#wedNEWSday – Let’s Stay Connected

Yeovil Netball Club – 6 week Inter Team Competition

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

Yeovil Netball Club in Somerset had been continuing to train up until Christmas ensuring they were following Covid guidance but once lockdown 3.0 started they wanted to find something to keep the club connected.

After speaking to Paula, committee member at Yeovil said that ‘We came up with the KM challenge that was set up to run for 6 weeks, starting the week beginning 11.1.21 and ending last Friday, 19.2 .21. The aim was to provide a challenge that would keep the players connected to each other, to maintain fitness for physical and mental wellbeing and provide a little inter squad competition.’

‘The challenge involved each squad (6 squads of approximately 10 players) in competition to see who could travel the furthest over the 6-week period in KMs. They could walk, run, cycle, do HIT or S&C sessions etc and then each week send their distances into me and I collated.’

Weekly score updates were given across social media so that the wider netball community could see how they are getting on. Paula said ‘I have to say it has been amazing to see how involved everyone has been and how much inter competition has been generated. In total after the 6 weeks the squads travelled an amazing 15,523 Km! With one individual contributing a whopping 2466.34km on her bike in 6 weeks.’

The winning squad, Hendford travelled 6204 km between them which is incredible, that would take them all the way past the equator! Paula mentioned ‘now we have had the green light to return to netball after March 29th, our players will be fit and ready to go. We obviously need to wait to hear from EN as to how we can safely return but our COVID-19 committee is primed and ready!’

It is amazing to see and hear how to club has been working together to complete their challenge and getting ready to return to court. We can’t wait to see your pictures when you do.

Thank you, Paula for sharing the information with us.

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)

Round 1&2 Superleague Round up

The Vitality Netball Superleague returned on Friday 12 February with rounds one and two taking place over four days at Production Park Studio 001, Wakefield. Both South West Franchises’ Team Bath & Severn Stars were in action in each round.

Five-time champions Team Bath Netball made their mark as they inflicted Celtic Dragons’ second defeat in the space of as many days. Anna Stembridge’s team accelerated away from their opponents to lead 31-15 at half time and didn’t relent in the second half with Betsy Creak selected as Vitality Player of the Match as they impressed with a 61-29 victory.

Team Bath Netball completed a winning weekend in the 2021 Vitality Superleague as they came through a hard-fought encounter against Loughborough Lightning with a 48-44 victory on Sunday. Vitality Player of the Match Serena Guthrie added: “That was a really tough game, Loughborough are historically a ‘finals’ side so we knew it was going to be a real step up from yesterday. I’m so proud how we just managed to hold it and pull away in the third quarter, that gave us that bit of a buffer we needed for the final period.”

Unfortunately Stars saw two defeats, firstly narrowly missing out to Strathclyde Sirens. After the game, Stars Head Coach Melissa Bessell said: “The game tonight was not the best quality performance that stars can produce, it was disappointing but I’m not totally disappointed. I think if you play as individuals in this game of netball you are going to lose, hence the result tonight.

Stars continued to fight right until the end of the game in Round 2 against Wasp. Paige Read made a strong return to the game in the final quarter with captain Leota working her magic and splitting the defence. There were many positive that they will take away from the games over the weekend in preparation for their next game in a couple of weeks.

Here’s how the table is currently standing:

Team Bath are next in action on Monday, 22nd February against Wasps (7.15pm centre-pass), in a match being shown live on Sky Sports Arena & Sky Sports YouTube. Severn Stars will be back on 28th February (12.00pm) against current champions Manchester Thunder in a match being shown live on Sky Sports YouTube. With their game after being shown on Sky Sports Arena on the 1st March against Lightning.

#wedNEWSday – Lets Stay Connected

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

In this weeks #wedNEWSday story, we hear from Anna at Wimborne Aquarians, Dorset and how they are keeping up the team morale!

When Boris Johnson announced on 4th January that the country was going into another lockdown, we knew it was going to be tough for our junior players. Having intensely trained in the autumn term for regional qualification, the players were looking forward to the regional leagues starting in the New Year. The Prime Minister’s announcement meant all of our plans were put on hold indefinitely.

