#wedNEWSday – Volunteer week, Gloucestershire Committee

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

When it comes to volunteering, two members of the Gloucestershire committee have gone over and above this year.

Nicola Parry from the Adult Working Group has been instrumental in getting Gloucestershire’s members back on court following lockdown 3.0. She has kept in frequent contact with the 26 clubs in the county, resulting in a tailored Return to Court programme. The programme sessions were coach lead and provided over 100 members safe, structured netball, with a specific focus on fitness and keeping injury free after the long, enforced break.

Another testament to the fabulous Return to Court programme Nic set up was the successful completion of a Sport England Small Grants bid. GCNA applied for the grant and were awarded the full amount they requested – well done to Les Thomas who took the initiative, and invested the time, to apply on behalf of the committee.

In addition, Nic has expertly organised summer league across two venues in the county, that will hopefully (rules permitting) lead us nicely into the Glos Winter League in September.  Thirdly, and on a personal front, Nic is booked onto her level two coaching course later this year and has proactively set up a Safeguarding course later this month in the county, as the next nearest course is more than 100 miles away. This will save fellow aspiring coaches, like Nic, many miles and minutes.

Behind the scenes, Emily Wilton – Head of the Media and Comms Working Group – has been working tirelessly to fully revamp the Glos website (https://glos-netball.org.uk/). With the help of Les and James Thomas, the new website is fresh, informative and a one stop shop for information regarding all thing’s netball in the county.

A huge thank you to both Nicola and Emily for their recent contributions.

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 – The First Online Sport, Physical Activity & Trans People Course takes place

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

Last week, Netball South West hosted the first Sport, Physical Activity & Trans People: The Basic online Course which was successfully led by Gendered Intelligence. On the 16th April, 27 members ranging from Regional Management Board member, committee members & England Netball Staff.

This online course came about from County Chairs call in January, and since then there has been some behind the scenes conversations. Off the back of these we contacted Gendered Intelligence about putting a session for our members. Gendered Intelligence are a trans led charity working directly with some 500 young trans and gender questioning people from diverse backgrounds across the course of a year, primarily through our youth groups and 1:1 mentoring services (http://genderedintelligence.co.uk/) The session introduced the key ideas and information people need to know about trans inclusion within grassroots sport and physical activity settings. Allowing learners to understand what ‘trans’ means, crucial concepts to understanding trains people and legislation relating to trans identities.

We had some fantastic feedback about the session, with learners saying:

‘An excellent evening. From a base line of zero, I felt I learnt so much.’ & ‘This was one of the best training sessions I have ever been on, it really was so informative, but it was so engaging, and the time just flew.’

If you are interested in finding out more about Sport, Physcial Activity & Trans People or attending a future session then please let Laura in the Regional office know, on Southwest@englandnetball.co.uk so that you can be added for future contacts.

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)

Netball South West Wonderful Wellbeing Month

On Monday 18th January, Netball South West launched the first ‘Wonderful Wellbeing Month’ to its members. This month is designed to provide activities and tip to help our netball family successfully navigate through Lockdown 3.

We understand you are desperately missing netball, and it is great to see how clubs are working together to keep everyone active. Netball South West wants to provide you with not just fitness challenges but ways to support your mental health through this tough time. Over the next month we will be sharing with you:

  • Monday Motivation – fitness activities and challenges that you can do on your own or as part of a team.
  • Time For Yourself Tuesday – ideas and activities to make sure that you take some time for yourself.
  • #WedNEWSday – our long-standing news articles, which share best practice and good news stories from around the region.
  • Press Play Thursday – we have joined forces with some amazing netballers to give you a chance to get to know them and understand what they do with netball.
  • Feel Good Friyay – providing ideas, activities, and exercises to help you feel good as you head into the weekend.

All our activities will be launching daily on our social media challenges so make sure you follow us and get involved at:

Twitter:  @NetballSW

Facebook:  Netball South West

Instagram: Netball SW

If you have any questions, please do not hesistate to contact the Regional Office on Southwest@englandnetball.co.uk

#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)

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!

Government lockdown and what this means for community netball

Following the Government announcement on Saturday 31 October, we are deeply disappointed to confirm that community netball will be suspended until the national lockdown, coming into affect on Thursday 5 November, is lifted. All community netball following the Return to Play roadmap is impacted including club activity, leagues, local pathway activity and all England Netball programmes including Back to Netball and Walking Netball. Activity operating as part of the elite sport framework is however permitted to continue.

