Memorable year for Saddleworth Netball Club
Thursday 21st December 2017 @ 11:32 by Mark Phillip

2017 has been another fantastic year for Saddleworth Netball Club with 17 teams playing in Bury, Oldham and Greater Manchester County leagues, and over 150 girls attending training sessions on a weekly basis – and it’s growing!

Reporter Sport caught up with Nicola Truelove to reflect on a memorable 2017. 

“Since its inception in 2012, the club has embedded the motto ‘Good, Better, Best’ at its core, and this is what they profess to be” says Nicola.

“We are passionate about finding, supporting and developing the next generation of local netball talent. The girls who attend here are not just turning up, they are giving 100% and it shows! Through their commitment and enthusiasm, coupled with the hard work and dedication of the club coaches, Saddleworth Netball Club is entering, and being successful in, many leagues and tournaments. You only need to look at our 2017 results!

“Along with these team successes, there have been some fantastic personal achievements in 2017. E.g Georgia Taylor, Faye Spratt, Isabella Cook and Rebecca Harewood were selected for the County squad; with Georgia also being selected for the Manchester Thunder Youth Academy Squad.  This just reflects the high standard of our girls and the motivation to grasp the wonderful opportunities open to them.

“We are very fortunate to have a plethora of skill and experience amongst our coaching team, of which Sheila Ryan and Val McEvoy are integral. These individuals are long-standing coaches in the local netball community, and are quite simply Saddleworth Netball Club figureheads! However, all of our coaches are invaluable. Individually, and collectively, the coaches play a massive role in developing the girls and helping them achieve their full potential. This year, we were especially delighted for Jodie Mundy (our U13s coach) who was appointed a member of the Manchester Thunder Performance Pathway Coaching Team.

“The training sessions we organise are open to girls from U8 (Year 3) right through to U16 (Year 11), and are carried out by approved coaches, who are first-aid trained. We charge £4 per session, with each session being 90 minutes. As our website is currently being updated, more specific details of training and session times can be obtained via email: [email protected], or via our facebook page @saddleworthnetballclub

“At entry level, we focus primarily on getting the girls active, developing ball handling, throwing and footwork skills whilst enjoying themselves and making new friends. The girls in this age category compete in a game of netball called High 5 (named so due to there being 5 players on court!) The massive benefit of this game is that the players rotate position each quarter; allowing all players to understand netball rules and experience different positions. This has great benefits in terms of skill and adaptability as the girls get older, but it’s also a really effective way of identifying each girl’s natural ability in a particular position.

“At U12 (Year 7), girls play traditional 7-a-side netball which, along with obviously involving more players, becomes more physically challenging and competitive. To support the girls with the transition, the regular coaching sessions are supplemented with strength and conditioning training. Key fitness components consist of skill, speed, ball handling, strength, stamina and agility. By incorporating strength and conditioning drills and exercises, we develop the girls’ movement patterns and increase athletic performance on court to optimise their individual, and team, performances.

“As a club, we have never advertised ourselves. What we have established, and where we are now, has resulted purely from word of mouth. Given this, we feel immensely proud of our achievements; not just in terms of our excellent match results, but also in the fantastic relationships we have established with the girls and their families. TOGETHER, we are a TEAM!”

With 2018 just around the corner, what does the club have in its sights?

“The answer is simple; much more” says Nicola.

We love what we do, we’re passionate about netball, we will continue to nurture our local talent and strive to unearth the netball stars of the future!

“If anybody is interested in joining the club, and being a part of our amazing journey, please contact us. We look forward to having you on board!”