Sisters stroll to victory in maiden tournament

Participants of the walking netball tournament. Picture: Helen Dunning

Stroll Sisters took the spoils in Hampshire’s maiden walking netball festival.

The Fareham-based outfit went unbeaten at Southsea’s Canoe Lake Leisure to scoop the silverware.

Sixty ladies took part in the tournament with teams coming from Fareham, Swanmore, Horndean, Gosport and Farnham.

Competition organiser and community development coach Debbie Laycock was delighted with how the event went.

And she revealed she is already hoping to organise another in the near future.

Laycock said: ‘We had six teams from Fareham, Swanmore, Horndean, Gosport and Farnham enter the first festival.

‘More teams wanted to attend so we will host another soon.

‘Walking netball is a great 
leveller and we had several mums and daughters playing alongside each other.

‘We try not to get too excited but I think some of the ladies found a competitive edge they hadn’t seen for a few years.

‘But it was all done in the very best of spirits.

‘I’d like to wish a huge thanks to our volunteer umpires.

‘They did a superb job as none of them had umpired a walking netball festival previously.

‘We really appreciated their great support.

‘Thank you also goes to our hosts Canoe Lake Leisure and Greens Café.

‘Walking netball has a great social element.

‘Our trophy presentation took place in Greens Café garden with tea and cake for all participants, volunteers and supporters.

‘It was a great end to a really fabulous day and we can’t wait to arrange another one.’

Viners Revisited, from Gosport, performed gallantly and clinched second spot.

They have only recently started playing the walking format of the game and were pleased with their effort.

Jackie McMahon, who organised the Viners side, said: ‘Until four years ago, we were actually still playing in the Gosport & Fareham Netball Association.

‘We had been playing together for over 20 years and are best friends.

‘However, we stopped playing regularly through age and injuries.

‘Walking netball has given us a new lease of life.

‘It’s great to be playing on court together again.

‘In the tournament, we weren’t pulled up too many times for running or jumping.’

Judy Yoxall, from Fareham Follies, was impressed with the turnout for the tournament.

‘It was a superb day and was great to bring so many walking netball players together to compete against different teams,’ she said.

‘It is so much more than just netball, though.

‘We were active, outdoors in the beautiful weather and had the opportunity to socialise and get to know our team-mates and opponents.

‘Both Fareham Follies and Fareham Foxes are looking forward to the next one.’

Swanmore organiser Lynn Evans, who also played and umpired, revealed it was her perfect Sunday in sumptuous conditions.

She said: ‘I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday than by the beach, playing walking netball in the sun with cake for afters.

‘Thanks to everyone who got involved.’

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