Red Bull Brings Own Brand Of Netball To Manchester

It’s safe to say that the performance of the English Roses in recent netballing competitions has elevated the sport in the minds of the public in the UK.

We love seeing so many people taking an interest in netball and all it can offer them, either by following the league and national competitions or by joining in with Reigate netball classes.

But now there’s a new version of netball coming to the UK. Later this month, Red Bull will bring its Red Bull Switch Up event to Manchester. This is an opportunity for small teams to compete against one another in a very different format to traditional netball.

GiveMeSport explained that the matches are played on just half a court, with only one goal. There are four players per team and everyone is allowed to shoot. The format also introduces new set positions, and two scoring zones: one within the D and one outside. If you score within the D, you earn one point, but scoring from outside the D earns you three points.

Tamsin Greenway, ex-England netballer, commented: “After a massive year for netball it’s great to see tournaments such as Red Bull Switch Up continuing that hype and passion for the sport here in the UK.”

The tournament will take place at EventCity in Manchester on 23 November, when all-women teams will battle it out to be crowned champions. This is the fourth year that Red Bull has run the event.

Red Bull’s tournament is far from the only high-profile netball competition to look forward to in the UK. In January, England will host the inaugural Vitality Netball Champions Cup in Nottingham.

Johnson-Thompson Wins Heptathlon Gold

Katarina Johnson-Thompson proved British female athletes should not be underestimated when she took home the heptathlon gold at the World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 last week.

The 26-year-old Liverpudlian scored 6,981 points at the tournament, being held in Qatar, setting not only a personal best, but a new British record.

She managed to beat British record-holder Jessica Ennis-Hill, who previously scored 6,955 for her heptathlon contest at the London Olympics 2012.

Showing her support for fellow heptathlete, the now retired Ennis-Hill told the Mirror: “Nobody can doubt her now. She has faced the best in the world and come out on top.”

This accolade for Johnson-Thompson comes after several years of competing in international competitions, including the London Olympics 2012, previous World Championships, and Rio 2016 Olympics. During the latter tournament, she placed sixth with a mark of 6,523.

However, the athlete is now on track to take home the top prize at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics later this summer.

Johnson-Thompson has clearly been left overwhelmed by her own achievements, taking to Twitter to say: “Honestly I can not believe what happened last night. WORLD CHAMPION. PB & New British record 6981 what the hell! [sic]”

Support for the rising star has been so great, this tweet alone has been re-tweeted 3,700 times and liked by 86,800 people on the social network.

Female athletes are doing wonders for encouraging young women to get into sport, particularly when they walk away with huge accolades such as this.

If Johnson-Thompson’s achievements have inspired you, why not look at Putney netball lessons and see what you are capable of?

England To Host Inaugural Vitality Netball Nations Cup

England netball team the Vitality Roses will be taking on the Jamaica Sunshine Girls, the New Zealand Silver Ferns and the South Africa SPAR Proteas teams in the first Vitality Netball Nations Cup in January 2020.

The Roses will be playing in front of a home crowd between January 19th and 26th, with the action kicking off in Nottingham on the 19th – the first time an international netball competition has come to the city since 2011.

The competition will begin with England playing new World Champions New Zealand, while Jamaica will take on South Africa in what is sure to be a very exciting start to the tournament.

Once the Nottingham round has taken place, the event will move to Arena Birmingham before concluding at the Copper Box Arena in London for the last two days of the competition, held between the 25th and 26th.

This is the latest move on the part of Vitality to inspire more people to start playing netball… and you can help the brand in this worthy endeavour by signing up for Elmbridge netball classes, or others going on in your local area.

The game is a huge amount of fun, whether you’re new to it or not, and not only will you find you have more energy and feel better thanks to all the exercise you’re getting but you’re sure to make lots of new friends at the same time.

Vitality Roses head coach Jess Thirlby had this to say about the new event: “[The] competition is higher than ever and teams are out to prove themselves following the incredible exposure of the World Cup. Not only will we be gaining a valuable opportunity to face some of the world’s best teams, we will also be competing in a completely brand new international competition.

“It is also the first time that the Roses will compete on home soil since the Vitality Netball World Cup and the first time we will be taking netball to three different cities in one series. There’s so much to look forward to and we’re really excited to see all the Roses fans back out in force.”

Pre-sale tickets for the event have been on sale since September 19th, available for all England Netball members to purchase. General ticket sales go live today (September 26th) – so make sure you’re first in line if you’re keen to see some of the action.

