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ENGLAND Netball boss Joanna Adams said today that she wants to open up sports halls the day after the 2019 Netball World Cup final for the largest Back to Netball session ever attempted.
The national governing body would supply a coach and the venue would provide the court, all free, from sunrise to sunset.
With Liverpool staging next year’s World Cup and English Netball still on a high from their victory at the Commonwealth Games in April, Adams is determined to keep growing the sport at the grassroots level.
Adams said: “I would love to make every school, gym, sport hall and outdoor court available so that people could just rock up and play. We would staff it with our coaches and volunteers and it would be a massive Back to Netball session.
“If I had the Football Association’s money I would just do it anyway but we are going to need the venue owners and leisure providers to buy into the idea. It could be a really big campaign and we could set a participation target for the day.”
The final is on Sunday July 21, so Adams would like to stage the grassroots day on Monday July 22, and she would use England Netball’s 600 part-time coaches and club network of volunteer coaches to organise the sessions.
According to the most recent Sport England data, nearly 300,000 adults play netball at least twice a month, with schemes aimed at getting lapsed players back on the court having a major impact.
Adams said she hoped staging the World Cup next year could provide a further boost and the event’s ticket sales suggest the sport has never been healthier.
All the tickets for England’s games and the semi-finals and final have been sold, which means the £1.8 million revenue target has already been met, with tickets still available for group-stage games from as little as £7.
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