Record members return to netball – Thank you Netball Family

Image: Ben Lumley Photography

Ahead of a massive couple of weeks for the sport, record numbers are enjoying playing netball in clubs, leagues and programmes as the sport continues to recover following the pandemic.

We are thrilled to announce with just under a week to go until the start of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, over 109,000 members have returned to a netball court in this membership year – our highest figure on record.

Thanks to the incredible efforts of the Netball Family who rallied together to help restart and rebuild our game after Covid-19, we have surpassed the previous record set during the 2018-19 year where we had 107,500 members.

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Over this last year, more than 90% of clubs and leagues have returned to full netball operations. Meanwhile, 24,703 members are taking part in England Netball programmes, including Back to Netball and Walking Netball, with 11% of participants coming from the most deprived communities in England.

These encouraging signs follow a year where England Netball has taken its first steps on the Adventure Strategy and arrive on the eve of Team England’s gold medal defence starting this Friday –  a fantastic opportunity to showcase the brilliance of our sport and inspire growth at all levels of the game.

The Commonwealth Games will be live on the BBC and England Netball will be hosting free screenings at venues across London, Birmingham, Alderley Edge and West Bridgford in Nottingham.

Anyone inspired to return to netball or try our sport for the first time will be able to find a host of taster sessions near them via our online netball finder.

Fran Connolly, CEO of England Netball commented: “After what has been a difficult two years for the sport, we are pleased to see that netball is flourishing again, and that is in no small part due to the huge efforts from everyone across the Netball Family to restart and rebuild our game.

“Netball was one of the hardest hit sports impacted by the pandemic but we are delighted that so many members have returned and our membership is now higher than pre-Covid times. I want to say a huge thank you to all of those who played their part in rebuilding our sport and continue to do so.

“We have a huge summer of netball ahead as we look to defend our Commonwealth Games gold in Birmingham, where we know that the spotlight will firmly be on both our national team and on our brilliant sport.  We saw first-hand back in 2019 when we hosted the Netball World Cup on home soil how powerful these moments are, and we will be ready to showcase netball to new fans, harnessing the opportunity to welcome more people into our game than ever before.”

Find out how you can stay on top of all the action by taking a look at our guide to netball at the Commonwealth Games

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