#wedNEWSday – Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend!

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

Shirley Ransom had a passion to play netball at the highest of levels in her earlier years, playing first team for Gloucestershire. Now in her 60s, Shirley returned to play Walking Netball (WN) in Dursley (Gloucestershire) three years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

Her return reunited many of her old teammates in the town, bringing them together for giggles and wiggles, and at a variety of celebratory big birthdays, with Shirley’s famous lemon drizzle cake always in high demand!

When lockdown 1.0 began to ease and small numbers were able to meet up, Shirley organised small group walks in and around Dursley, encouraging the ladies to get out and back together. This has now become a regular meet, providing a safe space to walk and talk, helping not only with mental health and wellbeing but also giving the ladies the confidence to explore the great outdoors.

 

Whilst WN was at a standstill, collectively Shirley and her girls have walked hundreds of miles during the pandemic and, in turn, encouraged others to form small groups and do the same in their own home locations.

With WN now returning to court again – although unfortunately it won’t be in Dursley until next month – it hasn’t stop Shirley, or the others, making a surprise visit to a neighbouring Walking Netball group! Not only had they turned up to play, but they had also walked the five miles there. Now that’s what I call commitment!

 

Roll on next month when the Dursley Walking Netball Diamonds will be back together again with a slice of lemon drizzle cake!

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)

#wedNEWSday – South West Hawks Netball

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

“South West Hawks are a brand new mens netball team based in the South West of England encompassing players from Bristol, Bath and surrounding areas in the South West. With mens netball ever growing across the UK, Hawks are keen to represent the South West and give males on this side of the country the opportunity to play closer to home, or even start their netball journey!
South West Hawks have their first ever trials scheduled for Saturday 19th June at Coombe Dingle Sports Complex, Bristol. The trial is inviting all males whether experienced in netball or not, to come along and take part in some training and match play and experience a taster of the mens version of the game. The aim is for organisors to then form a team who can train and compete against both male and female netball teams across the UK.

With the England Mens & Mixed Netball National Tournament coming up in August 2021 Hawks are keen to field a side and be involved in making history for mens and mixed netball in the UK. So do you know any males who have always been keen to play but never given the opportunity? Are you a male sick of being sat on the side line of the court and fancy the chance to get stuck in? Then South West Hawks want to hear from you! Check out their social media pages for contact details and further information on upcoming dates.”

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)

#wedNEWSday – Level 2 Coaching course takes place in Cornwall!

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

This weekend (19th & 20th June), Cornwall saw the first full England Netball Level 2 Coaching Course take place for the first time in a very long time. Learners gathered together at Sir Ben Ainslie Sport Centre, Cornwall for the face-to-face element of the course, which had been carefully planned in accordance with the current Covid safety guidance. 

 Last week, we caught up with a couple of the local learners from Cornwall based club, Helston NC. Both providing insight into their netball coaching journeys and how they’re finding England Netball’s revamped coaching offer to be.  

Rachel said “It’s been great to continue my coaching journey during this current ‘downtime’ caused by Covid. Being online has made it so accessible for me, with family and work commitments. I’ve found the online classes very engaging, and the online system is very easy to use. Can’t wait for the practical session this weekend to meet everyone in person!” 

Fellow club colleague, Leeza, noted that “Netball has been a big part of my life since primary school.  I had the opportunity to represent my county at U21 and still play in the Cornwall Senior and Social leagues.  I felt I wanted to give something back to the sport I love and when the Level 2 course was offered and to be held on the doorstep at Sir Ben Ainslie Centre, Truro it was just too good an opportunity to miss!”. 

 For further information about England Netball’s Level 2 Coaching Courses and for future course dates, please head to England Netball | Coaching. 

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)

#wedNEWSday – We Love Walking Netball

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

We hear from Angela Bass, Trailblazers Walking Netball on how it feels to get back on court. She told us:

After months of “What’s App” chat trying to keep everyone’s spirits up it was great, on the 15th April to be welcomed back to Hutton Moor Leisure Centre albeit on the outdoor Tennis courts and how brilliant to get our Trailblazers ladies back together.  With some funding from Sports England and “This Girl Can” campaign, we managed to purchase some extra equipment: beanbags, targets, marker spots, low nets, new netballs, we started our campaign of “Lets get Netfit”,  the aim to get our ladies moving again, regain their confidence, no pressure, just fun and lots of smiles and laughter. So with the Partnership Agreement, social distancing, sanitising stations, Covid officers, Opt in forms, 4  foot rule on court and groups of six off court  all in place and eighteen ladies raring to go we were back.

It was wonderful to see everybody enjoying themselves, although it was a challenge  to make sure we were following all the guidelines. As Hosts we felt a tremendous responsibility to keep all our ladies safe. They were  brilliant and the only problem was  they were so excited being back together they seemed to have lost the ability to count to 6 !!  We had to constantly remind them of this when leaving the court.     Sessions continue to bring new challenges but  we look forward to the time when we can all relax and just enjoy our Walking Netball without restrictions.

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)

#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 – 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)

 

#wedNEWSday – 400 days ago…

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

On Saturday (24th April) it had been exactly 400 days since Gloucestershire netball members had stepped foot on a netball court.

Across two venues – All Saints’ Academy in Cheltenham and St Peter’s School in Gloucester – 66 netballers took to court to participate in Return to Court sessions run by Gloucestershire Netball.  The coach lead sessions focused on fitness, injury prevention and fun!

Stroud Ladies NC returning to court last weekend

Stroud Ladies NC returning to court last weekend

There are four Return to Court sessions in total leading up to summer league which, this year, will be played under modified rules and be non-competitive to ensure covid compliancy.

In conjunction with getting players back on court, Gloucestershire Netball have launched their new website https://glos-netball.org.uk/ . The website has been designed to be informative for both current players and the netball workforce, and for those looking to join our sport.

If you would like anymore information with regards to netball in Gloucestershire, please do not hesitate to get in touch (rachel.bussey@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)