Wiltshire County Netball Association win Resilience in Adversity Award

Wiltshire County Netball Association has been named as the winner of the Resilience in Adversity Award at the Community Sport and Recreation Awards 2024 on International Women’s Day. 

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.

Announced as the winner at a ceremony at Headingley Stadium celebrating the outstanding work of the clubs, organisations and individuals that are so crucial to grassroots sport and recreation in this country, Wiltshire CNA picked up the prestigious accolade from the flagship awards programme ahead of incredible projects delivered by Hillingdon Triathletes and Onboard Skatepark, Sheffield.

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The awards were presented by Alliance President HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and a special guest this International Women’s Day HRH the Duchess of Edinburgh.

Wiltshire CNA were nominated for their brilliant work in the local community aligned to England Netball’s NETBALLHer initiative during the past year.

Following Mo Squires’ endometrial cancer diagnosis, fellow volunteers at Wiltshire CNA 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.

After being named as the winners, Wiltshire CNA volunteers Helen and Cathy said: “Being nominated was special, but to win amongst such a strong field of inspiring volunteers and impact is exceptional, especially to be recognised on International Women’s Day.

“The whole ethos of the tournament was to raise awareness of women’s health conditions, in particular the importance of asking questions, not feeling alone and ultimately getting things checked.

“The amount of money we raised for cancer charities was the icing on the cake. Check yourself regularly, you will know ‘your normal’ so if in doubt, check it out!”

England Netball’s Interim Deputy Director of Development and Head of Volunteering Imogen Greatbatch attended the event with members from Wiltshire CNA and was delighted to see them scoop the award: ‘To see Wiltshire County Netball Association recognised across the sector for their impact was really special.

“The way they are positively challenging the system to raise the bar for, and reduce the drop out of, women and girls from sport and activity through bringing everyone across the county (and country) together to celebrate netball, raise awareness of female health and contribute vital funds to charity, through delivery of a festival was very special.

“I felt privileged to be at the event alongside Helen and Cathy and witness their incredible efforts and achievements alongside Mo and Nora be recognised. They were even sharing their planning for their next festivals!

“It was truly amazing and I am so proud and grateful they gift their time to netball.”

You can find out more about NETBALLHer as well as discovering free invaluable resources and empowering stories here.

Without volunteers, the sport as we know it simply wouldn’t function. Feeling inspired to get involved? Find out more here.

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