If you’re not lucky enough to score yourself some tickets, you can still keep up with the competition via the England Netball Twitter account, as well as on Sky Sports… so there’s no excuse for not watching lots of netball and starting the year off on the right foot!

For affordable netball lessons in Wandsworth, give us a call today.

How To Improve Your Dynamic Core Strength

If you’ve been enjoying Wandsworth netball classes recently, no doubt you already know how many twists and turns you have to make when in the throes of a very competitive game of netball.

Having a strong dynamic core could prove very useful on the netball court in this regard, as it means you can move in all sorts of directions very quickly without losing your balance and maintaining tension in your body. It can make it very difficult indeed for the opposition to keep up with you and the ball, and means that you’re better able to chase as and when needed.

There are some interesting exercises you can do that can really help improve your core strength – some of which are lots of fun.

What about standing on a wobble cushion, back to back with one of your teammates, and passing a ball around and around between the two of you? It can be quite hard to keep your balance but you’ll find that you improve as your core gets stronger.

Core stability is vital for both dynamic and static balance but you need to make sure that you’re also working on your stability at the same time. So prioritise exercises that are, multiplanar, functional and are a reflection of what you do in real life, as well as those that make you use single and double leg movements.

Give a half kneeling wood chop a go, a brilliant exercise because it gets you to work in the transverse plane, as well as working all sorts of different parts of your body, like your obliques, lats, shoulders and your transverse abdominals.

For your starting position, kneel down and then bring one leg through in front of the other, with your knee bent at 90 degrees and your foot flat on the floor. Hold a 3kg dumbbell by the knee on the floor, holding both ends. Bring the weight up to the ceiling diagonally across your body, twisting your abs at the same time but with your hips facing forwards. Bring the weight back down.

Also give the Dead Bug a try. Lie down with your arms stretched out, then bend hips and knees to a 90-degree angle. Make sure your abs are switched on and that your lower back is pressed into the floor.

Take a deep breath and extend your left leg towards the floor, bringing your right arm overhead, exhaling as you do. Don’t let your back arch and keep your abs switched on. Return your arm and leg to the starting position and repeat with the opposite side.

These are just a couple of ways to strengthen your core, but talk to your local netball coach if you’d like to find out more about the different exercises involved.

Check out more exercises on Coach Mag.

Too Old To Start Exercising? No Such Thing!

If you’re above a certain age and believe that there’s little point in starting to get more exercise now, whether that’s by going to the gym or going for some netball classes in Wandsworth, perhaps, it seems that this is not the case at all.

New research from the University of Birmingham has found that even those people who are completely unaccustomed to exercise and keeping fit can benefit from exercises like weight training.

The study looked at people in their 70s and 80s who were either lifelong exercisers and still able to compete at the top level in their chosen sport, as well as those of a similar age who had never taken part in structured exercise programmes.

Each individual was given an isotope tracer before doing some exercise and weight training on a machine. Muscle biopsies were then taken before and after the exercise, and examined to see how the muscles were responding.

The expectation was that the master athletes would have an increased ability to build muscle because of their levels of fitness over the years, but it was found that both groups displayed an equal capacity to build muscle through exercise.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Leigh Breen – lead researcher – said: “Obviously a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.

“Current public health advice on strength training for older people is often quite vague. What’s needed is more specific guidance on how individuals can improve their muscle strength, even outside of a gym-setting through activities undertaken in their homes – activities such as gardening, walking up and down stairs, or lifting up a shopping bag can all help if undertaken as part of a regular exercise regime.”

If you are slightly older and want to start getting more exercise, remind yourself that it’s never too late to get fit. Walking is one of the best ways to start since you don’t need any special equipment and it won’t put too much stress and strain on your joints, unlike running.

Swimming is also something else you could consider, since this also helps to protect your body while you get some exercise. And then, once you’re feeling a bit more fit and active, what about joining us for a fun netball class to see what skills you have? Even if you aren’t especially good at the sport, there’s always room for improvement and you’ll make a lot of friends as you grow in confidence. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Costs Forcing Children Out Of Sport

All children are encouraged to take part in physical activities. However, some are at a disadvantage due to the expensive cost of equipment, classes and sports apparel, according to a recent survey.

The Aspen Institute revealed many youngsters are being forced to drop their favourite hobby as they cannot afford to continue with it.

Sports reporter Mike Gunzelman told FOX Business Network’s ‘FBN:AM’: “The amount of kids playing sports is actually dramatically increasing, and especially with lower-income and middle-class income families, and the main reason why is, of course, the cost of it.”

