Netball NI aim to build off World Cup success with introduction of Legacy Programme
After the thrilling World Cup in Liverpool over the summer that saw Northerland Ireland compete against the best in the world, Netball NI has seen a substantial increase in its profile and demand for the sport.
The organisation has now announced, off the back of the excitement of the World Cup, that it is launching a World Cup Legacy Programme, made possible by funding from the Department for Communities.
Having competed in a 'home' World Cup, Netball NI is aiming to build on the exposure the sport, and in particular the Northern Ireland team, received.
The Legacy Programme will try to support every woman and girl in Northern Ireland who wants to play and enjoy netball in a professional and sustainable manner.
The Department for Communities have provided funding, which will allow the scheme to build the capacity of clubs and the organisation's pathway, educate coaches on the specific area of strength and conditioning and continue to build on the work of Netball NI's Schools Officer by developing a skilled workforce in schools to support and feed into the clubs and pathway.
Geoff Wilson, chairman of Netball NI, said: "Qualifying to compete in the World Cup was a huge success for us and we saw first hand the feel good factor this brought to our wider membership as they travelled in droves to support our Warriors in Liverpool.
"Matches being live on TV and our athletes taking part in multiple open events in the build up to the competition only increased the excitement around the squad and the sport.
"Netball NI have been determined since qualifying that we wanted to capture and build on this excitement and increased interest in netball. Thanks to the Department for Communities, we are now in position to make a significant impact at all levels as we look to build and upskill our workforce across schools, clubs and performance pathway."
Karen Rollo, the executive manager of Netball NI, added: "I am delighted that we have been supported by the Department for Communities with our World Cup Legacy Programme, our Warriors squad have achieved huge success over the last number of years and have given everyone involved in Netball in Northern Ireland so much to get excited about.
"We recognise they have done this through a lot of hard work by themselves and the support staff around them, including their club and school coaches so we want to make sure we are supporting all our members, those who play recreational netball and also looking ahead and developing our skilled workforce to allow us to continue to have successful Warrior squads in the years to come.
"Our athletes are role models for many women and girls and by delivering on the objectives of our World Cup Legacy Programme we will ultimately be providing quality, sustainable netball opportunities across the pathway."
Kathryn Hill from the Department for Communities, commented: "The Department for Communities was delighted to follow the progression of the Northern Ireland Women’s Netball Team through the 2019 World Cup Tournament. We are pleased to support Netball NI as it builds on that success and continues to grow netball through its World Cup Legacy Programme.
"Increasing female participation across all sports is a key priority for the Department. Key to this is for governing bodies and clubs to be able to offer quality coaching and a great experience to those taking part in sport for enjoyment right up to those with aspiration to perform at the highest levels."
Netball NI will be rolling out their World Cup Legacy Programme over the coming weeks as they try to maximise the impact it will have in schools and clubs.
Belfast Telegraph Digital