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    April 29, 2024

April Organisation of the Month

Wales Netball’s organisation of the month for April has been given in recognition of the junior clubs’ efforts to retain their young players in netball, as they transition into young adulthood. They create an opportunity for girls who are ready to play senior netball at an early stage, to compete in a senior league, but within a familiar club environment. Torfaen Netball Club is doing just that, which is an excellent concept for retaining participation levels among girls, where we frequently see dropouts (U18s).

Torfaen Netball Club is based in South East Wales and hosts approximately 80 players. The club is tied to Cwmbran Youth Netball Club (which has about 300 youth netball players) for facilitating and enabling senior league progression. Every year, Torfaen Netball Club select players from across Cwmbran Youths age groups, who are ready to take the next step on their netball journey and participate in their senior teams. The club now have five U18 senior teams competing in the South East Wales Senior Netball League. Vicki Randall, Club Chair and Coach, stated that the aim for this was to have a club that concentrated completely on the development of younger players in senior netball, giving them new experiences and an opportunity to play with other girls their age in tougher games.

Ultimately, this system has encouraged a smoother transition for junior players into senior leagues. It has also motivated the junior players at Cwmbran Youth, to work harder in order to get invited into the senior teams at Torfaen Netball Club. With being able to offer 60 young players a spot in the senior teams, they are enabling a large number of girls each year, to work on their long-term development. The club notes it has made a definite impact, inspiring girls, and ensuring players have senior level experience before they move into University Netball or Senior Clubs. It has also motivated young girls to pursue netball after junior level, knowing they have the experience and skill level to be confident going forward.

Their A squad started playing in senior leagues when they were 13 years old. Since then, they have gained promotion every year, now competing at premiership level, and sitting 4th in the league tables. Their last season was a large success, winning 3 out of 5 league titles. They also boast a handful of age group international players, namely National Academy Squad 2024 members, U15: Eva Gullotta, Ruby Morris, Jasmine Gibbins, and U19: Caitlin Blanks, who is also a squad member for Cardiff Dragons 2024 Pathway.

One player commented:

“It’s great to still be able to play with girls our age and progress as a team of youngsters. It is also great as a team of U18’s to be doing so well in seniors”.

– Georgina Ahern, player at Torfaen Netball Club.

Thank you to the team at Torfaen Netball Club for providing a space for continued participation of U18’s, we hope your efforts continue to pay off and wish everyone the best for the future.

Wales Netball’s Volunteers of the Month will be announced at the beginning of every month, with an article going on our website and posts going out across all social media channels.

If you would like to nominate your coach, an umpire, or someone who helps your netball club and the wider community, complete the nomination form using this link – https://forms.gle/fREqFRkPFyHnoPRn6

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