Netball continues to be one of the
country’s fastest growing sports and netball clubs across the nation are
experiencing unprecedented demand. COVID-19 has put a halt to netball activity
in Wales, however once things begin to return to normal, there will be a couple
of clubs which will hungry to get back to action…
One of these is Rhydyfelin Netball Club (pictured top) which was established in 2015 by a small group of friends who wanted to get together and get fit. As busy family women they wanted to get some of their ‘me’ time back as well! Those six friends soon turned into two teams: ‘Rhyd’ and ‘Felin’. Fast-forward five years and the club now has over 60 senior players as well as thriving junior section!
Claire Stone, Chair of Rhydyfelin Netball Club explained
further. She said: “We currently have 6 teams in the A470 League across all four
divisions and our junior section are playing within the Bridgend Junior League.
“Over the past five years we have supported our members
in developing through both the umpiring and coaching pathways. We currently
have five Level 2 qualified coaches and three qualified umpires. As a club we
actively encourage our members to undertake the ‘Intro to Umpiring’
qualification and also the ‘Netball Leaders’ qualifications so they can
participate in netball events throughout the community.”
Stone added: “It is not always plain sailing having a
club full of females! There certainly have been some obstacles to overcome and
we have had our fair share of injuries! With the support of our committee
throughout the last five years along with the dedication of our players and
their families we have been able to grow and continue to grow; allowing women and
girls to participate in netball.”
Head further north and you will find another netball
club that has been on a remarkable journey of growth over the last few years:
Merthyr Ladies Netball Club.
Merthyr celebrated twelve years of netball this month. The
club was started in 2008 by local PE teacher, Rebecca Pilarz. Within two years
the club had developed an A and B team and started looking into creating a
Fast forward twelve years and Merthyr Ladies Netball
Club now has 10 teams – both seniors and juniors catering for a range of ages
and providing wonderful opportunities for women and girls in Merthyr Tydfil to
keep fit and develop their netball skills. They also have just started a new
Mini netball session for children in school years 2-5.
Joanna Fisher, Merthyr Ladies Netball Club Secretary
said: “Merthyr has a committed group of coaches, players and the most
supportive families that help the club grow. The club does a lot of fundraising
work within the community and has secured sponsorships from a range of local
businesses. They have also provided mascots to support the Welsh senior squad
as well as Celtic Dragons in the Superleague.
“We now have 5 senior teams playing in the A470 League,
the A team is in Division 1, the B’s and C’s in Division 2 and the newly formed
D and Youth teams in Division 4.”
Rhydyfelin and Merthyr are just two examples of the
incredible work being done by netball clubs across Wales. Our ever-growing
netball community continues to provide increasing health and well-being benefits
to women and girls up and down the country. Once the COVID-19 lockdown is over,
sports halls across the land are sure to be abuzz again with squeaking trainers
and umpires’ whistles!