England Netball’s Children’s Sport Activator Victoria Morris has recently been delivering 10 weeks of Bee Netball activity in four schools in low socio-economic areas in Birmingham.
Bee Netball is our fun and nurturing programme for children aged 5-9 at the beginning of their team sport journey.
It is designed to introduce children to netball skills and more importantly, to support every child’s personal development on and beyond the court. All activities are underpinned by our Beeliefs: our core values focused on improving each child’s belief in their own ability.
The aim of the pilots was to gather feedback and learnings to understand if within-curricular activity can convert to an after-school club, or if free delivery of after school activity can be sustained through upskilling staff and getting them to continue longer term.
Positive comments, as well as constructive feedback around timings and further support for leaders, was received from parents and teachers alike, including:
- “I think it is a good introductory session for those who are interested in a team sport like netball, and I like the element of including boys and girls as netball is traditionally a female sport”
- “I think it has been beneficial for our children, as not a lot of them will have an exposure to a range of sports outside school”
Moving forwards, a further 10 weeks of activity will be delivered but with a staff member leading the sessions ahead of attending a Bee Leader course at the start of the new school year.
Reflecting on the initial pilots, Victoria said: “Working within the four schools was amazing to be able to bring Bee Netball to children that wouldn’t have the opportunity to take part in it outside of school.
“I loved being able to ensure that the children would have fun in every session by using and exploring the different Bee games to create exciting and challenging sessions.
“The most enjoyable part of piloting the programmes was being able to make sure that the children would leave each session with a smile on their face.”
National School Sport Week is back for 2023 and this year, the campaign is ‘play for fun, play for 60’ based on the UK Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation that children aged 5 to 18 should be highly active (with an elevated heart rate) for an average of at least 60 minutes a day, across the week in order to stay happy and healthy.
Bee Netball is just one of the opportunities across the country to develop a love of being active through playing netball and reach the recommended activity time. Find out more about Bee Netball and other programmes, such as our peer-to-peer secondary offer Blended Netball, here.