England Netball has today announced that Sport England has committed to backing the governing body up until 2021.
The £2.8 million of additional National Lottery funding has been awarded by Sport England for the period between 2019 and 2021. The funding will support both grassroots level netball across the country and England’s senior squad, the Vitality Roses, who made history by winning gold at the Commonwealth Games in April this year.
Sport England previously committed to funding England Netball in 2017, with part of the money being allocated to the full-time athlete programme – launched in 2016 –until the start of 2019. A section of funding was also allocated to increase participation through highly successful programmes like Back to Netball and Walking Netball.
With the existing funding agreement due to come to an end next year, England Netball’s CEO, Joanna Adams, shared her delight at the renewed sponsorship plan from Sport England.
She said: “We are absolutely delighted that Sport England have chosen to continue to back our commercial strategy. This vital funding will allow our Vitality Roses to be able to continue to play the sport full-time, which is key for their progression and raising the profile of this wonderful sport.
“The worry of finding this kind of support for our commercial strategy, as we quickly approached 2019, has continued to keep me up at night, but this news means post 2019 it will be less of a challenge for England Netball to continue our upward progression.
“With the backing of Sport England and our other amazing partners, we can enter the year of the Vitality Netball World Cup with a positive mind set and look forward to what the future holds for netball.
“I think this partnership will give us an edge at the upcoming Vitality Netball International Series, as part of the Netball Quad Series, the Vitality Netball World Cup and the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Here’s to more exciting times for England Netball!”
Phil Smith, Director of Sport at Sport England, said: “England Netball is winning both on and off the court. The Vitality Roses are heading in to a home World Cup with high hopes, more women and girls are playing the game at every level, and England Netball is attracting more commercial income to secure them for the long term.
“Sport England’s focus is to close the gender gap in sport, by giving girls and women of all ages the chance to be active however they choose. Team sport can be life changing and England Netball is doing a great job of growing their sport. We are delighted to be backing their success.”