The efforts of the Netball Family since the Government signed off our Return to Play plan in August have been inspiring. England Netball are immensely proud of the huge amount of care and attention the Netball Family has taken to ensure that the virus isn’t spreading through netball activity. We sincerely thank the committees and COVID-19 Officers who interpreted the guidance and developed risk mitigation plans, the coaches who’ve carefully planned sessions, the officials who have implemented the modifications, and every single player who has stepped back onto court. The opportunity to play even for a few short months will have meant even more after these difficult times for so many.

During this second lockdown, we will do everything we can to give the Netball Family what you love most; netball! Throughout the pandemic, the Virtual Netball Club (VNC) has continued to run exclusively for members so that you can keep fit, active and connected to our sport. Whilst the thought of another lockdown is going to be tough on so many, rest assured that we will do all we can to keep you entertained and engaged via this platform throughout this time. We will be running even more virtual netball sessions including fun junior sessions, exclusives with the Vitality Roses and much more. We’re kicking things off with a Bonfire Night extravaganza on Wednesday 4 November, plus keep your eyes peeled for upcoming VNC emails. The VNC is one of many great membership benefits, click here for more information.

We are currently anticipating a return to court in early December for community netball and whilst this is likely to be under the tiered system, this won’t keep us away for long. We will continue to update the website and Care Package as we know more, communicate with COVID Officers and run forums to support netball organisations and COVID Officers, coaches and officials.

We thank you for supporting netball through these challenging times. We are so grateful to have you on the team and will continue to do all that we can to support you, entertain you, and fight for you – and the sport – during the pandemic, and beyond. When we can return, this time we already know which facilities are available, risk assessments and mitigation plans are written and players know what they are doing. So, we will be back on court in no time. We will always have each other, and together, we will ensure netball will #RiseAgain.

Updated Restart and Competition guidance issued and clarification on multiple groups indoors

On Thursday 24 September, we shared the latest Government changes that netball organisations would have to adhere to (shown here). We’d like to thank all netball organisations that changed their plans so quickly to still enable netball to happen over the weekend.

England Netball – Netball Connected Picture: Chris Vaughan Photography for Born Agency Date: March 19, 2019

We have now updated the Restart Guidance to reflect the most recent changes and version 2 is now available here. COVID-19 Officers are being directly contacted and we will be running forums next week which are open to representatives from clubs and leagues to further enhance understanding of the most recent changes.

Competition guidance has also been updated and is now available here. There are also hints and tips for league organisers to consider.

Within the Restart Guidance, further clarification on the rule of six is explained. Whether indoors or outdoors, the maximum number allowed per court remains at 30 including coaches and officials. If indoors, for 18 year olds and over, the group must be organised in discrete groups of six. Bubbles of six should not mix within the training session and there must be sufficient space to ensure bubbles do not come into close contact with one another. Coaches must maintain social distancing and not mix cross bubble. Competitive, seven-a-side matches are still not permitted indoors as this breaches the rule of six.

Other changes to highlight include:

  • 18 year olds playing netball for the purpose of education, such as curriculum sport or playing for schools teams have been added to the exemption list. However in a community setting, once 18, they must adhere to the rule of six.
  • It is no longer mandatory for match officials, first aiders and coaches to wear face coverings indoors, during activity. However, wearing face coverings is encouraged where possible and practical.

Our FAQs have now been updated to reflect the recent Government changes and are available here.

Thanks again to all those enabling netballers across the country to get on court, you are the netball heroes of 2020!

#wedNEWSday – #RiseAgain

England Netball released a statement on Monday with the update information on the annoucement of the new membership. Please read below:

For every day that  we’ve  been kept apart from our teammates and the incredible game we all  love, we have been dreaming of the day that we can celebrate being together again.

We have now started to see the gradual return of  some community sports and are confident that  netball’s comeback is nearing. Having submitted our action plan to Government, we are simply waiting for the green light to allow us to step back out on court and play netball in some shape or form again.

Whilst we wait with bated breath, we are doing everything we can to ensure that netball regains its momentum and the success we were all enjoying before the crisis began; from gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a home Vitality Netball World Cup, record crowds at all netball events and more women and girls stepping on court across the country than ever before!

With your help, netball will emerge stronger from this, we’re sure of it. But we can’t do it alone. As a not-for-profit membership organisation, we are extremely proud to put every penny earned back into the game, but sadly, the financial strain caused by the pandemic has placed considerable pressure on the sport we all love. There has never been a more important time for us all to rally together and collectively help netball #RiseAgain.

