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

This week we are doing a round the region special for our final wedNEWSday story of 2021. Each county Netball Development Officer has picked their counties top 3 highlights for the year and what a year it has been! From the restart of netball to the launch of a new strategy and rebrand, the sport really is going from strength to strength, I wonder what the new year will have in store…

 CORNWALL

  • Before the 2020-21 season was out, several volunteers, players, coaches and officials took their first steps towards rebuilding, reuniting and returning to court. 100 players returned to court through Netball Now programmes, the first summer leagues in a long time took place (junior and senior) and many clubs were working hard at providing regular activity.

Skip forward to the 2021-22 membership year and all the county’s leagues are back up and running and 90% of the county’s 2019-20 registered clubs have returned. Together, this has enabled players, coaches, officials, and volunteers up and down the county to reunite and enjoy being on court together again.

A sell out Level 2 coaching course based in Cornwall, leading to 12 newly qualified coaches in the county. England Netball’s revamped course delivery has also led to 6 newly qualified Level 1 coaches.

DEVON

West Devon County secured £10,000 funding from Sport England for floodlights at Eggbuckland School so they could return netball activity in Plymouth safely and whilst the Plymouth Life Centre was shut for refurbishment. They ran Netball Now sessions, Back to Netball sessions and a summer league which was all free to members and a great success.

All of East Devon’s leagues are back running activity for members successfully helping to return 94% of 19/20 membership.

Back to Netball in Crediton had an amazing 47 participants, a massive well done to coach Sarah Bishton.

SOMERSET

Wellington Netball Now and Back to Netball groups got off to a flying start in May and haven’t looked back since. A total of 156 participants have joined the sessions, and the sessions have provided a great opportunity to get back on court, which has brought a lot of joy. It’s also led to friendly games, hoodies, social events – a real netball community. Well done to all involved!

Not just content with getting their own players back on court, Yeovil Netball Club have started up three new programmes of Back to Netball and Walking Netball, as well as Bee Netball. A very proactive club, they have organised something for every age group and ability level, which is just what we like to see!

All of Somerset’s member leagues have returned, and support given for all clubs to return too. We even had a new club start up this year (Sherborne Wildcatz) who play in Somerset, and the Somerset Netball committee have been super supportive and helpful to those needing extra support for their return to court. Thank you everyone!

DORSET

100% of leagues back up and running and the majority of clubs coming back stronger than ever thanks to dedicated volunteers.

Schools Area and County tournament dates for 2021/2022 set, with organisers appointed for eleven tournaments across the County.

Competitive trials for all U13 and U15 Satellite and County Academies, resulting in strong performance pathways in Dorset.

 WILTSHIRE

Having all EN Leagues back up and running.

Having a strong relationship with Swindon Netball Development Officer and Wiltshire Council encouraging 16 Walking Netball sessions to take place.

The development and success of Junior Netball across the County.

 AVON

The overwhelming supporting from 2663 members which is 90% of 19/20 members who purchased EN membership and helped the rebuild of netball across Avon.

The incredible work from the Avon County Netball Association to help support all their clubs and leagues return, answering all questions and queries.

Working with Netball Development Community Coach Sue to help get as much netball back as possible following the pandemic.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

Over 100 members took part in Gloucestershire’s Return to Court sessions in April – a bespoke programme designed by GCNA to slowly and safely encourage members back to court.

A Gloucestershire Covid Champions WhatsApp group has been created in the county – a platform to speak to Covid Officers directly and share vital information promptly.

All leagues and clubs in Gloucestershire are fully back and membership renewal is up 113% compared to 19/20 putting us in the top ten of percentage renewal in the country and highest in the South West.

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)