2019 ‘A Big Year For English Netball’

Netball has a big year ahead of it, with a recent article for Sky Sports noting that the sport has never had a better opportunity to boost its growth and popularity.

Although the big date in England is the World Cup, which will be hosted here in July, there is plenty to look forward to before then and that can help build momentum for the sport.

This month marks the beginning of the Vitality Superleague, when many of England’s star players will be on court with their domestic teams.

Speaking to the news provider, Sara Bayman, director of netball at Loughborough Lightning, said that the rising popularity of the sport off the back of the England team’s Commonwealth Games performance has been important.

“It’s now just getting the platform where people can see it and that’s what the success of the England team is allowing and hopefully will continue to allow,” she stated.

Meanwhile, England netball player Ama Agbeze, who was among the gold-winning team, has told Sky Sports that they need to bring home gold at the forthcoming World Cup.

In an interview with the news provider she commented: “I think for netball in England, netball needs us to get a gold medal too so there’s a lot of pressure but hopefully we’ll just take it in our stride, forget about the pressure, have fun and get ourselves on the podium.”

If the performance of the England netball team, and the prospect of watching some fast-paced action in this year’s Vitality Superleague, has got you longing to get back on the court, find Elmbridge netball classes and get started with a team this year.

How To Stay On Track With Your New Year’s Fitness Goals

How many of us hit 1st January and set out a list of goals about getting fitter, healthier and more toned in the new year? But by the end of the first month of the year, how many of us are still going?

Probably fewer than we’d care to admit. So if you’re serious about getting fitter and healthier in 2019, what can you do to make sure you stay the course? An article for My Record Journal recently offered some top tips.

First up is that you don’t need to join a gym to do exercise. If you’ve tried working out at a gym before and found that it just doesn’t work for you, then look for other options. Finding Putney netball lessons could be ideal, for instance.

You also don’t need to train every day. The news provider notes that sticking to a routine is more important than hitting the gym every day. “It’s better to commit to a twice a week workout than a rigorous four times a week workout,” the article states.

When it comes to setting goals, make them small and specific. That way you won’t get disillusioned because you still have a long way to go one month in, and it will allow you to set new goals as you progress throughout the year.

An article for Joe also offered some tips on sticking to fitness goals in 2019. Among them is to find a training partner, because this can make you feel more accountable and makes you less likely to miss a session.

Training for a team sport like netball will have the same effect – you won’t want to let people down by failing to turn up to training sessions and that means you’re more likely attend each week.

England Netball – Take centre stage among the sporting elite

England Netball – Take centre stage among the sporting elite

Back in April, thousands of English netball supporters sat in the dark at 4am, waiting for the Netball Final of the Commonwealth Games – hoping England would take it to the Aussies and make it a good game.  We hoped, prayed and wished for a win – but with the home team producing several strong performances and dominating the international scene, it seemed a difficult task.  It was a great game – the Vitality Roses definitely took it to the Aussies and history was made.  The netball world order had shifted and we will all remember where we were the moment Helen Housby sank the final goal and all screaming and running around our living rooms at 5 in the morning.

Image – Sky News

What we witnessed was a team of women who dug deep, they weren’t phased when they went behind, they weren’t pushed off the ball in a physical game and they took every opportunity they earned and were sometimes given.  With a new coaching team and a centralised – they were doing things differently and it worked.  This was the result of years of hard work from the players, the coaching staff and the governing body.  They had worked tirelessly for this moment, they wanted it, deserved it and they took it with both hands.

In the netball world – we knew this was huge!  The players were superstars and amongst ourselves we celebrated the achievements of this team and coaching staff – they had changed the netballing landscape and inspired generations.  More girls took to the courts to learn the game and thousands of women dusted off the netball kit and found themselves a team – England Netball saw an increase in participation of 130k in just 3months.  Since that Gold medal, Nike have been announced as the England Netball kit sponsor, Sport England committed to further investment and Vitality signed a huge sponsorship deal.  Netball had moved into the spotlight and last night was the opportunity to shine on the world stage.

(Photo credit:  FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)

At the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards, the Vitality Roses stood proudly on the stage in front of the international sporting elite.  Every long journey they made for a game, the juggling of studying and full time jobs with training, every sprint that hurt, the pain of losing, the injuries and the setbacks –it was all worth it.  They will have remembered the first match they won, their first teammates, the coach who introduced them to the game and most off all their parents, family and friends who supported them through every selection, every victory and every loss –it all led them to here.

