Festival Fever

Posted March 16, 2022 by balticdesign

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

Over the past couple of months, the South West has had festival fever. Both Walking Netballers and Back to Netballers have taken to court for a day of competitive play at three events across Devon, Dorset and Cornwall.

Devon opened the South West’s festival season with a Back to Netball festival at Paignton Academy on Sunday 30th January with 6 teams competing in the first festival since early 2020. A fun filled day was had by all with Long Shot taking the winning position closely followed by the runners up The Goal Getters.

In Dorset, all the pre-COVID Walking Netball sessions have returned, with 14 newly trained Walking Netball Hosts, 5 new sessions and 2 more in the pipeline. It has been a busy year! This level of activity is reflected across the region and when we advertised the England Netball South West Walking Netball Festival, to be held at Yeovil on 13th February 2022, we were very quickly oversubscribed. 11 teams competed from across Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire and with over 100 participants in attendance. It was great to see a mix of ages and abilities with everyone having a great time. The true spirit of Walking Netball prevailed with teams helping each other out if they were short of players and being patient with those that were still a little unfamiliar with the rules. The tournament included players new to netball, those retired from league netball and younger players returning to netball whilst recovering from injury and using Walking Netball as part of their rehabilitation. Having strict umpires kept the game safe and injury free, although umpire Alice Clark remarked ‘I never thought I would say ‘advantage jumping GK’ whilst umpiring!’. A big shout out to all those who attended or helped make the event happen from Child Okeford WI, Budmouth Walking Netball, Wonford Walking Netball, Studland and Swanage WIs, West Lulworth WI, Chippenham Walking Netball, Yeovil Walking Netball, Taunton Walking Netball.

The latest festival took place on Sunday 6th March where 6 Walking Netball teams, comprising of 50 players, headed to Bodmin Leisure Centre, Cornwall, for the first time in over 2 years, for a fun filled (yet quite competitive!) afternoon. The day was well supported by a group of umpires from within the county and it was great to hear the umpires remarking on how they enjoyed being involved and getting an insight into this growing area of the netball family. Medals and a prize were awarded to the winners, The Wigglers Cim, and runners up medals awarded to second place The Wigglers 7. Both teams were from Bodmin Netball Club’s Wigglers.

Thank you to all those who have made these festivals happen, I’m sure there will be many more to come so keep your eyes peeled.

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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