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Local school girls get active through new netball partnership

A new partnership between a local sports and leisure provider and top female sports team is helping more women in Watford get active.

Everyone Active launched a new partnership with Vitality Netball Superleague team, Hertfordshire Mavericks, at its Watford Woodside Leisure Centre on Wednesday (8th February). It marks the beginning of a drive by the two organisations to get more girls and women participating in team sport.

More than 90 school girls from Watford-based Orchard Primary School attended the event and became some of the first children to benefit from the new netball programme created by the partnership. They were taught skills to use on the court by players and coaches from Mavericks, as well fun drills and training exercises to keep them fit and active.

Leanda Jones, PE Coordinator at Orchard Primary School, said: “It was a joy to see our key stage 2 girls all participating in the launch event.

“It was clear to see an obvious development of their skills from the time they spent on court with Mavericks players and coaches, as well as team work and some very rosy cheeks.”

Guests at the event also got to hear from Mavericks player, Ashleigh Neal, about her experiences of playing netball in Australia, and the benefits of introducing girls to sport at a younger age.

Everyone Active’s Regional Director, Duncan Jefford also spoke about the vision and objectives of the scheme. He said: “We are delighted to have launched this partnership with Hertfordshire Mavericks. It was fantastic to see how engaged the children were with the lesson, and proves that girls as young as seven can really benefit from top-class netball coaching.

“Studies show that 2 million fewer women than men are regularly playing sport. We believe everyone can benefit from being more active, and through the partnership we’re determined to close this gap. We aim to get more girls and women involved in team activity and reaping all the benefits, both physical and social, which that can bring.”

Everyone Active and Mavericks will now be working together to upskill level 2 netball coaches and ensure that local girls and women have access to topflight teaching. As well as in-school netball programs for younger children, the two organisations will also be delivering holiday camps and netball sessions at Everyone Active centres aimed at women of all ages and abilities.