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)