England Netball has today announced details of its Couch To Court campaign, which has been introduced in a bid to get more than 4,000 women playing netball or more netball in the New Year.
The governing body has introduced the concept to help battle inactivity amongst women and to encourage even more people to step on a netball court in 2020, meaning more people can enjoy the social and physical benefits the sport has to offer.
The initiative comes after the recent 2018/19 Active Lives survey was published, which found that popularity for netball has grown with 50,200 more people taking part from May 2018 – May 2019 compared to the year prior. However, the findings also demonstrated that 11.2m people are still inactive; taking part in less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, with 313,600 fewer active women than men.
Couch To Court does what it suggests, it guides and encourages people to move from the couch to the netball court. It is perfect for those that are unsure about jumping into netball straight away or want to find out more about their nearest session or club.
The campaign enables anybody to simply sign up to the initiative on the England Netball website and after doing so will be provided with guidance and support via email to help them overcome any nerves and feel prepared to get on a court near them. The Couch To Court web pages also provide details of all netball clubs and approved netball sessions across the country, many of which will be tailored perfectly for beginners who haven’t played for a very long time, making it really easy to find something local in January.
As an added incentive, England Netball will enter anyone who takes part in an England Netball session or who becomes an England Netball member, which means joining an England Netball registered club between 17th December and 19th January, into a prize draw for the chance to win some exciting money can’t buy prizes.
The prizes include the best seats in the house at the otherwise sold out final day of the Vitality Netball Nations Cup on 26 January in London, or the highly anticipated Vitality Netball Superleague Season Opener on 22 February at Arena Birmingham. Not only will the winner get to watch the action sat on a couch courtside with their friends enjoying VIP hospitality – they’ll also get to meet some of the players and take away some signed merchandise as a memento of their incredible experience.
Fran Connolly, CEO of England Netball, said: “We are so excited to be introducing this New Year campaign, Couch To Court. Whilst there has been a growth of 254,000 women becoming more active in the last 12 months, there are still thousands of people that need our support and encouragement to get active or get back into sport, and we know that through programmes like Back to Netball and Walking Netball, we can help this.
“We regularly hear that women’s lives have been significantly improved thanks to netball, but we know that still a significant number of women worry about joining in as they think they’re not fit enough, not good enough and they fear judgement. Couch To Court aims to remove some of those fears and to guide women who are initially thinking of attending a netball session or joining their local club for the first time, all the way through to becoming a regular netball player.
“Back to Netball and Walking Netball sessions will be fully equipped to deliver sessions perfect for beginners as part of the Couch To Court campaign during January, which will give participants a great introduction or re-introduction to netball and ensure they thoroughly enjoy the experience. I know our clubs will also be very excited to welcome new participants with open arms. This is a very exciting initiative and I can’t wait to see women all over the country benefiting from it.”
The Vitality Netball Nations Cup will see four of the World’s best teams compete across four days and in three cities. Further information about the international series and the Season Opener event in February, which will feature 10 Vitality Netball Superleague teams competing under one roof, can be found via the England Netball website.