Image via The Netball Show – Twitter

As the England Netball team stepped on to the stage to be presented with Team of the Year and Sporting Moment of the Year at the SPOTY awards – it was their time, their turn and they deserved to win – but most all they belonged.  Women’s sport was centre stage in the arena of sporting greatness and they had their place – inspiring the next generation – as after all ‘if you can see it – you can be it’.

Tips On Keeping Kids Active Over Christmas

Christmas is a time for relaxing, resting and indulging. However, it is also important to keep your kids active, whether it is the festive period or not, to make sure they stay as healthy as possible when there are a lot of sugary treats around.

Here are some tips on how to get your children moving over Christmas.


– Boxing Day walk

According to recent data from the national child measurement programme, the problem of childhood obesity is getting worse, with severe obesity among year six children increasing by over a third since 2006.

Therefore, as they are likely to be tucking into more chocolates and cakes than usual, it is a good idea to keep their activity levels up to reduce the chance of weight gain.

A great way to do is to go on a Boxing Day walk. By getting the whole family involved, children are more likely to participate, and it is good for keeping everyone healthy over Christmas. What’s more, you can get some much-needed fresh air and a chance to catch up with loved ones away from distractions at home.


– Get them a fitness tracker

If you have yet to finish Christmas shopping, consider getting your kids a fitness tracker. This will encourage them to meet their step target every day – particularly over Christmas when they are unlikely to be taking as many steps as usual.


– Enrol them in a team

Get them involved in team sports, such as girls’ netball classes, which has many benefits, including keeping them active, boosting comradeship, and encouraging them to make friends.

England Netball Team Cites ‘Funetherness’ As Key To Success

The England women’s netball team, who won gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games, have revealed that one of the secrets to their success is a term they’ve coined: Funetherness.

Speaking after England Netball won team of the year at the BT Sport Action Woman of the Year Awards, captain Ama Agbeze explained that funetherness is a team motto that’s “a combination of fun and togetherness”.

The Telegraph reported on her comments, noting that it took a lot of work to create that exceptional team bond, and for everyone involved to buy into it.

Ms Agbeze also told the newspaper why funetherness was so important for the team. “When things are fun you push yourself more and have a laugh. Everyone always goes on about family but it’s just like that with us,” she said.

She also stressed the importance of hard work when it comes to their success on the court this year. Four years ago, the team lost their semi-final match against New Zealand by a single point, and then went on to lose the bronze medal playoff to Jamaica.

Since then, they have put in a lot of time and effort to get back to winning ways and it’s clear the work is paying off. However, Ms Agbeze stressed that they’re not going to relax, with the Netball World Cup set to be hosted in the UK next year.

Netball has been placed firmly in the spotlight by the winning England team, whose win in the Commonwealth Games final has also been nominated for the Greatest Moment of the Year, an award which will be handed out at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony later this month.

If you’re inspired to start playing, look for Reigate netball lessons in the new year and get involved.

Parents ‘Struggling’ To Get Kids Away From Screens

We all know the benefits of getting out and about and being more physically active, whether that’s by signing up for Kingston netball lessons, kicking a ball about or simply just going for a long walk around your local area – but it seems that there are many parents out there still struggling to convince their children to step away from their computer and phone screens, and start being more active instead.

Chief executive of Sport England Tim Hollingsworth has come out and said that helping parents encourage their children to be more physically active is one of his key challenges, with a new study due to be released that will examine the levels of activity among young people, the BBC reports.

Mr Hollingsworth explained to BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme that he too faces the same struggles as other mums and dads, as the father of two teenage boys… and he’s now going to try to make sport more accessible for all.

“How do you make sport more accessible? Can we make booking a sporting facility or going and finding out what’s available to you as easy as TripAdvisor makes it for hotels and restaurants?

“We do have to think differently about what activity is, what exercise can be, because it’s not right to suggest that everyone has the time, the space, the opportunity, the finances to do sport in a purely traditional way,” he went on to say.

It seems that an increasing number of people are becoming more interested in leading an active lifestyle and getting off the sofa to move around more. Recent Sport England research shows that nearly 300,000 more people are now enjoying 150 minutes of physical activity each week and 116,400 fewer people are now considered inactive (which means doing over 30 minutes of activity every week).

If you’re keen to start moving about more or encouraging your kids to do the same, starting netball classes could be a really fun way to go about it. Not only your health and fitness improve, but you could make lots of new friends into the bargain.

Here at Sisters n Sport, we run a series of different programmes aimed at people of all ages so everyone can take part. If you have very little ones at home, why don’t you look into your Netball Tots class, which is the perfect way to introduce your kids to this particular sport.

