As Leeds Rhinos Netball approaches its first birthday, having launched on 8th July last year, we can honestly say it’s been a massive year for all things netball! Here, we’re taking time to reflect on some of the main developments and highlights from this past twelve months.
The pinnacle has to be England’s winning the Commonwealth Games Gold, beating Australia by one goal in their own backyard, in a game that had everything including the dramatic finish which showed sport at its absolute best! Netball fans would do well to follow the Australia and NZ domestic leagues, as well as the Vitality Super League in this country, to stay tuned in on happenings at the very top of our sport.
Since the Commonwealth Games, it’s fair to say netball is much more prominent in the news – as is women’s sport in general – with a number of campaigns helping to drive participation in netball and asking for spectators to show their support, too. Here are a few articles on recent campaigns and occurrences in our sport which are well worth a read:
The Sky Netball and Women’s Sports Trust campaign #ShowUp (encouraging participation in a range of UK women’s sports) https://englandnetball.co.uk/showup-campaign-launched/
A campaign in Australia, Wake Up to Netball, which is proving effective in getting fans out to watch live games: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/sue-gaudion-wake-up-netball/9725944
Closer to home, here’s an article about the development of the Vitality Netball Super League https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2018/05/22/premier-league-football-clubs-could-hold-key-netballs-future/. Note that some of the top English Super League clubs like Wasps are now drawing in big audiences, as are the games played at major arenas such as Manchester and London Live.
And here’s an example of one of the many close games in the Australian league which you would NOT have wanted to miss, an intense 2-goal difference match played recently between West Coast Fever and GIANTS in front of a crowd of 8000+! http://westcoastfever.com.au/News/fever-topple-giants-in-two-goal-thriller
Back home, we had a superb week of fun camps in Blackburn and Leeds over the spring break, with three Commonwealth Gold medalists appearing to coach and inspire athletes plus other top coaches helping our athletes to learn new skills. Both received some great feedback from our athletes; here are some snaps of everyone enjoying camp with amazing role-models Beth Cobden, Jodie Gibson and Nat Haythornthwaite.
We have more exciting camp options this summer starting with our residential/non-residential Boot Camp at Woodhouse Grove. This camp is open to a range of ages and abilities, with excellent coaches, and is a perfectly timed pre-season prep. We also have three Fun Camps across the north in Leeds, Blackburn, and Calderdale, for 8-14-year-olds wanting to improve their game, plus a camp for our Mini netballers aged 6-10 years.
There are still places available at all camps so if you’re interested, get signed up fast at http://www.leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk/camps/
On a final note, we held a successful coaching event at the iconic Headingley Stadium recently, coaching more than 100 athletes in netball alongside our fellow rugby coaches who were helping similar numbers with rugby skills. What a great day, and fantastic to see plenty of new talent emerging!
As ever, we will keep you posted with developments throughout the remainder of the year.
Director of Netball