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    Wales Netball

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    February 24, 2024

February Organisation of the Month

The Ynys Môn Netball Team that competed in the first Island Invitational Netball Games, is Wales Netball’s Organisation of the Month for February – due to the enormous dedication, commitment, and motivation from all involved!

The first ever Island Invitational Netball Games (IING) brought the little island of Ynys Môn (Anglesey) together to compete in a high standard competition against five other islands in November 2023. This included the Isle of Man who are ranked 27th in the world! Ynys Môn brought Welsh representation to the games, and in September, they had 40 girls trialling to be selected as one of 15 travelling players and 3 training partners. Despite being a small island, the incredible talent displayed made selection difficult. The team selected showed a mixture of experience and youth, with Saran Griffiths the youngest player at just 16 years old.

All players worked relentlessly in securing sponsorship to ensure they could travel to the games. They contacted companies through letters, phone calls, emails, and personal visits, as well as promoting on social media. Thanks to their effort, they had 35 different sponsors, sponsoring both the team and individuals. Companies also donated free fitness classes, first aid kits, and nutrition such as protein powder and electrolytes. Kit for all the players and management team was discounted by Exile Sportwear and covered by the Socially Distant Podcast.

The girls had just 3 training sessions leading up to the tournament, with just one of these being with the full team due to university and work commitments. Despite this, several Ynys Môn players had prior performance level experience including representing U21 Wales and the Loughborough Pathway which enabled them to lead the team during the 8-week preparation, and week of competition. All players were able to take to court and represent Ynys Môn with pride. There was significant progress in not only the team but also individual players as a result of learning and reflection and the benefits of playing against some tough oppositions was evident throughout the tournament. It was imperative that the management team set targets that were achievable and motivating – and so they focused on small wins and celebrated each element of success. Team culture was also a priority, with spirits and morale lifted throughout.

“Everyone encouraged each member of the team and the support from each other really helped when we were facing fatigue. We cannot forget the coaching staff with their constant positive feedback which made us really feel that anything was possible.”

Cerys Parry (GK)

After four defeats which contained many positive take-aways, their longed-for win arrived in style. The team went into their last game with high energy, focusing on keeping possession and keeping basic error rates low. Giving 100% from the first to the final whistle, Ynys Môn secured their first win (57-41) in their last game against Guernsey, securing their 5th spot in the tournament.

“I’ve never felt so proud to be part of such an amazing thing. Beating Guernsey in the last game felt incredible, we all celebrated like we won the whole tournament. We got the win through grit and determination.”

Lucy Leonard (Co-Captain)

Next year they want to really be able to push games against teams such as Orkney and Shetland and know that the tournament is likely to get bigger with islands such as Malta and the Cayman Islands wanting to be involved, who both have world rankings too. Not only was this a fantastic opportunity for all involved, but it was also a great event to share the Welsh language with other islands. The team sung Penblwydd Hapus to a Guernsey player on her Birthday, and were regularly heard singing along to Yma o Hyd.

A big well done from Wales Netball to the Ynys Môn Netball Squad, and their Coaching and Management Team, for their incredible efforts at last years tournament. You truly put Ynys Môn on the map, and we hope you have an excellent cycle this year looking ahead to the next IING.

At the halfway point of every month, Wales Netball will announce its Organisation of the Month. An article will be displayed on our website and a post will be shared across all our social media channels.
If you would like to nominate an organisation involved in the Netball community, complete the nomination form using this link: https://forms.gle/9RxwRWndbCRX4fgCA

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