St Helens netball team wins top award

Netball St Helens has been hailed for its work encouraging young women to take up sport
Netball St Helens has been hailed for its work encouraging young women to take up sport

A sports project in St Helens has been named as the best in the region because of its inspiring work with young people.

Complete Netball St Helens was hailed by Sportiovate, a Sport England programme to encourage more youngsters to get active.

Sports Development have been working closely with Yvonne and Complete Netball Solutions to develop netball in St Helens and increase the number of local females who are physically active

Gemma Webster, sports development officer and Sportivate lead

The St Helens project has helped a number of young women to get into netball.

It has seen the creation of six new netball teams and a new league.

The project also enabled the 17 volunteers to attend courses, including Level 1 and 2 Netball coaching, First Aid, Fundamentals, and Safeguarding.

More than 80 young women have attended each of the weekly sessions in area and 54 are still regularly playing the sport.

Gemma Webster, sports development officer and Sportivate lead, said: "Sports Development have been working closely with Yvonne and Complete Netball Solutions to develop netball in St Helens and increase the number of local females who are physically active.

“Sixty-eight per cent of females aged 16 plus in St Helens are still not taking part once a week in physical activity and with rising obesity problems and related health

issues, it is an area we are working hard to address.

“The netball clubs and local league we developed from the Sportivate project have greatly increased the opportunities women have to get active in a fun and social way, with over 130 women now playing netball every Monday evening."

Mike Diaper, Sport England’s director for Community Sport, said: “Through Sportivate programmes, young people are given the right support and know–how they need to give them the confidence to play sport in their own time.

“The Sportivate Awards celebrate the great work of local projects in helping youngsters make the transition from the sporting side-lines to being active.”