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Thunder launch first VNSL led ParaNetball club

ParaNetball set to reach new heights thanks to new partnership between Manchester Thunder and Nichols plc

Manchester Thunder, the current Vitality Netball Superleague champions, are delighted to announce a new 3 year partnership with Nichols plc, the international soft drinks business and home to the iconic Vimto brand, that will see the creation of the first VNSL franchise led ParaNetball club.

Focused on raising the profile of the sport and creating a welcoming, accessible and inclusive environment that promotes engagement and participation; the partnership aims to make a real difference to the lives of deaf and disabled young people through the power of netball.

Led by a newly appointed Head of ParaNetball, the initial phase of the programme will be delivered in collaboration with Dominoes Netball Club; who actually established the North West’s first ever ParaNetball club in 2021. Building on the foundations they have established, we anticipate that this collaboration will form a model for growth throughout the North West region.

The agreement between Thunder and Nichols will make the Vimto brand synonymous with ParaNetball throughout Greater Manchester and will see the two organisations working hand in hand to drive growth of the sport.

Tracey Neville, Performance Operations Director of Manchester Thunder, said: “I’m so excited to have signed this strategic agreement with Nichols. From the moment they engaged with us they completely understood what we are striving to achieve through our community strategic objective of ‘changing people’s lives through netball’ and their support will enable us to do just that.

“I’ve thought for a long time that we need to take bold steps to increase the profile of ParaNetball and I’m really proud that Manchester Thunder has decided to take a lead role in making this happen.

Andrew Milne, CEO of Nichols plc, added: “Nichols’s long and rich heritage began in Manchester 114 years ago with the creation of Vimto by John Joel Nichols. Our roots have remained strong in Manchester and across the North West ever since, not least because of the strong community values established within the business by its founder that have remained at the heart of who we are.

“Making a difference in our local communities is a core part of our ESG Strategy to create a Happier Future. The primary consumers of our products are young people, and we want to support them with more than just refreshment. We are committed to improving the lives of those young people who need it most—by raising aspirations for their futures and providing opportunities to develop their skills and careers.
“The partnership with Manchester Thunder is a fantastic opportunity to do this and we are proud to be part of creating the first VSNL Paranetball Club, creating new opportunities for young deaf and disabled people across the North West behind the strong brand of Manchester Thunder.

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