THE founder of a Crosby netball club claims the sport has been hit hard by coronavirus and the current restrictions are unfair for local teams.
Jenny Taylor, who helped form Empire Netball Club along with Michelle Scarfe, believes netball has been badly affected compared to “more male dominate sports, like football or rugby.”
National organisation England Netball is putting pressure on the government after a number of recent changes to Covid regulations, which includes reducing the numbers allowed to play team?sports indoors to a maximum of six people.
As a sport that relies heavily on the use of indoor courts, Jenny believes this makes it very difficult for netball clubs to operate.
Empire Netball Club has a senior team which is currently unable to train because of the restrictions.
Jenny said: “Netball has over 1.4 million female participants in the UK which right now has massively depleted as a result of Covid and the different restrictions put in place in order to play safely as well as a lack of facilities opening their doors to external clubs.
“Since lockdown began, female sports have been massively restricted compared to the more male dominate sports like football and rugby. This means the women and girls in our community were prevented from playing the sport they loved!
“It has been fantastic to see the return of indoor junior netball take part, however for anyone over 18 you can’t return to indoor play due to a heavy number of restrictions which make it impossible for any adaptations to let the sport continue.
“As you can imagine, playing outdoors in the winter is not ideal. A bigger problem that doesn’t just affect the north west is the lack of facilities for netball, both indoor and outdoor. There are very few good quality outdoor netball courts that are floodlit which would allow adults to temporarily continue playing outdoors until such time indoor netball can return for over 18s.”
There is better news for Empire Netball Club, and also other Crosby-based clubs, after local netball coaches and volunteers were nominated for the Golden Globe Awards, run each year by England Netball.
The winners will be announced this weekend.