Keeping fit in later life and learning new sporting skills come together in Walking Netball, a sport that like many other walking sports is enjoying a growth in popularity.

The Trailblazers Ladies Walking Netball Club, based at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre in Weston-super-Mare, has received a donation from the Thatchers Foundation in support of the valuable work it does in helping women in their fifties and over rediscover sport and the health and social benefits that brings.

Many members of the club have played netball in earlier years, but now have taken up the sport again for varying reasons, from age related and health issues, recovery from surgery and of course, as a social activity.

Kelli Coxhead, Trustee of The Thatchers Foundation, went along to a Walking Netball session to present the club with a cheque for £800 which will help in ongoing costs, including the purchase of new sweatshirts and mesh bibs for the players.

“This is a really inspirational group, and The Thatchers Foundation is delighted to support them with the purchase of new kit,” says Kelli. “It was a real pleasure to meet the ladies of the netball team, they were so welcoming. It was great to see a group of women full of energy, enthusiasm camaraderie for the sport. Last time I put a bib on was at primary school and it bought back lots of happy memories of playing the sport. I hope when I reach 50 plus that I too will have their energy!”

Angela Bass, organiser of the Trailblazers Ladies Walking Netball says,

“The girls and I are thrilled with the donation from the Thatchers Foundation which makes such a difference to us, especially when we go to netball festivals.

“Our Walking Netball came about because a number of ladies in our 50+ Sports Club at Hutton Moor were unable to manage the full game of netball, so we decided to change our game to walking and since then our club has flourished.

“When England Netball took the game on, it started to be well publicised in the media and Trailblazers Walking Netball Club has grown from 8 to around 30 regular players.  These are a fantastic group of ladies who are all in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s and although many have health issues, support and help each other.

Angela continues, “I love the game and am so proud of my group and to see the joy on the faces of those who thought their netball days were over. Being able to adapt the game so that everyone can join in has been interesting and it never ceases to make me smile to hear the laughter and see the friendships that have been made. It makes all the hard work worthwhile.

“We really appreciate the donation by The Thatchers Foundation which has enabled us to purchase much needed new kit for our members, enabling us to foster team spirit and a sense of pride at our training sessions and at competitive matches.”

There’s growing enthusiasm for walking sport and in particular netball, as it can be played by people of any age and of any fitness level. It has all the enjoyment of regular netball, just played at a slower pace. Members who played netball at school, or even in their twenties with a club, have never forgotten the fun they had and have embraced the opportunities the group brings.

The club, which is recognised by England Netball, has been running for two and a half years and has players from the Weston super Mare, Locking and Winscombe areas. They meet every Thursday 1-2pm at Hutton Moor Leisure Centre and welcome anyone who wants to come and give it a try.

The Thatchers Foundation helps and supports community and charitable activities, in the areas of Health, Social or Economic Disadvantage, Education, Environment.  Since the Foundation firmly believe in supporting its local community, applications relating to projects and individuals in Sandford, Winscombe and adjoining towns and villages are favoured.

For more information about the Foundation, or if you’d like to make a request for a grant, please visit:


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 – Au revoir Trudie Procter

After 34 years, Wiltshire based Trudie Procter has begun to pack her bag (and netball trainers) for a new life in France.

To mark this occasion and in honour of her dedication and commitment to netball for over three decades, her daughter is arranging a Charity Fun Farewell Netball Tournament. Trudie doesn’t like parties or boozing but agreed a tournament would be right up her street.  The Tournament is gathering pace because Trudie is a very well-known and respected umpire, coach and player – 17 senior teams are already signed up! Trudie is passionate about the proceeds going to local charities so she has chosen Julia’s House (a children’s hospice in our local town) and our local Air Ambulance, with the cake stall proceeds going to a cancer charity.

Trudie didn’t play netball at Primary School because she was a tom boy and preferred playing football with the boys but when she was asked to play GK at Senior School (and knowing this position existed in football), Trudie agreed to have a go. Trudie soon realised that GK didn’t offer her enough movement so moved out to GD and in 1984 joined Devizes Netball Club. Trudie then had an accidental season at WA and rather enjoyed attacking which found her moving to Centre where at the age of 55+ still plays full matches in the local league at this position. Since then she has become a C Award umpire and a UKCC level two coach.

