Netball Player Numbers Shooting up in South East

Sports:

Netball

Location:

South East Wales

South East Wales is seeing a surge in the number of people taking up Netball thanks to the creation of a new forum.

The South East Regional Netball Forum which has adopted a new and unique approach to supporting community clubs, is focusing on supporting those on the ground, with a passion for the sport, to drive developments in the area.

Increased memberships, of up to 100% in some cases, are now being reported by the clubs falling under the new Forum, which has brought together the South East and Wye Valley league associations to offer a combined approach of developing opportunities across the wider region.

The Forum, which also brings in Sport Wales, the University of South Wales, the Local Authorities of Newport, Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire, Caerphilly and Torfaen, and the Urdd as partners, benefits from a number of new advantages which are allowing local decisions, based on local demands to be made.

Greater insight and understanding into the regional landscape, and the sharing of data, best practice and other resources across the partner organisations has allowed the forum to deliver impressive results against the new regional netball strategy, which is now the agreed focus for all forum members.

Alongside providing an agreed strategy and shared pool of resources and insight, supporting those on the ground to increase participations numbers, the forum has allowed a number of new developments.

The Urdd are working with Welsh Netball to jointly develop a new Primary School Competition, which will see the integration of previously separate Welsh language competition and school based competitions into one league.

The forum has also ensured that for first time, netball will provide options for every age group, from toddlers to adults.  The approach marks a significant change in the delivery of netball, providing resources to support youngsters coming into the sport from just 3 years of age.

Sport Wales Senior Officer, Sarah Roberts comments:

"The initial results that the forum is showing are extremely encouraging.  There is no doubt that we have always had extremely passionate people on the ground dedicated to developing opportunities in their individual areas, we now however have all of these individuals working together for one common goal.

"The forum has allowed the clubs in the region to focus their efforts based on real evidence such as the Sport Wales School Sport Survey, and Welsh Netball data to help inform local decisions.  They are now also supporting each other across the area through sharing expertise and resources."

Vicki Randall of Cwmbran Juniors added:

"We have seen a massive increase in players this season from around 50 to 90 girls playing from u10s-u13s.

"The forum helped us in terms of recruiting extra volunteers, and also in identifying funding opportunities and then gaining access to this funding.  It also meant that we have been able to introduce Netball Tots, thanks to the new development pathway that has been produced for the region, which is obviously a great additionally for us as a club and for the local region.

"The improved links that we now have with our Local Authority thanks to the forum has not only supported all of the above but also has led to the introduction of local netball hubs, to support some of our older players to develop their skills at a higher level.

"The future of Cwmbran Youth is very bright."

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