By Steve Evans
Rhondda Netball are hosting a netball fun day on Saturday May 12 as they seek to boost playing opportunities for girls and women across their patch.
The CT Netball Fun Day will be held at the Rhondda Fach Sports Centre, Tylorstown from 10.00am to 5.00pm with opportunities for all ages to get back involved in the sport or try for the first time.
There’s no doubt that 2017/18 has seen female sport make a mark in Wales and further afield.
Of course, equality remains a long way away, but there’s no doubting the surge in popularity in recent times and it’s been brilliant for the UK’s next generation of females.
However, for anyone who missed the memo on the back of the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, one sport is leading this charge . . . netball.
While England’s gold medal Roses and the Vitality Netball Superleague – which includes Wales’ very own Celtic Dragons – are at the forefront of the UK’s netball revolution, we’re also seeing a grassroots wave here in Wales, too.
Last summer, one of the netball initiatives leading this charge on our side of the River Severn was Rhondda Netball.
In the first year of operation, the organisation had seen their weekly netball provision provide organised sport for at over 250 girls and women every week. Well, fast-forward 12 months and they’ve nearly doubled this figure with the initiative now running at over 450 females each week having seen hundreds more take part across 2017/18.
When you consider their after-school/in-school leagues and competitions incorporate around 1,000 of Rhondda Cynon Taf’s female pupils, you can’t help but feel like there’s something special going on at Rhondda Netball.
“It’s been another fantastic year,” said founder & managing director, Lawrie Davies.
“We knew that Rhondda desperately needed to create more opportunities for girls and women, and the fact we’re also playing an active role in schools throughout RCT shows that the need wasn’t just outside of schools.
“Male rugby and football has a rich history in the area and therefore more resources, but we’ve been able to communicate the need effectively and this encouraged the likes of Leekes Retail and our other great supporters to get behind us.
“Without them our awesome team of coaches wouldn’t have been able to do what they do and give so many females the opportunity to receive all the benefits that sport brings to whole person health and well-being.
“But while we’ve come a long way already, I can confidently say, the best is still to come.”
Next up for the team is their RCT Netball Fun Day on Saturday 12th May at Rhondda Fach Sports Centre, Tylorstown.
And after the first edition of this event saw over 1,300 people in attendance (see video here), it’s easy to envisage the record-breaking snowball effect Rhondda Netball has initiated, keeping on rolling. Watch this space!
You can find Rhondda Netball on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter – @RhonddaNetball