Congratulations Titans!

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

Titans Netball Club in North Devon have received the ‘Coronavirus Hero Points of Light’ award from the local MP Selaine Saxby last month.

Selaine said ‘I am very pleased to announce this week’s Points of Light award winner is the Titans Netball Club.’

‘The club, based in Barnstaple, has been doing some incredible work helping keep their 200 young members engaged in training and fitness sessions during the pandemic, supporting both their mental and physical health. Many young people have found the lockdown particularly challenging with schools closing, being at home full time and unable to see their friends every day, so to have groups and clubs like Titans keeping an important part of their lives going is wonderful.’

In their nomination, the North Devon resident said:

“Throughout lockdown the coaching team at Titans, particularly Lorraine Beel and Michelle Sampson, have organised and run online training and fitness sessions for all the age groups as they were aware that having so many young adults/teen girls as members they needed to keep them engaged to support their mental as well as physical health.

Alongside the coaching sessions for the team they have run family quizzes to keep the whole Titans family involved and happy.  They even managed to secure funding from a charity to buy equipment for the girls at home and posted it out to them. They have arranged online AGM and even a virtual Presentation Evening. They have also organised online training for their coaches.

Motivating and inspiring teenage girls to train individually in all weathers is a wonderful achievement, watching the zoom sessions with over 25 training and being coached is remarkable. Lorraine and Michelle, along with the many other coaches, are a phenomenal team who have worked tirelessly supporting the members of Titans. They have done so much for the community of North Devon and I feel that they should be recognised. During a more normal time, they support and coach teams and individuals who play regionally and even train with Team Bath. They are a credit to North Devon.”

In accepting the award, Lorraine Beel, the Development Officer for the Titans said:

“You have reduced me to tears. I’m so proud of all our achievements within our Club, and especially through this pandemic.

It gives me great pride to say that we have stayed connected with all our members through these challenging times. With numbers reaching nearly 200 members, we wanted to make sure they still stayed in contact, and kept up with their fitness, as a way of staying positive and good for their mental wellbeing.

Our dedicated Coaching Team all stepped in to enable this to happen. Learning new technology tools, Coaches were able to offer Facebook Live netball fitness specific sessions from Day 1 of the Lock Down.

I live and breathe netball, and my main priority has been to see enjoyment and passion of the sport through our fabulous Club.  It gives me huge delight to see the smile on their faces, and know that with what’s going on in the world, we still have each other to support and guide us through. We are just one huge Titans family.

I look forward to the day when we can officially get back onto the netball court, and actually start playing the game again. I feel that our members will be in good stead for next season, with all their commitment in the last few months. We will be a force to be reckoned with.”

It is clear the team’s passion to support young people and their families has been inspiring and are very deserving of this recognition. It is great to see in these pictures, the team starting to come back to socially distant training this week.

Thank you to the whole coaching team at the Titans and all the members that have worked together and shown their team spirit through this difficult time. You have set a wonderful example to others in our community.

I very much look forward to meeting you on the netball court soon!’

Selaine is visiting the club today to see them in their training sessions. Over the past 6 weeks we have had around 100 members join us each Wednesday evening taking part over a 4 hour period with up to 18 socially distanced bubbles and up to 12 dedicated coaches with most taking double sessions.

Previous to this Lorraine set up zoom training sessions almost immediately as we went into lockdown – with individual age group training from U11s to seniors. Plus separate regional training for our talented U16s.

Lorraine’s dedication and hours and hours of admin and coordination on a weekly basis is phenomenal making sure that every member’s safety is the upmost priority.

Thank you for the story, Kim & Congratualtions once again!

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)