On Wednesday 5th July, Burnley FC in the Community participated in their first ever Netball Tournament at Blackburn College. The charity’s Walking Netball Programme, which started just last year, has experienced tremendous growth and garnered increasing interest from women in the community.
After a year of dedicated practice, the team felt prepared to compete in their first tournament, and their confidence was well-placed. Following challenging matches against the likes of Todmorden, Live Wyres and West Pennines the Burnley team made it to the finals, where they not only emerged as the champions but also saw two of their players honoured with individual awards: Players Player and Most Improved Player.
Sue, one of the team members, expressed her delight at being awarded Players Player, which was voted on by all participating teams after each match. She shared, “Receiving the recognition from fellow netball players felt incredibly rewarding. It’s not just about me, but also about promoting Burnley Netball in the community as a team sport.”
Michelle, who was named Most Improved Player, reflected on her journey after the tournament. “Winning the ‘most improved’ title was an amazing feeling. I was both surprised and proud to have been chosen. When I joined the walking netball sessions, I had never played netball before and was a bit apprehensive about the tournament, considering my limited knowledge of the rules. However, playing alongside my supportive teammates, I gradually settled my nerves, and when I scored my first goal, it was a truly exhilarating moment.”
Michelle also encouraged more women to join the walking netball sessions as a means of staying active and venturing outside their comfort zones. She shared her positive experience, stating, “The sessions are relaxed, friendly, and welcoming. You don’t need to be a netball expert, and the coaches do a fantastic job of introducing the game at a pace suitable for beginners like me.”
A massive congratulations goes out to the entire team, as well as Netball Development Officer Thea, whose remarkable guidance and inspiration have been instrumental in their success.