#wedNEWSday – 2020, What a Year

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

Well 2020 what a year
It’s time to spread some festive cheer

We want to thank our netball family
Without you it would’ve been a calamity

You’ve passed a ball in viral vids
Worked out on zoom, adults and kids

Challenges and quizzes to keep in touch
Checking in when things were tough

Volunteers worked behind the scenes
To bring about your on court dreams

Though a rollercoaster of tiers and stages
Netball is back after what feels like ages

We know for some it’s been challenging
It’s amazing how you’ve all been rallying

Clubs and leagues got behind our campaign
To help England Netball #RiseAgain

We want to say you are all wonderful
We hope your Christmas is delightful

Next year as we work together
2021 will be bigger and better

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 – Welcome new Youth Working Group

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

After the confusing Covid period this year, you may remember that the South West Regional Management Board were recruiting for a Youth Working Group, headed up by the Youth Lead on the Board, Issy.

Issy’s ambition for this group is to work with young volunteers from across the South West to develop a working youth group. After a successful application process, 4 young volunteers, Olivia, Ella, Eloise & Abbie, applied for the post and have become brilliant additions to the group.

The girls are from around the South West and each offer a unique perspective in contributing to the South West team and are already creating some brilliant initiatives! The girls have had their first meeting, via zoom which was very productive & a great start. Issy said ‘It has been a pleasure to start working the girls and looking forward to the rest of the season!!’

We look forward to seeing what else you achieve in the future.

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 – Lin: A Story to Be Told

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

Covid-19 has had an impact on us all.
It has also forced other situations that will still be impacting on us long after we win our battle with it.
Due to the imposed lack of Netball activities lots of our volunteer work force have had less involvement than they would normally have had. This interaction would have kept them going, supporting the game we all love. It also allowed time for other things in their lives to come to the fore and bring about the need for them to consider not to continue with their netball involvement. This is sadly the case with Lin Oldham.

On 1st November 2020 her resignation email came into our inboxes which brought about several replies thanking her for all she had done, but I personally struggled on how best to respond adequately. Then outside of this, Lin messaged me to ask how we all were fairing. I replied saying we were all faring well but I was still struggling with my reply to her resignation email. This is her reply.

“Then say bugger all…cos there is no need hun. The do’ers, we all know what we do and we don’t need praise or thanks. There are people who have been doing this for years…although don’t know how you do it 😁”

Very much what I was expecting knowing her so well.  But I can’t let it rest there, hence the need to tell this story.

I have known Lin for over 20 years when she was a Warrant Officer in the Royal Navy playing for them then in the ECL. In fact, my county of West Dorset was due to play them at their venue in Portsmouth Naval base and the umpire they had booked was late turning up. So, believe it or not I was the next best qualified umpire and umpired the first two quarters until the designated umpire arrived. If I remember correctly Lin played WD and during play I blew one of her colleagues for an offence only for her to query it. Lin’s response was ‘he’s right, I will explain it at quarter time’. Seems just like yesterday.

There were other exploits, like when I arranged her successful B award assessment and her progression to becoming a B award assessor. It was during this progression Lin offered to become involved in the administrative side of netball. Lord bless that day! Like others who I have had the pleasure of working with who have had an armed force background, Lin brought a regimented approach to any task she was asked to become involved with. Give Lin the task, ask for her input, set the ground rules and she was off.

Lin also was instrumental with administrating the highly successful Talented Youth Umpire Programme.

As a region, we were struggling to communicate with members, especially on the officiating front. So, we tasked Lin (Queen of the spread sheet) to devise a regional officiating data base.We are still using that today. In fact, in its earlier years EN would consult with Lin to ensure their information was up to date. Lin also adapted the data base when GDP reared its ugly head. Again, give Lin the rules (orders) and she will complete the task.

When Lin and her husband Tony both finished their Royal Navy careers, they moved to Spain to undertake their long-term plan to live in the sun. You would have thought this was a good time for Lin to step down but no, not Lin. She became what I jokingly named our Spanish Office and continued to oversee things from there chasing MSFT tests and more. Every umpiring request you name, it was Lin who was the first port of call (good Naval analogy there!)

I still feel as though I am not giving her all the recognition she deserves, so I will finish with this little anecdote. Back in my secondary school days on rainy days when our then what was called ‘Organised Games’ sessions could not go ahead outdoors the gym was set up as an obstacle course and a couple of us deemed to be the fittest/athletic (yes I was back then) were appointed as captains and everyone else lined up against the back wall. The captains would then do what no doubt today is deemed poor practice and to take turns to picks of the others to join their team.

Well LIN OLDHAM would and will always be my first choice.

Thank you Danny, for the lovely story.

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)

Netballers, it’s time to prepare for your return to court

England Netball Schools Finals

Following the Government’s updated guidance going live late last night, we are delighted to confirm that community netball is able to return this December nationwide, with the relevant safety protocols in place.

Across all tiers, training and competition may resume from Wednesday 2 December outdoors. In tier 3 however there are some additional restrictions required within a training environment.

return to play guidance

For netball organisations in tier 3, close contact time in training is now reduced from a maximum upper limit of 60 minutes to 40 minutes. This means small sided games and match play should not exceed 40 minutes in any given training session. Socially distanced warm ups and practices where players do not come less than 1m are not included in the 40 minutes. Close contact time in competition is not reduced, however any close contact activity prior to a match including half court needs to be factored into the 60 minute upper limit. COVID-19 Officers, please ensure coaches understand this so they can plan sessions accordingly.

As part of the latest Government guidance, increased emphasis has been placed on the importance of social distancing and social interaction must be extremely limited and should only take place in line with the legal limits and other relevant restrictions. In addition, there is an increased importance placed on compliance with this guidance and whilst to date, breaches within the netball family have been limited, we would urge all netball organisations to continue to be diligent and ensure the guidance is understood and managed with all members, including spectators.

We know many leagues are due to restart in January, leagues should all now plan to run activity outdoors for the remainder of the season. England Netball are here to support all registered leagues every step of the way and to kick off our support, an invite to join our upcoming league forums on 8 December will be circulated via the COVID-19 Officer communications email. We look forward to seeing many of you there and to answering all of your questions.

Whilst it’s been an extremely tough year for the Netball Family, we are in a fortunate position. A number of other team sports haven’t been able to return yet or worse, their seasons just aren’t happening at all. Whilst our sport is moving outdoors in the winter season primarily, we know the Netball Family will be pleased to get back out there with their teammates, even if that does mean digging out the thermals and booking your local outdoor courts so you can play the game you love.

We will continue to keep you updated on any changes to the game ongoing and would like to thank you all for your continued patience and support, as well as thank the 1,900 COVID-19 Officers who have enabled such fantastic progress to be made to date. We hope you’re ready and raring to play again soon!