The formal partnership between UEA Netball and the local Norfolk United Netball Club was announced last week and signals an opportunity for both clubs to further their development in this joint venture. The partnership will commence instantly ahead of the new season.
The excitement surrounding the relationship was obvious in various statements from the involved partners. The statements came from Mark Heazle, Head of Sport and Physical development at UEA Sport, Karen Webb, Norfolk United Head coach and Deanna Hollings, the President of UEA Netball and Norfolk United player.
The joint statement spoke about the excitement of the two clubs “training and playing together across the netball competition pathway, locally, regionally and nationally.” There was also reference to the newly formed pathway that now exists to allow players to have access to elite level netball while they study and improve through their university journey.
Mark Healze made a statement from his position at UEA sport in which he spoke about his excitement for the “general development and growth of the sport of netball in Norfolk.” This refers to the seeming benefit that the University of East Anglia has the power to bring to the whole local area. Healze also talks about the tireless work of both committees behind the scenes in order to make the partnership happen. The development for the university is obviously at the heart of his role and this partnership promises to provide a huge step in the right direction.
The Head coach of Norfolk United Netball, Karen Webb said: “It’s vitally important to the development and success of both our clubs, to offer our emerging local talent a preferred education pathway at the University of East Anglia.” Webb suggests that the prospects of “men’s and mixed” netball could be explored thanks to this partnership, which would provide both clubs a chance to make netball more inclusive and diverse in the region and throughout the country.
Deanna Hollings is the President of UEA Netball and will reap the benefits of the additional members in this relationship. Apart from the obvious help in the local leagues with new high-level players joining. There is also the support that the BUCS team can gain when going against other university teams due to the opportunity to train with impressive women’s players week in week out. Hollings finishes by expressing, along with her fellow committee members, they“cannot wait for the partnership to begin in late September.”