Southwater Netball Club's surging popularity boosted by grant

Southwater Netball Club. Picture courtesy of Niamh Arnett
Southwater Netball Club. Picture courtesy of Niamh Arnett

A sports grant has been awarded to Southwater Netball Club to equip extra players amid the growing popularity of the sport.

The club won £250 from UK Power Networks’ Team Sport Award to buy balls, timers, whistles, umpire equipment and replacement bibs.

Tracey Hawthorne, a project manager in finance for the electricity firm, volunteers as treasurer for the club and nominated them for the award.

Tracey said: “We have almost doubled our membership and we are growing fast. We will probably have enough players to launch a second team in 2020.

“If we get a second team in place we will need first aid equipment, kit, bibs and everything for the second team.

“We break even on our court fees and that doesn’t leave much money left for our equipment.

“Christ’s Hospital is a brilliant venue where we can play netball on a full indoor court and we never have to cancel our training due to the weather conditions.

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“It’s great that we have enough people who want to play in the league but a third of us just come for fitness and to play netball.

“Our ethos is to welcome all ages over 18 and all abilities.”

Southwater Netball Club play in the Crawley Netball Association League on Wednesdays and train at Bluecoat’s Sports, Christ’s Hospital, on Monday nights.

The Team Sport Award scheme is run by UK Power Networks to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and developing sports opportunities.

So far this year, 68 local sports teams connected to UK Power Networks’ staff have benefitted.

UK Power Networks is the country’s biggest electricity distributor, making sure the lights stay on for more than eight million homes and businesses across London, the south east and the east of England.