Wiltshire based Rose Mortimer is 83 years old and has been a regular attendee at several Swindon based Walking Netball sessions for over a year.

Back in September 2017, Rose had to have surgery to replace her left shoulder joint meaning she had to take a short break from her netballing activities. Remarkably, less than a month after surgery she made her return to the court at a Walking Netball session she regularly attends at Croft Sports Centre! With her left arm in a sling, Rose took part in the warm up and some of the basic drills i.e. those that she could do with only her right hand and was delighted to be back with the other ladies she has become firm friends with.

Mid November, just eight weeks after her surgery, Rose arrived to the session without the sling and played a full part in the Walking Netball session – she even scored the winning goal in a closely contested game of noughts and crosses by using both hands and a very measured underarm shot! It was definitely not a fluke as she’s since scored several more goals like this.

Rose (far left) with the Croft Walking Netball group

Walking Netball has provided Rose an opportunity to stay fit and active during her recovery from surgery and the Walking Netball hosts and fellow players have done a great job of adapting the sessions to ensure she can take part.

Rose continues to play (& score goals!) at Walking Netball sessions on Thursdays and Sundays in Swindon. To find your local netball session wherever you are in the region, please click here.

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a snazzy photo, to Rachel Bussey (rachel.bussey@englandnetball.co.uk)

wedNEWSday: South African youngsters on tour in Bristol

Each week we bring you a good news story from the South West, and this week is no different – although we are a day late (sorry, technical difficulties beat us yesterday!). Make sure you check back every wedNEWSday for another great netballing story.

South African team on tour

Avon based Imperial and TJ Sacarcens Junior Netball Clubs welcomed South African based Riebeek to Bristol last month as part of a wider tour that saw them visit and play teams from Bath, Bristol and London.

Each player from Riebeek had been specially selected to go on tour to England for a week and Imperial and TJ Saracens were delighted to play them in a mini tournament as part of the Bristol leg of their tour.

The playing standard across the tournament was very high and the young local players were thrilled to get the opportunity to play a team from overseas

Bianca Hill from Imperial said “It was a pleasure to be asked to play against them and we hope our paths cross again one day soon.”

If you would like to be featured as our wedNEWSday story then please send your good news story, plus a snazzy photo, to Rachel Bussey (rachel.bussey@englandnetball.co.uk)