Wiltshire County Netball Association has been named as a finalist for the Community Sport and Recreation Awards 2024.
The Sport and Recreation Alliance’s flagship awards programme have been running for over 25 years, and are an annual celebration of the grassroots clubs, organisations and individuals that help facilitate and support activity in our communities.
Nominated for their fantastic work in the community aligned to England Netball’s NETBALLHer initiative during the past year, they’ve made a three-strong shortlist for the Resilience in Adversity Award alongside Hillingdon Triathletes and Onboard Skatepark, Sheffield.
The Resilience in Adversity Award celebrates the methods which community clubs have used to keep their participants engaged during difficult periods – perhaps with issues affecting their local community, or more national-scale problems such as the cost-of-living crisis.
Following Mo Squires’ endometrial cancer diagnosis, fellow volunteers at Wiltshire County Netball Association collectively began to raise awareness of female health to help others identify irregularities early.
They hosted the Wiltshire Women’s Health and Wellbeing Netball Festival in Swindon, which combined multi-generational netball tournaments with information from health professionals who were invited to hand out leaflets and talk to people about their concerns. The focus was on cancers that are more prevalent in women, as well as the menopause and the mental health impacts of these physical changes.
The festival also featured fundraising for the Prospect Hospice, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Great Western Hospital, with the initial target of £15,000 comfortably exceeded, resulting in total of £18,000 being raised on the day.
England Netball’s Interim Deputy Director of Development and Head of Volunteering Imogen Greatbatch commented: “Congratulations to Wiltshire County Netball Association on deservedly being named as a finalist in the Sport and Recreation Alliance Awards.
“Their recognition highlights the hugely important role that counties (and regions) play in delivering leagues and competition to local netballers as well as the impact local volunteers make in championing and campaigning for community causes.
“It’s been incredible to see Wiltshire CNA’s pioneering work which we were delighted to recognise and celebrate at our national ONE Awards 2023 with the presentation of a Special Recognition Award.
“By continuing to raise awareness of England Netball’s NETBALLHer initiative, an industry-leading education programme in partnership with The Well HQ to better educate women and girls at all levels of sport about their bodies across the different life stages, they’re helping to empower netballers on and beyond the court, addressing the drop-out rate within women’s sport.
“A massive thank you to not only everyone at Wiltshire CNA but all our fantastic volunteers for making our game possible which truly enriches lives.”
The winner will be crowned at an awards ceremony on 8 March 2024 at Headingley Stadium in Leeds, the home of Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Each of the winners in the eight awards categories will receive £1000 to help support their work in the future.