Virgin Active has announced that it will pledge a number of its health centres to the Biggest Summer of Netball campaign.
The Biggest Summer of Netball initiative aims to get more women and girls active and playing netball across the country.
As part of the campaign, England Netball has asked anyone with access to a netball court to open them up to the public for free on 22 July; the day after the Vitality Netball World Cup final, which is currently taking place in Liverpool, so that anyone feeling inspired can take a shot at netball.
On the 22 July over 200 locations will be opening their doors as part of the campaign, with 500 sessions likely to take place in the week.
After hearing about the exciting initiative, Virgin Active jumped at the opportunity to join England Netball in its mission to create the ‘Biggest Netball Open Day’ in history on 22 July.
Following the success of the Vitality Roses; England’s senior team, at the Commonwealth Games in April 2018, England Netball saw more than 130,700 women start playing netball or more netball in the UK as a result of the gold medal within six months. The National Governing Body is anticipating that this will be the ‘Biggest Summer of Netball’ in England’s history and predicts another spike in participation and interest in the sport.
Joanna Adams, CEO of England Netball, said: “We are delighted that Virgin Active has chosen to pledge a number of their courts in the South East and North West region to us the day after the final. Our ongoing mission is to continue to grow our sport at a grassroots level and to get more women and girls involved in this wonderful sport.
“Netball is growing in popularity and participation levels are at an all-time high with 1.4 million women and girls taking to courts across the country in a typical week during the netball season. We want to keep growing this number and provide more opportunities for people to enjoy this sport, by providing a form of the game for everyone from five years old to 105!
“Thank you to Virgin Active and everyone that is helping us to achieve this goal.”
Netball is currently the largest team sport for women in the country. The number of people playing within netball clubs continues to increase, plus the number of England Netball members is at an all-time high; with more than 107,000 to date.
England Netball hopes that after people try out netball during the Biggest Netball Open Day that they will be encouraged to continue playing.
If you feel inspired to give netball a go on 22 July, you can find your nearest session to take part in by going to the Session Finder on England Netball’s website.