The survey found that only 38 per cent of kids between six and 12 years old played team sports regularly last year. This is a significant drop from 45 per cent ten years ago in 2008.

According to the report: “Children from low-income families are half as likely to play sports as kids from upper-income homes.”

This could have a detrimental impact on children who want to pursue a career in sports even though their parents might not be able to afford to keep up with payments for classes, clubs, equipment and clothing.

That is why it is so important schools encourage fitness as well, giving children the opportunity to practice their skills for free and use equipment without having to buy it.

One school that is getting kids involved in sports is Manorbrook Primary in Thornbury, which recently introduced the Gymrun fitness scheme for pupils from Years 3 to 6, the Gazette recently reported.

While Gymrun allows children to complete different fitness challenges, some kids might prefer to hone their skills in organised sports classes instead.

For affordable netball lessons in Wandsworth, give us a call today.

Netball… It’s Not Just For Girls!

Sport for boys, sport for girls… there’s no such thing anymore, and men and women can take part in any kind of activity they like, whenever they like. Interestingly, netball has always been one of those sports traditionally viewed as a girl’s game but it seems that there’s a bit of a change in the air right now, with an increasing number of men keen to play.

According to a BBC Sport report, mixed netball leagues are now going great guns and there is now one well-known men’s team, launched in 2018, making a name for itself as we speak, despite the fact that there’s no England national seven-a-side team and the men’s game is not yet recognised by the International Netball Federation.

The Knights, the all-male team launched back in April last year, was founded by Lewis Keeling who was turned onto the sport by his sister. The team play regularly against some of the best women’s sides out there, gaining exposure from matches and now boasting around 50 players across three squads.

And this year, the Northern Titans were formed by Declan Kohl, made up of male players from between Leeds and Manchester.

While the Netball World Cup has come to an end, there’s still indoor netball (known as NETS), which is a faster version of the game – and England will be taking a mixed side to South Africa for the World Cup in August, as well as a women’s team.

Speaking to the news source, Mr Kohl explained that a change is needed in schools to encourage more men to play. The game itself is a mixed game until the age of 11, with Mr Kohl saying: “That’s where you lose men’s netball. At 11, boys are told it’s a girl’s sport. We’ve definitely had things on Instagram and Twitter where people say, ‘it’s a girl’s sport’ – we’re trying to change that bias.

“Attitudes in big cities have changed a lot in recent years. In Leeds and Manchester, you do have that intercity, cosmopolitan feeling.”

Taking the game as a whole, netball itself is fast becoming one of the most popular activities, with record numbers now signing up to play.

According to the BBC, there has been a 44 per cent rise in participation at grass roots level in the last 12 months – and there are now nearly 30,000 players taking part across England.

This is down in large part to initiatives from England Netball, which have attracted women of different abilities and ages back to the game. These include walking netball, which is the sport’s fastest growing programme – the same as netball but at a slower pace so anyone can play, regardless of how fit or how old they are.

Looking for Kingston netball lessons? Get in touch with us today.

England Take Bronze In Netball World Cup

The English Roses have put in some incredible performances in the Netball World Cup this month, just narrowly missing out on a place in the final when they lost to New Zealand.

It may be some consolation to the English team that New Zealand went on to win the competition, beating long-time rivals Australia by a single goal in a thrilling final match that finished 52-51.

However, England’s Roses can walk away with their heads held high after an incredible run, capped by victory over South Africa in the bronze medal playoff.

The Roses triumphed 58-42 in a convincing win to finish their World Cup on home soil. Coach Tracey Neville is now set to step down from her role to allow her to concentrate on starting a family.

Speaking to the BBC, England captain Serena Guthrie said that they tried to give her the best possible send off.

“We almost feel like we won a gold medal because of how we have changed the game. These 12 athletes have been up against it from the beginning and I’m so proud of everyone,” she said.

For New Zealand, victory in this World Cup ended a 16 year wait for the trophy. Coach Noeline Taurua paid tribute to her veteran players, several of whom are expected to end their international careers following the win, noting that they played a vital role in the tournament.

With so many exciting games being played in the Netball World Cup, you might have been inspired to get back on the court. Sign up for Wandsworth netball classes if you want to return to netball or try the sport for the first time.

With success comes huge expectation….

