Last Sunday saw the first Tri-Counties Walking Netball Festival since the pandemic. All teams across Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Avon were invited to attend the event held at Clifton College Sports Ground. We were also very fortunate to be joined by a team from Somerset too!

The Festival had a Jubilee theme which the 12 teams that entered certainly embraced! We had red, white and blue decorated picnics, a lot of bunting and flags flying, and even Royal visitors!

Gloucestershire Walking Netballers were crowned (literally!) champions of the Festival, with Summerhouse a close runner up.

Thank you to all the teams that entered, the umpires for giving up their Sunday to ensure the day happened and all your Jubilee efforts. Netball South West will continue to run these Festivals throughout the year so don’t hesitate to contact your local NDO should you wish to join in the fun.

VOLUNTEERING OPPORTUNITY

Netball South West is looking for a new Volunteer Lead to become part of its board of trustees. If you are passionate about empowering volunteers and want to work with a team who are equally passionate about providing exceptional sporting experiences for all, then contact us today to find out more: southwest@englandnetball.co.uk

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

Exeter Colleges’ Netball first team have had an exceptional season winning three major competitions. The playing squad consisted of Charlotte Steer (Vice Captain) GS, Ella Williams GA, Jemma Potter WA, Lily Tomlinson C, Caitlin Jeffery (Captain) WD, Iris Hindley GD, Hannah Rae GK, Abi Down GS, Lottie Armstrong WD, Emily Churchill GD, Kitty Sampson C, Bronwin Stewart C, Annie Grief GD and Tilly Spong WD. The team have won over 40 games in one season to be crowned the champions three times over.

The three competitions won by the Exeter College Netball team are:

The treble success began where the team became National Premier League Champions. Exeter college joined Barking Abbey, Hartpury and Queen Ethelburga’s in Walsall at the finals, as the top four teams across the South, Midlands and North Premier Division leagues. Exeter were drawn against Barking Abbey and won convincingly, during a competitive and physical game 37-26. The team then met Hartpury in the final securing an impressive win of 34-30 to take the first of the three titles.

The team then fought hard and won the Gold medal at the AoC Sport National Championships in Nottingham. After an intense competition, the Southwest region were presented winners of the Wilkinson Sword, the first time the region has won the coveted title since 2016 – which the Netball team also contributed towards by winning Gold.

The final achievement came when the team came out on top in an amazing and tight fought match against Hartpury, winning 41-40 to win the AoC Sport National Netball Knockout Cup. The AoC cup sees teams drawn from all over the country and having to win each game to progress onto the next round.

A huge congratulations to the players and all those involved in this fantastic achievement.

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to the South West Regional Coordinator (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk).

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

This week we celebrate the amazing netball season of 16 year old Ella Williams from Poole and find out a bit more about her netball journey. Ella joins the likes of other Dorset home grown talent such as Lily-May Catling, who made her debut with Team Bath VNSL this season, following a 2021 season with Wasps Lily-May Catling completes journey from Academy to Superleague via Australia as versatile defender joins Blue & Gold for 2022 – Team Bath Netball, and Geva Mentor who was named again in the England Netball Roses programme this week, having made her England debut in 2001! England Netball | Vitality Roses selected for 2022-23 Programme.

It is so important to recognise and shout about those that make female sport happen, be that as a participant, official or volunteer. It was great to see Lily-May engaging with junior members of Bournemouth Netball Club on a recent trip to watch Team Bath play in the VNSL at Bath University. The hugely successful This Girl Can campaign, demonstrated that having accessible female sporting role models is key to engaging and keeping females in sport This Girl Can | Sport England.

Ella was interviewed by Sarah Clark, Dorset Netball Development Officer:

What is your earliest memory of netball?

My earliest memory of netball was my first training session at Poole Netball Club. I joined with my friend. All I can remember is really enjoying it and wanting to go back.

What teams have you played for?

I’ve played for Poole Netball Club at junior and senior level, been a part of the Dorset satellite and county academy pathway and then the Team Bath pathway. I have played for Team Bath U15, U17 and U19 teams and this year I played for England Roses U17s.

What is your go-to netball snack?

My go-to netball snack would be a protein milkshake and a nut bar.

NB: I have it on good authority that Ella is unlikely to turn down a Haribo!

Who has had the most influence on your netball career?

Helen Housby as a player and Jenna Adamson (Team Bath Millfield ADC coach) and Hayley Peyman (Poole Head Coach)

If you could start again at age 8, what netball position would you want to play?

I would want to play centre as I would be able to run everywhere on court!

What was your hardest netball moment?

Playing against the other England team in the Europe Netball Competition.

How do you get over hard moments?

Staying calm, being patient and never giving up, no matter what.

What was your favourite netball moment?

Winning the Europe Netball Competition with England U17s and being undefeated.

How do you like to celebrate a win?

Being surrounded by my teammates and the atmosphere it creates.

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to the South West Regional Coordinator (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk).

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