We’ll teach them all the key skills involved, from throwing and catching to speed, footwork and agility through lots of fun games, as well as encouraging them to learn about teamwork and collaboration. Parent participation is also required for our preschool classes so you and your brood will have a fantastic time, learning and playing together.


‘How the Fast 5 Netball Tournament inspired me & lots of other young netballers’

‘How the Fast 5 Netball Tournament inspired me & lots of other young netballers’

On Saturday 13th October, I went to watch the British Fast 5 Netball at the Copper Box at the Olympic Park. In my opinion, Fast 5 Netball is a fast paced, inspiring sport when you don’t know what will happen next – one minute you could be losing 15-0 then the next you could be winning 30-15. It’s not a game where if your team is winning by a huge difference you can relax because you never know what will happen next and that is what makes it more exciting and different from other sports.

The atmosphere was fantastic but what stood out to me was not seeing lots of women playing netball, not that it was being filmed by Sky Sports (although both of these were amazing!); what stood out to me was seeing lots of girls supporting their teams – Wasps, Mavericks or Surrey Storm or any other team. They had come to support their team, just as people go to support their football or rugby teams.

Another brilliant thing at the Fast 5 was seeing the players playing their hearts out but then despite being probably very tired, they all took the time to sign autographs. They may not realise it but it means so much to girls my age (11) to meet our sport heroines. Who knows if watching and meeting these netballers might lead to the start of a new generation of female sports stars?

If you have not been to watch a netball match live yet, although you have started playing at school, I would recommend going along to one because it is really inspiring. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it” as the 20×20 campaign says.

It was honour to speak to Sharni Layton and to be allowed to touch Rachel Dunn’s Golden Ball Award for the Player of the Tournament (well done to her). Now all I want to do is to go out and practise lots of shooting!




Natasha Bennett, GA, Age 11


Going to the game…She needs to see it

‘If she can’t see it, she can’t be it’

On Saturday I took my 5 year old daughter to the Copper Box for the British Fast5 Netball Allstars.  I was excited for her to go to a big arena and so with my sister and Mum we headed down to London on the train.

I felt this was a big deal – I was excited about how far the game had come with a huge showcase at The Copper Box, excited she could see some amazing players, be inspired by fantastic athletes and see some close competition. Annie was also very excited – Thunder Bear in hand –she was off to watch her favourite sport and support her team – but for her it was no biggie!  She was going to the game – just like her brother does.

She wasn’t thinking about how great it was to see female athletes at a great venue, or that Sky Sports were showing the event, or how many seats were filled or that it was such a professional, well-organised event – (excellent job by Matchroom) – she was just going to watch Thunder – going to watch her team play.

That’s when I realised we were going in the right direction – making going to the game, normal.

Annie loved the whole day – when Josie Huckle sat next to us and chatted to her about the game – she was awe-struck, when Caroline O Hanlon had a photo with her – she couldn’t stop smiling, when she met Karen Greig and Sharni Leyton – she beamed that these players and coaches had spoken to her – she wanted to be a netballer.  Through watching the awesome talent on display she was inspired by these great athletes and through how approachable they were she believed it was actually possible to be them one day.

Twitter erupted throughout the day – I mean did anyone mention Sharni Leyton was playing… Everyone was talking about the awesome talent on court in Sharni Leyton, Cat Tuivaiti, Ash Brazill, Anna Thompson, Stacey Francis, Shelby-Ricketts and the ridiculous shooting from Rachel Dunn and Karyn Bailey.  Everyone was talking about what a brillant atmosphere there was and what a great event it was.  We all showed up and it was great!  We all came away thinking – we need to do this again!

On Monday, the #20×20 campaign from the Federation of Irish Sport was launched – it shows strong girls who love sport.  They love playing and they love watching – but their role models are all men.  Through the strong tagline – ‘If she can’t see it, she can’t be it’ – it makes us realise that as well as the media – we need to make sure our girls need to SEE elite women in their sports – so they can aspire to be them and believe it is possible.

Through the successful campaigning from pioneering sportswomen and organisations, there are now more opportunities to take our sons and daughters to the women’s game, to expose them to the joy and anguish of sport, the wins and the losses, the role models and the inspirations.  Through the ShowUp campaign we know we need to turn up to the game and turn on the TV to show that we want to see these events  – numbers are the key!

As we arrived back in Chester, Thunder ball under one arm and Thunder Bear in the other – I asked my daughter if she had fun – she looked up at me and said ‘Yes!  Can we go and watch girl’s football next?’

My heart burst – I just need to make sure it’s a United game….



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