NETBALL is on the up!
Youngsters are being encouraged to take up the sport and efforts are also well under way to attract adults back onto the court.
There’s regular coaching with clubs involved and leagues are finding an upsurge in interest.
Colne Valley High, the Deighton Centre and sports centres at Batley and Thornhill are at the forefront of coaching.
Joy Cummings-Douglas is community sports netball coach and, of the Deighton session being led by Michelle Gay, she said: “We had a very good launch session and hope that word spreads in this area.
“It is lots of fun and very sociable. We want to attract women who are interested in playing at all levels – some just want to play and have fun, others are keen to then go on to play competitively.
“We do some netball skills, a bit of fitness training and play games.
“This is for any women who are interested – we have ladies in their 20s and in their 60s, so age is no barrier.”
Kirklees Sport 4 Life is behind the Back to Netball scheme and people from all walks of life have attended.
At the younger end of the age scale, the Huddersfield Giants Hi-5 club are thriving with around 20 boys and girls from eight to 11.
They are all from schools in Huddersfield and are coached by Cummings-Douglas on Wednesdays (4.0-5.0) at Slaithwaite Leisure Centre.
Cummings-Douglas has entered her junior squad in Hi-5 tournaments for the past few years, where they have progressed and developed.
In April 2007 they won the Yorkshire Terriers (Calderdale) event representing the Giants, beating the hosts 5-0 in the showpiece.
Many of that squad have progressed to the Giants Junior squad (11-16 years), who are based at Colne Valley High on Mondays (6.30-8.30), and at least six players have been selected to represent Kirklees Schools Netball League.
Locally, Dalton Dynamoes A are champions of the Huddersfield Hi Tech Winter League yet again.
Their B team finished the league closely behind them in second place, continuing a run of success for the club.
They formed 15 years ago, starting in Division IV and moving up.
They have won both the Winter and Summer leagues seven years in succession.
They have also walked away with the end-of-season annual tournament title six times out of the last seven years.
Three original players (Kaz Addington, Trudi Pearce and Cheryl Lockwood) are still in the squad, which was formerly known as Royal Oak and Dusty Miller.
Since those days, the team have had players aged over 40, they include community coach Cummings-Douglas and she takes some of the sessions along with Jackie Fogarthy.
They also have 14-year-old Leah Collins and Tyler Gordon, who have both represented West Yorkshire and Kirklees Netball Squad.
Leah has also played county netball and is in the West Yorkshire section of the national talent squad.