Wasps Netball welcomed over 1000 students to Ricoh Arena to drive participation of the game across the region.
Over 550 primary school children attended the annual Community Day, while over 450 secondary school students attended the afternoon session, as they enjoyed netball skills and drills, playing on the showcourt, advice on strength and conditioning, a tour of the Ricoh Arena, as well as a meet-and-greet opportunity with Wasps and England star Jade Clarke.
The youngsters even had photo opportunities with Jade’s Commonwealth Games gold medal.
Wasps Franchise Manager Sarah Taylor said: “This is one of my favourite days in the calendar. We do so much exciting stuff with the performance squad and winning medals and titles at the elite end of the spectrum, but this is the core of it all. This is about getting people involved.
“The day is about offering a host of activities to get these children participating in netball, but also being active and seeing what we have to offer here at the Club. These activities set them up for lifelong healthy habits which is what we all aspire to and we think days like this help encourage that enjoyment element of sport and physical activity. ”
“We are really committed to our work in the community and are investing in local children and communities to get active and inspire them to keep doing this outside of school. We want the local community to know that Wasps is more than just a great rugby club – there’s so much on offer for both boys and girls.”
Wasps and England star Jade Clarke added: “We want to inspire the next generation. We want them to get out the house and be active and show them that netball is a great sport, a great thing to enjoy in your spare time, and a great team sport that they can get involved in at an early age.
“It’s amazing how far the sport has come in the last few years. These youngsters can turn on the TV and see their role models and we want them to think ‘I want to play netball and do that as a job.’”
Wasps Netball were established in 2016 and won their first two Vitality Netball Superleague titles in 2017 and 2018, before coming up just short in the 2019 Grand Final.
And their 2020 campaign gets underway on Saturday 22 February against Manchester Thunder before their first home game at Ricoh Arena on Monday 2 March versus Saracens Mavericks.
Head Coach Mel Mansfield explained: “It’s good to give the community a taste of what performance netball would be like but it’s also about giving them an experience.
“It’s great for youngsters to be around other children playing sport while it’s also important to meet the PE teachers and give them a bit of support.
“Hopefully we’ll see lots of those that attended our Community Day at Wasps games in the near future.”
Wasps Netball 2020 Season Memberships are available by calling 02476 786411 or by visiting the Wasps Ticket Office.