Join the #RiseAgain movement and pledge your support  

The #RiseAgain movement is a call for people to sign up to 2020/21 membership to help safeguard netball’s future and to enjoy a range of benefits.

We ask that where possible you pledge the full price of membership to help your sport through these uncertain times and join the #RiseAgain movement. For those who choose to pay the full membership fee between 3 August and 30 September 2020, we want to say thank you in a unique way; we will print your name on the court for the next Vitality Roses home international series to proudly show all of the names of those members who came together to help netball #RiseAgain. Terms and conditions apply.

However, we recognise that some members of our Netball Family have also suffered financial hardship this year, so for that reason, we want to offer an optional 30% discount* (payable against the national element of membership) to those who need it, to ensure everyone who wants to, can enjoy our sport. If you choose to, simply use code RISE2020 before 30 September 2020 at checkout, in the promotional code field.

If you’re an existing member, please check your email as you will have been sent a link that you can use to renew your 2020/21 membership.

If you’re not a current member and are interested in learning more, please click here.

Thank you 

We can’t thank the Netball Family enough for your continued support and patience during these difficult times. You have truly demonstrated that netball is more than just a sport. Without our members and your continued dedication and loyalty, the sport would not have achieved its recent success.

*Excludes Social & Supporting membership and all group memberships, including region, county, secondary school and college / university.  The discount is available from 3 August – 30 September 2020. The discount can only be applied at point of purchase, and cannot be applied retrospectively to members who choose to pay in full.

#wedNEWSday – World Cup Throwback

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

Can you believe the Netball World Cup was a year ago? The South West Team headed up to work at the fan park and what an amazing experience it was, we reminisced about it today. We caught up with two fans who travelled from Cornwall and Devon retrospectively to take in the Netball World Cup.

My memories of NWC 2019 – By Lucy Higgins, Cornwall NDO.

‘It started on April 13 2018. I was added to a Whatsapp group, ‘NWC Liverpool 2019’ with some of my teammates from my old netball club in London (shout-out to Blackheath Wanderers!) and one of my best friends from my hometown club (Penzance Netball Club), who I’d played with since the age of six. Almost three months before tickets went on sale, we were prepped and ready to start saving and planning for our first Netball World Cup together. A plan was formed, Doodles were made, broadband speed was tested, and by the time ticket-buying day rolled around, we had a team of people… it was like Glastonbury but more exciting, with more netball puns and with arguably much more at stake! By 10.01am, we had 24 tickets for nine of us, spanning play-offs, the semi-final and the final. The stage was set.

A year and approximately 45,239 Whatsapp messages later, and we all arrived in Liverpool. Immediately, the atmosphere was electric. I’d previously lived in the city and knew how well Liverpool could put on a show, and it didn’t disappoint! I’d been lucky enough to be living in Sydney in 2015 so had been to the final of the NWC, watching Australia beat New Zealand. But the Netball World Cup in Liverpool was like nothing I have ever experienced.

Our first night together, we sat in the lounge of our Airbnb, excitedly talking about the next day’s games. I knew some of the girls really well, had a met a couple of others, and some I’d never met before, but that’s the beauty of netball – it’s a great leveller and brings people together seamlessly. By the end of the evening, we were firm friends, and by the end of the weekend we were bound together, having ridden the crushing low of the England v NZ semi-final and the impressive, awe-inspiring and thoroughly entertaining highs of the bronze medal match against South Africa. Some of my highlights included being dressed as Roses (of course!), and hearing the crowd shouting ‘We want Dunn!’ – hearing the roar when she came on court was like almost nothing I’ve heard before, reminiscent only of the crowds at the London Olympics.

For me, the Netball World Cup was a celebration of all my very favourite things about netball. It brought together people from all over the world, who had one common interest. It was like being at a festival, where everyone likes the same thing as you, and the atmosphere is full of anticipation, excitement and respect for the beautiful game. One amazing thing about the NWC was being able to actually see the players! Meeting Sam Wallace (star GS for Trinidad & Tobago and NSW Swifts, and a personal favourite player of mine) in Primark really stood out for me. The players weren’t hidden away backstage or in a VIP area like they would be at a festival – they were out and about, making the most of their trip to Liverpool, chatting to fans, shopping, getting coffees, and giving us all little ‘pinch myself’ moments. Like I said, netball is a great leveller.

