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Netball Heritage Archive launches

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England Netball and UK Sport have officially opened the Netball Heritage ArchiveIts on display at Heritage Quay, University of Huddersfield, which traces the sports formation back to 1897.

The archive, which was launched at a prestigious event on Saturday 2nd March, is part of the Netball Heritage Project, which England Netball embarked on as part of its 90th birthday in 2016 with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The objective of the project is to help future generations of netball and other sport researchers by providing a state of the art safe archive for the storing of documents, photographs, videos and other memorabilia throughout the history of the sport.

The launch event began with opening speeches from Liz Nicholl CBE; the CEO of UK sport who has been called ‘the most powerful woman in British sport’, Professor Tim Thornton; the Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Huddersfield, and Joanna Adams; CEO of England Netball who is responsible for the strategic direction of the sport across the country. Attendees were then able to view the extensive range of netball memorabilia on display for the first time.

Joanna Adams said: “This extensive and ever growing archive provides a fascinating insight into the development of netball. It shows the unique history of this wonderful sport and a wide range of documents, photographs, programmes, press cuttings and trophies dating back generations.

“Netball has grown massively and been thrust into the limelight, especially over the last 12 months since the England team won the Commonwealth Games for the first time in history. It is wonderful to now be able to look back on how it all began thanks to this archive, and to see how netball got to where it is today.

“I hope others enjoy sharing in the history of this sport as much as I do.”

The exhibition space at Heritage Quay is open seven days a week for 50 weeks of the year, except for Bank Holidays, giving the public a chance to book a place to come and see netball’s fascinating history and development.

The archive already houses hundreds of items and the ever expanding contents list is available online at www.heritagequay.org/archive/en.

Sarah Wickham, University Archivist and Records Manager, said: “We are delighted that England Netball have deposited their archive with Heritage Quay.  This is a significant addition to our sporting collections. Building on netball’s recent high profile successes, we look forward to welcoming researchers interested in exploring the sport’s rich history, and working with England Netball to develop the archive in the future.”

You can donate or loan your own netball memorabilia to the Netball Heritage Archive by contacting ournetballhistory@englandnetball.co.uk