The tournament was in aid of Marrow for Marley, a campaign being run by the family and friends of 6 year-old Marley Nicholls from Newport. In 2018, Marley was diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening condition called Severve Aplastic Anaemia, which means that he needs a Bone Marrow Transplant to save his life. This condition affects between 30 and 40 children in the UK each year. There had been hope that Marley’s brother George would be a suitable donor, but when he was found not to be a match the Marrow for Marley campaign was launched to help find a donor.
Georgia Rowe, who plays for Superleague franchise Severn Stars, took to social media to organise a mixed netball tournament in aid of Marrow for Marley and she spoke of why she became involved in the campaign and the fantastic reactions he received from the netball community.
She said: “The charity is close to my heart as Marley is a family friend so I wanted to support and promote the charity within our netball community. I was overwhelmed with the turnout with over 190 players and over 100 spectators who gave up their Sunday to come and support the charity. The tournament was made up of 16 teams turning up for a fun and competitive day of netball [and] everyone seemed to enjoy themselves!
“At the event we had a swabbing station to help find a match and I was really pleased that there were 82 new swabs taken and sent off from the day.”
The tournament culminated in an exciting final and it was wonderful to see the generosity of the community reflected in the sum raised.
Georgia added: “There was a good standard of netball played which resulted in two exciting semi finals and a final. The final saw Team Marley face a team made up of Ystrad Mynach/Starlets players. Team Marley (my team!) took the victory winning 11-6. Joe Nicholls [Marley’s father] was especially pleased to be in the winning team! Overall the day ran perfectly with £1700 raised for the charity.”
Welsh Netball would like to congratulate Georgia on organising such a successful event and we wish Marley and his family all the best with their inspirational campaign.