Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles.
Following the sudden closure of Gloucestershire’s home of netball (The Arena at Oxstalls Sports Park) at the end of last month, within 10 days all Gloucestershire’s c.350 netball players, coaches and umpires were back on court doing what they do best.
Gloucestershire County Netball Association (GCNA) – the voluntary committee that manage both adult and junior netball within Gloucestershire - were only 24 hours away from starting their competitive winter season when the news broke with no warning leaving over 300 women and young girls without a sports venue that weekend. In addition, there were numerous junior regional tournaments scheduled for the Sunday with teams travelling from as far as Jersey to compete - another tranche of players left without a venue or tournament to secure their place for the competitive season ahead.
Despite this adversity, GCNA sprung into action immediately finding (albeit short time at this stage) solutions to get their netballers back on court and league week one underway. Extensive conversations and site visits were had with local venues, other sports providers and England Netball, resulting in 59 adults and junior clubs taking to court last week.
Nicola Parry, GCNA Adult working group lead comments:
“As a team of dedicated volunteers, we plan our leagues 12 months in advance so to receive less than 24 hours’ notice before the first game of the season that we were to lose our main triple court arena, leaving over 300 players displaced on one Saturday alone, with nowhere to play was quite the predicament. We had no immediate communications on when, how or even if we would regain access to our venue.
Thanks to local schools and sports venues, Barnwood Park School, Leckhampton High School, Hartpury College, Leisure @ Cheltenham and YMCA Sports Centre we have managed to beg and borrow to get the league back on its feet.”
This incredible turnaround demonstrates the well connected, dedicated committee at the helm of netball in Gloucestershire, and on behalf of all those that are involved in netball in the county, thank you. GCNA are continuing to work hard and explore all options to find a longer-term solution for our netball community.
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