Nearly 100 ladies from across the region came to Portsmouth recently to take part in a friendly Walking Netball festival.
Stroll Sisters remained unbeaten throughout the day, pipping Gosport-based Viners by just one goal, to take the winners’ medals. The result was identical to the first Hampshire Walking Netball festival held in Southsea last summer.
England Netball’s Community Coach Debbie Laycock organised both festivals and is seeing an increase in the popularity of the latest netball development programme.
She said: “We had heaps of interest in the latest festival which resulted in more teams entering and travelling further too. This time it was great to welcome a team from the Isle of Wight and also groups from the New Forest. Our aim was to make sure the participants left with smiles on their faces, having had the best time! As well as the netball, there was opportunity to have natter over coffee and home- made cake and share their walking netball experiences with other players and groups.”
Carol Maybe from West Wight was awarded ‘Best and Fairest Player’ as voted for by the festival’s volunteer umpires.
Laycock added: “Walking Netball is a great leveller, we try not to get too excited but I think some of the ladies found a competitive edge that they hadn’t seen for a few years – it was done in the very best of spirits though!”
Ann Selby, one of the team organisers said: “West Wight Walking Netballers ventured across the Solent for their first Walking Netball Tournament and it was a great day, meeting like-minded netballers! Coming 3rd was incredible, and our team mate, Carol being voted Best & Fairest player was exciting. Well done to Debbie and all the volunteers, it was fantastic!”
England Netball launched Walking Netball in 2016, with Fareham Leisure Centre being chosen as one of the pilot programmes. Since that time 500 participants have been through the Walking Netball doors, in the local area, alone.
Laycock said: “As always, huge thanks to our volunteer umpires, cake makers, refreshment sellers and raffle contributors. We couldn’t put on events like these without such support and I am delighted we raised £234 for Cancer Research UK on our fundraising raffle and cake sale.”
1. Stroll Sisters
3. West Wight
4. Milton Maids
6. Fareham Follies
8. Fareham Foxes
Walking Netball sessions are happening locally now in Fareham, Swanmore, Havant and Gosport. For more information on session across the country please log on to https://www.englandnetball.co.uk/my-game/walking-netball/
Stroll Sisters - Winners
Viners - Runners up
Information for journalists: Please contact Debbie Laycock direct on Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07854 090473.