A NEW competition is due to start next week with seven teams in the inaugural Rutland County Netball League.
Based at Oakham’s Catmose College sports centre but featuring players from beyond Oakham, the league highlights a current renaissance in the popularity of netball.
Tina Sayers, who is behind the league, said: “This is a massive plus for Rutland, finally bringing competitive netball to our rural county.”
Sayers launched Back-to-Netball sessions at Catmose Sports in the autumn and is delighted by the response from the county’s women.
She said: “We now have about 36 women coming each week and once the league starts we should have more.
“I think we will grow quite quickly.”
With the first league matches planned to start on Thursday, she added: “Seven teams have entered, five already established and playing in the Stamford and Rutland League, and two new teams.”
As a result Rutland Cougars, Cavells (formerly Rutland Panthers), Oakham Ospreys, DPs (Don Paddy’s), Rutland Jewells, Oakham School teachers and Mercury will compete in the first season.
Four teams will play each Thursday, with the remaining players taking part in the Back-to-Netball sessions, which new players are welcome to join.
“Since October we have been holding back to netball training sessions for ladies hoping to return to sport,” said Tina.
“In that time we have had women from 16 to older than 50 with mixed levels of ability but all have had lots of fun.
“As a start-up league, looking to form new teams full of inexperienced players, we are perfectly placed to offer a friendly and supportive environment for women who want to make new friends and improve their health.”
Rutland Netball League meets on Thursday at 7pm.
For more details call Tina Sayers on 07808 775657.