We knew that Lockdown 3.0 would be harder than before, because of the dark evenings and winter weather conditions. We wanted to keep our younger players motivated and connected, as well as promoting their physical and mental wellbeing.

Knowing that the girls would be facing a return to online learning, with long periods of screen time and sitting at a desk, we decided to create a 6 Week Lockdown Fitness Challenge. Our aim was to encourage them to get outdoors in the fresh air and to incorporate exercise into their everyday routines.

Each player received a Lockdown Challenge package in the post, which included their own set of Get Fit cards, a booklet outlining the challenge targets and checklists to keep track of their exercise. While some of the challenge targets are prescriptive, such as their weekly online HIIT sessions with their coaches, the overarching theme is for the players to be taking responsibility for their fitness and to be adaptable in their approach. The emphasis is on any physical activity being worthwhile, whether that’s going on a run, a bike ride or walking the dog!

Running alongside the challenge, we have also encouraged the players to supplement their activities by accessing online netball workshops being offered by other providers. Both players and coaches are enjoying the twilight sessions being offered by Hartpury College and are looking forward to the positional workshops being run by Worcester Uni Netball later this month.

We are now over half-way through the challenge, and we have been so impressed with how the players have embraced the whole idea and have committed themselves to their training programmes. The list of physical activities they have undertaken is long and varied from Peloton sessions to yoga. As well as targets set by the coaches, the players have also set their own goals. For example, one of our U14 player’s, Poppy, set herself the challenge of running a marathon in a week, which she achieved despite some inclement weather conditions! We are enormously proud of all the girls.

As we head into the final few weeks of the challenge, we are hoping that it won’t be too long before we will be back together training. We know the biggest thing the girls have missed is the camaraderie of being with their teammates and throwing a ball around on 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 – Children’s Mental Health Week

Children’s Mental Health Week 2021 (CMHW) is taking place from 1-7 February and England Netball is supporting this important initiative, along with young members of the Netball Family, through sharing a variety of practical and valuable resources.

CMHW was created by children’s mental health charity Place2Be, whose aim is to highlight the importance of mental wellbeing among children and young people. The theme of the week is ‘Express Yourself.’

In support of this week, England Netball are inviting all U11s, families and schools to join us for a free live digital session all about ‘Expressing Yourself’ through netball at 1pm on Friday 5 February. 

The session will be delivered by expert coaches, Georgina Rettey and Eliza Morgan, and will be based around the Bee Netball framework; allowing children to continue learning valuable physical, social and emotional skills.  

Bee Netball supports whole child development and is about friendship, inclusion, fair play – helping develop grit and resilience. It’s not about how good children are, it’s about how hard they try to Bee!

From being a de-stressor to teaching individuals how to deal with setbacks, there’s plenty of evidence that taking part in physical activity can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing. 

The role of physical activity and sport will be crucial in the nation’s recovery from COVID-19 in 2021, with 500,000 young people needing support for mental health problems since the pandemic began (Youth Sport Trust). 

Fran Connolly, CEO of England Netball, said: “We’re proud to support Children’s Mental Health Week. 

“It’s been a challenging year full of change and uncertainty, and research from the Youth Sport Trust shows the impact that this has had on young people’s physical and mental wellbeing. 

“Supporting children through sport, including tailored programmes such as Bee Netball, can help them feel happier and healthier both physically and emotionally. 

“We will continue to be here for the Netball Family throughout the year and look forward to being back out on court together.” 

To sign up for the free live digital session, click here. We’d love to see photos and videos of you taking part shared with us @englandnetball on social media! 

If you can’t wait until Friday or want even more Bee@Home fun, there are six challenges on the England Netball website and YouTube, featuring Vitality Roses Head Coach Jess Thirlby, Tamsin Greenway and Gary Neville, to practise at home. 

A range of creative resources to encourage children (and adults) to share feelings, thoughts and ideas are also available. 

For more information on the week, visit Place2Be’s website