Sport England reveal record Netball participation numbers

Sport England have this morning revealed that over 180,000 people aged 16+ are taking to the court at least once a week, the highest ever figure since the Active People Survey was launched ten years ago.

With the success of campaigns such as Walking Netball and Back to Netball, the sport has seen an increase of 25,400 (16.4%) on the same period last year.

There has now been continual growth in netball over the three previous years with these latest numbers revealing an all-time high.

Combined with sold-out attendances at England internationals, record membership numbers and largest ever sponsorship and broadcast deals – netball continues to lead the way in women’s sport.

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Proudly flying the flag is the Back to Netball initiative, which welcomes tens of thousands of players back to the sport every year.

The benefits of this have been noticed by Cath, a 24 year old mother to 18-month old son, Adam.

Discussing the programme, Cath says; “Back to Netball’s completely changed my life in so many ways I didn’t expect. I’m now eating healthier which I know will help Adam in the future as he’ll hopefully pick up my habits.”

She adds; “Before going to Back to Netball, I might go to the gym once a week and do a load of random exercises.

“Now I’m focusing my workouts to benefit my netball: it’s given me a real sense of purpose and a clearer focus. I’ve lost weight, nearly all my baby weight now, so I feel much more confident and everyone’s commented on how much happier I look!”

This year we also launched Walking Netball, aimed at satisfying the growing demand of the sport for all ages.

Walking Netball is a slower version of the game. It has been designed so that anyone can play, regardless of fitness level or age.

One person who has already seen the positive impact is Beverley McIntosh. After giving up sort due to injury and undergoing chemotherapy she wanted to get active and discovered Walking Netball.

Beverley reveals; “The group are very friendly and we have a good laugh. Our instructor is creative in the challenges given to us each week which adds to the fun. Over the weeks my fitness and overall wellbeing improved greatly.

“Also, being able to play a team sport again has brought me a great sense of happiness, satisfaction and achievement. I come away from the sessions feeling extremely positive and motivated.”

To find a session that fits you, head over to our Netball Finder and get ready to join over 180,000 women who already love netball!

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