A new and exciting venture for netball in Yorkshire and beyond is being launched as rugby league club Leeds Rhinos and their charity, the Leeds Rhinos Foundation, commit to supporting the country’s most popular women’s team sport.
Leeds Rhinos Netball will deliver training hubs, camps and workshops across the region and beyond with the ultimate aim of securing a Superleague franchise.
Rhinos rugby league stars will come together with more than 150 netball players, parents, partners and coaches from across Yorkshire and beyond for the formal launch on Thursday (6th July).
As well as working as part of the Leeds Rhinos family, Leeds Rhinos Netball is exploring links with Leeds Beckett University and hoping to establish a long-term partnership.
Gary Hetherington, Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive, said:
“At Leeds Rhinos and the Leeds Rhinos Foundation we recognise the values of netball. There are clear synergies – the family friendly approach, the competitive sport played in good spirit, the commitment from athletes to be the best they can and inspire others.”
“That is why we are getting involved, stepping up our interest and promoting Headingley and Leeds as being a centre of excellence which we hope will support to the sport’s highest competition return to this great county.”
Last year, Yorkshire Jets – the Superleague team which had represented Yorkshire – was not awarded a franchise for the current competition. Some of those involved in Jets are involved in this new venture, bringing their expertise and experience to the partnership, and are committed to bringing Superleague netball back to Yorkshire.
Leading Leeds Rhinos Netball will be the former Yorkshire Jets head coach, ex-international player and current England technical coach Anna Carter. She said it’s an exciting moment for the sport:
“I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to lead Leeds Rhinos Netball and grateful to Gary and his team at Headingley for recognising the potential of netball at both a performance and fun level.
“Leeds Rhinos Netball will have two linked but independent aims – firstly, to run the best possible performance development opportunities to improve netball skills, expertise and passion and, secondly, to build towards becoming a Superleague franchise bringing the top-level competition to the region that netballers in Yorkshire desire and deserve.
“I can’t wait to get going so we can achieve both of these.”
Leeds Rhinos Netball will be working closely with the Leeds Rhinos Foundation to support their aim of changing lives through sport.
Bob Bowman, the charity’s Chief Operating Officer, said:
“The Leeds Rhinos Foundation has an incredible track record in sports development, performance and engagement with communities and schools. It is an outstanding model that develops rugby league and we will now be extending that approach into netball, offering opportunities in the most popular female sport this country has to girls in Leeds, Yorkshire and beyond.”