Talking Sport: New netball league is in Penny’s sights

Penny Cooper is gathering support for new netball teams in the area
Penny Cooper is gathering support for new netball teams in the area

When I moved to Selsey last April, I was looking forward to finding sports clubs to play in, writes Penny Cooper.

To my amazement I found there was no club or league for my favourite sport – netball.

I’ve lived in many different places in Britain and the Far East and never had any trouble finding a netball league to play in. I was gutted – what to do?

By asking new friends I discovered various attempts had been made to start clubs in and around Selsey, but these had not become established.

Recently the West Sussex Sports Dream initiative have supported another drive to try to fill this black hole.

Thanks to organisers Mike Nicholls and Neil Sherlock, there’s a small group of ladies playing at Selsey Academy on Mondays from 6pm to 7pm, where the ladies practise skills and, numbers permitting, play games.

In September, I caught up with Mike, friends having told me about the potted history of netball in the Manhood peninsula. I felt that with my skill set (I have played since 1963 and have taught PE to primary and secondary children for nearly 40 years) and, as a UKCC level-two netball Ccach, I could perhaps help develop all the amazing potential by coaching and encouraging ladies and girls aged 14-plus who want to play.

In this new term, the Monday Sessions have already restarted and with England Netball supporting it, a Back 2 Netball scheme on Tuesdays has started in the Selsey Academy indoor sports hall from 7pm to 8pm.

Both sessions are open to ladies in the Witterings, Bracklesham, villages large and small, to return to playing the game they have such memories of from schooldays.

Sessions are fun and relaxed – no-one has to be an expert. If you are simplyt keen for some enjoyable exercise, that’s fantastic. If you are rather good, the idea is to enable you to form teams, play other matches and eventually even create a proper league in this area.

It doesn’t cost much – £2 on a Monday or £3 on a Tuesday.

So, come and join in and bring your friends. You ladies deserve some team sport!

Maybe it will be you who plays in the first match of a new league – Sidlesham v Bracklesham or East Wittering v Selsey, perhaps? The ball is in your court.

Call me, Penny Cooper, on 07762 922405 or Mike Nicholls on 07508 716037.

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