As I entered the M&S Bank Arena yesterday, I knew that the England Roses were in form and this World Cup was something special.  I was ready to watch them take on the Silver Ferns, for Geva and Eboni to win the ball, for Jade, Serena, Nat and Chelsea to boss the mid-court and for Helen and Jo to be dominating the circle and the shooting percentages and then head to the Final.  But I was so nervous!  It wasn’t that old feeling of ‘we were going against the mighty Ferns, hope they aren’t on their A game so we don’t lose by 25’.  This time the nerves were because England could win and on paper for this game should win and I desperately didn’t want England to lose.  I didn’t want for THEM not to bring their A game and let NZ have a chance of taking the game. So much had changed since THAT Gold Medal.

For years I have watched England take on the Aussies and the Kiwi’s with little expectation – just hope that they get close (and not a white-wash).  I was in awe of the Diamonds and Silver Ferns.  Their athleticism, their power, tactics and skill and the fact they could have a career playing netball.  The England Roses invoke that feeling now and with that comes the expectation and pressure.  Now when the Roses take on these teams – they are expected to win by their fans and anything less will be disappointing – WE NOW BELIEVE.  When they play now – I get the feeling I get when Utd take on City – I am desperate for England to win and I know they can and yesterday I believe they should have (despite the Ferns playing a near perfect game).  England had been on form and firing – with the entire crowd behind them (remind anyone of the Diamonds at the Commonwealth Games in 2018….) but it just didn’t happen.

I am gutted that the Roses won’t be in the final as the atmosphere and battle with the Diamonds would have been immense.  But this is sport and when you step up and win a Gold medal, when your players become household names and when you keep getting great results – you need to expect the pressure .  When you are expected to win, then you can expect huge disappointment when it doesn’t happen.  The England players gave everything – their heart and their effort was all there – but unfortunately so were the errors and that is what makes it hurt.  New Zealand were unbelievable – they were back – strong, accurate and EVERYWHERE!

Though it doesn’t make any of us feel better right now, netball has come a long way since that Gold medal.   We are talking about netball and the Roses, it is on the TV, in the papers and trending all over social media.  As we walk around Liverpool bumping into old teammates, coaches, friends and netball fans from the other side of the world –  we are analysing games, talking about players and working out which combinations we would have played and which players are on their game.  This is something I have watched my Dad do with football for years- a go-to conversation with friends and family – something I didn’t expect to happen to netball.

Though this feeling of disappointment hurts and I can’t bring myself to watch the game again yet – it is how sport should feel.  I would rather this than the old feeling of ‘oh well- they did really well to only lose by 15’ with a shrug of my shoulders and on with my day.  This is why we love sport – it makes us feel, it is unpredictable and that is why the highs are spectacular and the lows can ache.

World Netball is at its most competitive – every competition and ‘friendly’ is now going to attract more viewers, more attention, more pressure (and hopefully more sponsors and money) for the players as on the day – it is anyones and that is exciting and for the fans nerve-wracking!

7 NETBALL WORLD CUP – Signature Moves

With all of the World’s Best Netballers heading to Liverpool and all of the games available on Sky, BBC and streamed on Youtube-  it is the perfect opportunity to see all of their best moves!

1 – Geva Mentor – Geva Roll – The perfect way to get around your shooter cleanly and get the intercept.


THE 'GEVA' ROLLChange things up in defence or attack – watch Sunshine Coast Lightning's Geva Mentor show how 'The Roll' can give you an advantage at either end of the court.Good Luck

Posted by Netball Australia on Sunday, June 24, 2018

2 – Gretel Tippett – Tippett Lay Up – with a basketball background Tippett brings some flair to the court

3 – Shamera Sterling – The Flyer – Great reading of the game means Sterling can time her move perfectly for a spectacular intercept.

4  – Bailey Mes – The Rebound – it doesn’t matter who you put in the circle- if there is a rebound Mes is coming away with the ball.

5 –  Laura Langman – The Feed

Laura Langman works tirelessly through the court picking endless interceptions – and is still able to able to put in an amazing feed.

Laura Langman earns 150th Test cap

Join us in congratulating Silver Fern #133 Laura Langman who has created history as the first ever Kiwi player to earn 150 Test caps! 👏🌿🖤Footage thanks to TVNZ Sport and SKY Sport NZ

Posted by Silver Ferns on Saturday, January 19, 2019

6  – Karla Pretorius – The Read and Fly

Karla Pretorius is an interception machine-she reads the game throughout the court and is poised to pounce.

Karla Pretorius 100 Intercepts

Our very own Karla Pretorius just amassed a league milestone – first player in the Suncorp Super Netball to surpass 100 Intercepts! What a champ! ⚡️🙌😍

Posted by Sunshine Coast Lightning on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

7 – Maria Folau – The Long Bomb – you try to force shooters to shoot as far away as possible – but that is exactly where Folau is at home.