I saw the excitement of young girls at their first international match who had well and truly got the netball bug. I saw die-hard stalwarts of the game in tears with joy or sadness, so wrapped up in the emotions of each pass. I saw people dancing, high-fiving, cheering and celebrating, happy just to be surrounded by other like-minded people. I bumped into women I’d played with at clubs in Cardiff and Liverpool, all bound together by the love of the sport. I chatted to people from all over the world, having a really in-depth chat with an Aussie woman straight after the final about the positional changes. We were all netball nerds and, for 10 days, we were in paradise.

And the Whatsapp group? It’s been renamed NWC Capetown 2023, and the saving, planning and excitement has already begun’

As we look back at memories from the Netball World Cup 2019, Jenny Kelly Devon NDO recounts her 470 mile round trip to watch the England Semi Final.

‘Thinking back to this time last year, I had a great 3 days with the South West team working at the Fan Park. Although exhausting it was great fun speaking to people, giving information about netball sessions, facilitating game play on the portable court and welcoming national teams for their fan park signings.

I hadn’t been able to get any match tickets in the run up to the event so I was really excited when news came up of some tickets available for the Semi Final between England and New Zealand! I jumped at the chance to go, I just had one small problem my daughter was all the way down in Devon. So I finished work in Liverpool on the Thursday and travelled back to the South West with the rest of the team. Friday after Sian finished school for the day we headed back up the motorway finally arriving back in Liverpool around 11pm ready for the match on Saturday. I’ll never forget I had scheduled a radio interview with my local BBC station on the Saturday morning and I was outside the England Roses hotel, on the phone, live on the radio when the Roses left to head to the arena. The screaming and cheering was deafening but it really got across how excited all the England fans were.

It was fantastic to be in the arena, the atmosphere was electric and the game so nail-biting. We had a fabulous time even though the Roses lost it was great to have been there and well worth the hours of driving. We loved it so much we headed to Nottingham earlier this year to watch the rematch at the nations cup.

I truly loved every part of being involved with the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, as staff , adhoc reporter and fan!’

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)

England Netball’s response to the latest Government guidance

England Netball’s response to the latest Government guidance

On Monday 1st June, further Government guidance on social distancing and the return of outdoor sports came into effect, click here to read more. Up to six netballers from different households can now meet and take part in netball fitness sessions together in outdoor spaces, providing teammates from different households stay two metres apart at all times.

What does this mean for me?

This is a great first step towards the return of community netball. Whilst we know netballers the length and breadth of the country have been working hard on their fitness during lockdown, we know it just isn’t the same as working out alongside your teammates.

Whilst this is a positive step for community netball’s return, the Government has not yet deemed it appropriate for close contact activity to commence or for a full netball team to gather. There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes at England Netball on the development of our full Return to Play plan and as part of this we will work with the Netball Family to ensure that when the time comes, we will be ready to hit the court once more.

In the latest guidance issued, it outlined that equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and that small sided games are not permitted. We therefore strongly recommend that the sharing of equipment and balls is minimised with those outside of your household to reduce the risk of infection. There are lots of fun netball fitness activities that can be enjoyed without a netball or with each player using their own netball. If you don’t have a netball or your own equipment, Gilbert are offering 15% off selected training products, take a look here.

In preparation for meeting your fellow teammates for netball fitness activity, here is an overview of relevant Government guidance and our current recommendations:

  • Avoid meeting up in busy locations – there are a number of outdoor courts, including basketball and tennis courts, as well as parks now open
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before leaving home and again when you return, see more guidance on this here
  • Sanitize your equipment thoroughly including your ball, cones, spots, fitness mats and water bottles before and after use
  • Avoid using public transport to meet up with others
  • Avoid touching court gates, fences, benches and netball posts where possible
  • Do not make physical contact with other players
  • To ensure you follow social distancing measures, set up your fitness stations at least two metres away from people outside of your household

For further information, including guidance for coaches, check out our FAQs.

Please continue to follow the above guidance and ultimately have a great time seeing your netball friends again.

What next?

We are continuing to work with the Government and Sport England to further understand what the return of community sport looks like, and more importantly what this means for netball. We will continue to update you over the coming weeks and months on our website, via email and our social media channels.

In the next month, further sport related Government guidance is set to be announced. We are therefore aiming to share our road map for community netball’s return by late June, so you can begin to plan and prepare for your return to court.

Until that time comes, we are doing all we can to keep the Netball Family moving. In May, we launched our Virtual Netball Club (VNC) which provides members with a weekly programme of netball activity including live netball fitness activity, HIIT workouts with the Vitality Roses and exclusive sessions with netball celebs. Why not take this opportunity to try one of the VNC workouts with some of your teammates (at a distance of course)?

In the meantime, stay safe. We will be together again soon.