Trudie has found coaching at her beloved village primary school her most rewarding achievement. Coaching the U11’s at All Cannings Primary School for many years and inspiring a new team each year as the children moved on and through to Senior School. The junior school netball team is a force to be reckoned with each year and Trudie has had many County Final successes.  Trudie also coaches the Under 11’s at Devizes Netball Club and for many years ran the Junior League in the area. Trudie coaches the lower half of the Devizes Netball Club Teams and is adored by everyone at her sessions.

Trudie has loved all the teams she has played with at Devizes and her heart is currently with Devizes Falcons (Moonraker League).  Trudie is also a founder member of our Devizes TOGs Team (aka Trudies Old Girls) and we form usually for our summer league and tournaments when we can get together, the rule being that the team members are over 30 (with a few exceptions)! Trudie is also a member of a joint club Saturday morning Team (Moonies) playing in the Swindon League.

Trudie is still giving up her Tuesday and Thursday evenings to umpire at the Moonraker League games (the league in which she plays) and thoroughly loves umpiring all levels from the low divisions up to the Prem level division. Trudie is a hugely respected umpire and always gives up more of her precious time to mentor young umpires. Trudie was until recently Devizes NC Club secretary for 25 plus years, as well as Umpiring Secretary for the Moonraker League (and Moonraker League Secretary for some years too!).

We are sure you will agree that Trudie deserves a great send off after her outstanding contribution to netball in our a county – she is already planning on how she can take netball to France!


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 – Wiltshire Walking Netball Groups Raise Money for Sport Relief

Two of the Walking Netball groups in Wiltshire embraced Sport Relief this week and joined forces to raise nearly £200.

The ladies who play regularly in Melksham and Corsham participated in a merged session which included a friendly fixture and fun drills. The players also hosted a bake sale and auctioned off cakes made by the participants. Participant Sue Mortimer raised sponsorship by attending the session wearing a tutu!

Well done to all involved, especially the walking netball hosts Jan, Sue and Caroline for organising a fun fund-raising event!

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)

Hucclecote and Saints qualify for National U16 Finals

The Under 16 regional club play-offs finals were held on Sunday 25th March at Paignton Academy where the top 4 teams in the Regional U16 league were vying for a place in the National finals.

After a long season travelling to Paignton for all their fixtures, the Division 1 leaders Hucclecote started the day as favourites having won all their league matches.  True to form they won all their play-off matches and finished as overall champions, but not without a scare in their first match against Saints Cornwall, which they started slowly.

Poole also started slowly but could only manage a draw with Team Bath in their first match. Saints, who finished the regular season in 4th place, were able to capitalise and beat Poole in their final match to finish as runners-up on the day.

Hucclecote and Saints both qualify for the National U16 Clubs final to be held on 28th/29th April in Nottingham.  Good luck to both squads!

Thanks to the umpires and volunteers on the day and throughout the season, especially to Debbie Ashworth who sourced and allocated umpires to enable the highest quality of netball to be played.

Final Play-Off places:

  1. 1. Hucclecote 15pts
  2. 2. Saints 11 pts
    3.Team Bath 5 pts
    4.Poole 4pts


Final league places – see web site https://netballresults.uk/nsw/33/


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!

On Wednesday 14th March the Dorset Satellite Academies from Blandford, Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth participated in their end of season Satellite Tournament.

Each Satellite provided two teams and the Tournament was played in two sections on the indoor courts at Sir David English Sports Centre.

The Tournament provided enthusiastic and skillful play with some close run matches.  Athletes took the opportunity to thank their Academy coaches, umpires and parents for their support over the season.

The final results:

SECTION 1:          1st: Poole  2nd: Weymouth   3rd: Bournemouth  4th: Blandford

SECTION 2:          1st Poole   2nd: Bournemouth   3: Blandford    4th: Weymouth

Congratulations to all involved.

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)