#wedNEWSday – I love being back on court! A B2N Story…

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

Business-owner and entrepreneur Kelly Dedman came back to netball just as the Coronavirus pandemic hit.  She found Teignmouth Thunderbirds (TBirds) – her local netball club and was brave enough to attend a training session and learn to play again after 20 years.

Kelly said, “I was very keen on playing all sports when I was younger, and captained the netball team at school.  When I left school, I stopped playing completely. I joined TBirds just before the pandemic, and this was the first time I’d played in over 20 years! I was excited to play netball again, but also very nervous having not played for so long.  It’s a struggle sometimes to fit everything in, but it’s important for my mental health to get some exercise, and the group of ladies that I train with are lovely.”

44-year old Kelly has 2 adopted children aged 5 and 6 years. She has owned The Lemon Tree cafe/ bar/ restaurant in Teignmouth for 4 years which also had to close during the pandemic.  During this time, members of TBirds kept in touch to give each other moral support and as soon as community netball was able to restart, TBirds netball began to train in line with England Netball guidance.

Head Coach Angela Rimmer said,  “We’re very fortunate to have 2 x level 2 Coaches, a GP and various nurses at our Club, and so we were able to get ourselves organised to be able to safely train and play again within the strict guidance.  We were grateful that one of our local leagues – Torbay- restarted giving us the opportunity to play community netball with modifications.  This enabled back to netballers such as Kelly to play local league netball for the first time.”

Kelly commented, “I played in my first match 2 weeks ago, which I absolutely loved. I really felt part of the team, and felt encouraged and supported. Although I was apprehensive, I really enjoyed it, and don’t feel that I let the team down!”

Kelly is looking forward to playing her first full local winter league netball season in 2021-22 and hoping to host a legendary TBirds party or two at The Lemon Tree when it is permitted.

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 – Netball club members earned Superleague support  

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

Over the last lockdown Axe Vale Netball Club actively clocked up an impressive 14,805 kilometres and made it to Australia – virtually! 

Head coach Trish Warwick explained: “This great effort was a whole club enterprise from the youngest junior section, aged eight years, up to our lovely Walking Netballers, some approaching 80 years old. “Together they have walked, run, cycled and ridden horses in an attempt to reach Australia where the full game of netball is being played in sunshine.” 

 

Trish added: “AVNC coaches first came up with the idea just after the country went into full lockdown. Concerned for their members with the issues of isolation, they encouraged them to leave their homes, find a friend (as Covid restrictions allowed) and enjoy fresh air and company whilst meeting the club challenge.” 

The club’s efforts were supported by the Superleague netball stars of Team Bath Netball, including Kim Borgen, who is an Australian shooting superstar – currently playing as the international player for table-topping Team Bath, Mia Ritchie and Stacey Francis, who is an England Roses team member and currently playing for West Coast Fever in the Australian Suncorp League. 

The players, who are currently setting the national netball scene alight having won 10 of their first 11 games this season, sent videos encouraging the Axminster club members to keep up the good work. Trish added: “Our arrival coincides with the re opening of AVNC’s junior section in Axminster.” 

Keeping active during lockdown has put us in a great position with regard to returning to court. With all our juniors back training in both our Devon and Somerset based sessions and our adult sessions returning this week, Axe Vale Netball Club are on track to #RiseAgain. If you are aged eight to 80 (or beyond!) and interested in playing netball please go to: love2playnetball@gmail.com 

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 – Guess who’s back!

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

Since netball was able to return in April several of our regions local leagues have been swinging back into action and getting members back on court. Here’s a round up of what’s been going on so far in the South West.

In East Devon, Torbay Netball League, Riviera Netball League, Teignbridge Netball League, North Devon Netball League, Honiton Netball League and Exeter Netball League have all returned with friendly games for teams wanting to take part. The relaxed nature of the matches most are running with no league tables and an emphasis on fun have really proved popular.

Kirsty Trude Honiton League Chair said, “Not only was it lovely to see everyone again, it was wonderful to hear so much laughter whilst the games were being played.”

Natalie one of the players commented, “After a year of being apart from people, to finally get back on a court, laugh, run around and be free of any worries or life stress has just been amazing. I had missed being around strong, fun and caring ladies.”

West Devon league have been running Back to Netball, Netball Now and netball fitness, 60 players have taken part so far to prepare for the return of the league at the end of May.

The courts are busy in Dorset, SWDL (Weymouth), Poole, North Dorset and Bournemouth have all resumed activity.

Gloucestershire won’t be far behind with matches returning soon after some very successful return to court sessions which saw over 100 players and coaches on court. Alongside the sessions they are running coach mentoring to help support clubs develop Level 2 coaches, great work!

It’s been fantastic to see so may people getting back on court and we would like to thank all the league volunteers, coaches and umpires for all the hard work they have been putting in to make it happen. We are really looking forward to seeing more leagues, clubs and sessions starting in the next few months.

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 – Inspirational women take to court in Bristol

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

Our Netball Development Community Coach Sue Anderson has started her Back to Netball sessions in Bristol. Sue has loved being able to take to court supporting the local community with 437 ladies attending the sessions.

Joining the session have been two inspirational women. Julie has returned to netball after a caesarian, Breast Cancer, treatment and numerous operations over a 6 year period. She tried to exercise but her body wasn’t able to do what she thought it should be able to do, forgetting about what she had been through and allowing herself to get upset and give up. But, back to netball has changed everything rather than crying sad tears, she cried happy and proud tears. She said ‘It’s made me feel like me again and that I can do anything. It’s made me want to push myself and do what I know I can do.’ The support she has received from the amazing ladies is immense and Julie feels so grateful and lucky to have met them and be part of an amazing team. She said ‘Thank you so much for tonight. I am buzzing. This is the first time in years that I’ve done some form of exercise that I haven’t actually gone home and cried about because my body wouldn’t let me do what it used to do. Clearly my game needs work but that’s expected but it’s made me want to work harder and not give up which is just what I needed.’

There is another inspirational lady Natasha who is a young single mum of two that is going through Breast cancer now and is still managing to play! she is amazing and uses netball as a release.

Sue has many sessions across Bristol, and you are more than welcome to contact her anytime for more information. Sue.Anderson@englandnetball.co.uk

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)