#wedNEWSday – Lets Stay Connected

Walking Netballers battle for quiz supremacy

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles.

On Tuesday the 12th May, walking netball teams from across Wiltshire gathered virtually for a digital battle for quiz supremacy. Three teams entered – Chippenham Lasses, Sockballers from Marlborough and Pewsey and The Super Dupers from Corsham.

Becca Higgs from Wiltshire Council and Corsham Walking Netball participants at their launch session

Hosts, Becca Higgs from Wiltshire Council and Kerry Brooks from England Netball helped get everyone set-up to both hear the questions and also be able to confer with their teams on their answers. After a bit of technical wrangling we were good to go and it was off with the quiz!

The quiz took place over four rounds – general knowledge, netball, slogans and movie quotes with 42 points up for grabs, and at the end, the teams were only just separated, with 1 point in it, with Sockballers taking the victory, just ahead of Chippenham Lasses.

Chippenham Lasses at the WI Walking Netball Tournament last year.

Whilst the quiz was just for fun, we did ask for donations for NHS Charities if people were able, and we were able to raise an amazing £105 from the generous participants, so thanks for everyone that took part and donated for a great cause.

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to Laura Woodruff (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk)

#wedNEWSday – To Rock Up and beyond…

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles.

Kate Jones, a player from Chippenham has a story to tell…

‘I was never a team player; I preferred the individual pursuits of running and cycling. I always felt as though I never fitted in, a round peg in a square hole. Solo endurance sports were my personal escapism. A way to block the negative thoughts associated with being ‘someone like me’.

Being transgender isn’t an easy path to tread but for me it was the right one. Post transition I set myself a number of goals, one was to break the mould and participate in a team sport coupled with the idea of making some new friends.

So after a chance discussion I discovered Rock Up Netball in Chippenham. They run a yearly quad session back to netball course. This seemed ideal but the thought of attending did fill me with a certain amount of trepidation.

For the first session I roped in a friend for moral support. Wow! It was such great fun!!! Having never played netball before I was totally clueless but I was eager to learn. Post course we formed a team and Victorious Secrets were born and they even made me captain!

The women at Rock Up have been very warm and accepting, and it is run by the legend that is Miriam Sawyer. She is a great coach and a wonderful human being.

Earlier this year I inquired about league netball and was hastily informed I would not be eligible to play because of my ‘gender status’.

I’m empathetic to the concerns natal born women have when it comes to trans participation in sport but conversely being born in a male shell does not always give you an advantage. There are women I play with who are faster, stronger, fitter and far more skilful than me. This contentious subject will continue to make headlines but it is something we need to discuss with scientific facts and a level head.

Earlier this year I decided to approach England Netball for clarification; I am lead to believe I am the first trans woman to do this. After several months and many emails later I received a confirmation of compliance letter. Marc Scott at EN has been very helpful and has even asked for my input in updating current policy on trans inclusion.

So what next for me?

I freely admit I have fallen in love with netball, it is such good fun! I particularly enjoy the camaraderie as well as the positive effects on ones mental and physically wellbeing. I’ve made the GD position my own. I thoroughly love the buzz of a timely interception and shot blocking. Victorious Secrets are currently top of our Rock Up league with one match to play.

Am I good enough to get a game for a team in a local league? Probably not at the moment but I will be and the doors to my participation are thankfully well and truly open.

I would like to thank my coach Miriam Sawyer, Marc Scott at England Netball, my Victorious Secrets team mates (you know who you are!), Amy Plumb for being my Rock Up wing woman. Finally I would like to thank the friendly and accepting women of Rock Up Netball Chippenham.’

Thank you for sharing your story Kate, looking forward to seeing you get back on the netball court.

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to Laura Woodruff (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk)

#wedNEWSday – Lets Stay Connected

Taunton Netball Club fundraise for Love Musgrove

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles.

Inspired by Taunton Town FC and their fundraising efforts for Love Musgrove – Taunton Netball Club knew they had to get involved and do their bit! They asked members to Join us by ‘donating what you aren’t spending’ to the clubs just giving page and raise money for Love Musgrove. This included big or small donation as individuals are able to make and here were some ideas.

🏀 Match fees
☕ and 🍰 at a coffee shop
A Friday night 🍺 
An 🍦 at the beach
🍿 A trip to the cinema 
🚗 fuel for a week
A visit to the 💇‍♀️ 💇‍♂️ 

Susie, from the club ‘we’ve asked for selfie’s telling us what people have donated (the amount doesn’t matter, we just wanted to know what!)We encouraged people to:

💙 Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives 💙

Our initial target was £200 and it is great to say that our fundraising page is now officially closed and we are really pleased to announce that our club raised a grand total of £1,358.18 (this includes gift aid). This contributes to £100,000 that has been raised for Love Musgrove so far – money that will be put to excellent use on the frontline and will be hugely appreciated.

In these unprecedented times, which are so challenging for so many of us in lots of different ways, it’s fantastic that we’ve still managed to come together to make sure something good comes out of it! Thank you to everyone who donated or shared’

Well done all, it has been great to see so many people getting involved.

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to Laura Woodruff (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk)