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November 19, 2012
A Sport England funded programme Back to Netball has been named the UK’s Best Sport Project, as part of the National Lottery Awards 2012.
Run by England Netball, Back to Netball has received over £1.1 million of Lottery investment from Sport England and last year put on netball sessions for 9,000 women.
The programme encourages women of all ages to take up sport across the country and rediscover their love of netball. The emphasis of these sessions is on learning new skills and having fun playing netball with friends.
Women taking part in a Back to Netball session at Ken Ward Sports Centre in Hyde were stunned to be joined by Olympic legend Chris Hoy – who arrived unannounced to present the award.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes to see Sir Chris Hoy standing in front of us with the trophy,” said Katy Ritchie, National Development Manager at Back to Netball. “Winning this Award is a wonderful tribute to the popularity of the project and the hard work of the whole team at England Netball.”
“Lottery funding has had a big impact at every level of sport in this country,” said Chris. “Back to Netball has helped thousands of women get fitter, make new friends and have fun.”
Congratulating Back to Netball, Sport England Director of Sport Lisa O’Keefe said: “Back to Netball is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when you ask people what they want from sport and then deliver exactly that – in this case friendly and flexible sporting sessions. By always putting the customer first, programme such as this are succeeding in getting more people playing sport.”
The work of Back to Netball will be celebrated at a star-studded awards ceremony in London on 8 December, which will be shown on BBC One.
To watch a Back to Netball session in action click here