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Women set to benefit from new sports partnership

One of the UK’s leading sports and leisure operators has announced a new partnership with a top Vitality Netball Superleague club, aimed at getting more women active in sport.

Everyone Active launched its partnership with Hertfordshire Mavericks at 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 sport.

Through its partnership with Mavericks, Everyone Active wants to get an additional 20,000 girls and women partaking in some form of netball-related activity over the next three years. The pledge comes at a particularly poignant time, with Sport England’s This Girl Can campaign launching in the same month. The Government has also announced its commitment to use revenue from the soft drinks industry to double sports funding in primary schools, meaning there will be more resources available to invest in girl’s activity.

Everyone Active and Mavericks will be working together to upskill level 2 netball coaches and ensure girls and women have access to top-class teaching. Together, they will be rolling out in-school netball programs aimed to engage children at a younger age in the sport. They will also be delivering holiday camps and netball sessions at Everyone Active centres to provide the means for women of all ages and abilities to continue playing.

Everyone Active’s Regional Director, Duncan Jefford, spoke to guests at the launch event about the vision and objectives of the scheme. He said: “We are delighted to have launched this partnership with Hertfordshire Mavericks. It is vital that we reduce inactivity among women, and the plans we have for this scheme will certainly help to achieve this.

“Studies show that 2 million fewer women than men are regularly playing sport. We are determined to close this gap and get more girls and women reaping the benefits, both physical and social, that team activity can bring.”

More than 90 school girls from Watford-based Orchard Primary School attended the launch event and became some of the first children to benefit from the new netball programme created by the partnership. Mavericks player and ambassador of the partnership, Ashleigh Neal, led the session and spoke to guests about the benefits of introducing girls to the sport at a younger age.

“It’s fantastic that we have been able to team up with Everyone Active. The brilliant facilities it has across the UK means there is scope to get women all over the country benefitting from the programme,” said Ashleigh. “In other countries, such as Australia and New Zealand, they engage girls in the sport from as young as five years’ old, meaning it is integrated into their lives from very early on and increasing the likelihood they will continue to play as they get older. This is what we aim to achieve with Everyone Active.”