Dronfield Netball Club supported the filming for the England Netball Conscious Inclusion Training.
Players from Dronfield Netball Club volunteered to take part in a filming day for the England Netball Conscious Inclusion training and were keen to celebrate inclusion in the sport they love. Alex Styan, head of talent identification and a coach at DNC, is hugely passionate about creating an inclusive environment at her club.
Visit the Virtual Netball Club to access this training.
I am on a mission to get the world playing netball and I make no apology for that. I truly believe in
the positive power of taking part in netball for girls and women and I want others to have the same
doors opened through netball as I have. There are still so many barriers to playing and at DNC we
are committed to actioning change on this front. I had a lot of time in lockdown to think about it
and we as a club are keen to make a change in any way we can. The club is a netball family supported by a dedicated team of coaches and committee members who are all driving this positive change.
IT’S NOT ABOUT TICKING BOXES
Inclusion is something that we have been really focusing on. We are always looking at how we can
be more inclusive and how to put this into action across the club. It isn’t a box-ticking exercise;
instead it’s about constantly analysing where and when you can make improvements. You need to
be open to the idea of reviewing improvements for inclusiveness by identifying and reducing barriers to netball. It is an ongoing process and adaptations are constantly needed. On top of this, you have to put these into action as soon as you can. It’s all very well talking the talk, but you need to walk the walk. At DNC we have so far looked at geographic, financial and cultural barriers and made positive changes towards reducing each – but we are aware that there is always more to do!
A DAY OF FILMING AND A LEGACY OF CHANGE
We had seven girls involved at the England Netball filming day, encouraging inclusivity in the sport.
The girls were asked to act out various role plays as well as delve into different aspects of diversity and inclusivity that need to be considered in the sport. All of them returned afterwards saying their eyes had been opened to areas they had not previously considered and said that some had been tough, but hugely important to consider.
The seven girls are all Young Leaders at DNC and amazing young people who give up their time each
Saturday to support coaches in sessions for younger players. There was no hesitation from any of them when it came to getting involved and they all came back brimming with ideas for how we can make a change. Each of them has a different background and has been through her own personal challenges.
Since the filming day, they have set up a WhatsApp group in which they are constantly discussing with committee members, coaches and parents what more can be done. It’s incredible to see and the day obviously resonated with all of them in the same way I’m sure the training will across the Netball Family and beyond.
WHAT WE CAN DO BETTER
At DNC we openly welcome new members and offer a wide variety of sessions for players of all abilities and experience levels. It runs from ‘pay as you play’ to Performance Netball so we are definitely on the right track towards providing something for everyone.
This season, we’ve been hugely focused on broadening our accessibility and I’m proud of what we have achieved so far.
Geography doesn’t often jump out as a key barrier, but we are aware that it is a huge influence on whether someone takes up netball. We’ve now got a new City Centre training venue at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre right in the heart of Sheffield. It’s only a short walk from the tram, train, and bus station and is also accessible on foot meaning it is available to a huge number of players.
These sessions have been up and running for a couple of months and, even though the venue is a bit more expensive, we have kept training costs consistent with those across schools in South Sheffield and North Derbyshire. We are also looking at financial barriers and have a soon-to-be-revealed sponsorship plan. It will provide a package of training kit to new players at DNC who may not be able to afford their own, as well as to existing players where home situations may have changed.
IT’S ABOUT THE WIDER COMMUNITY
While we are proud of everything we have done so far, we are also keen to link up with any other clubs and share ideas of how we can all work together to support each other in our drive towards inclusivity.
We are also happy to help support any local clubs who may have less resources available to them. The girls who attended the filming are passionate about sharing the England Netball values and building on what they have already learnt whilst educating others in the field of inclusivity.
We have several new schemes that we are rolling out over the next few months to make a positive
difference to inclusion, and I am really excited to say ‘watch this space’.