Young netball players raise funds for Queen Alexandra Hospital through t-shirt design competition

YOUNG netball players showed their support for the NHS by joining in with a t-shirt design competition to raise funds for hardworking staff.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 12:46 pm
Updated Monday, 10th August 2020, 4:40 pm

Members of Warsash-based Sarisbury Sparks netball club got creative with their designs to raise as much money as possible through sales of the tops - with the winning design raising £210 so far.

Professional netball player Kyra Jones - who plays for Wales and the Celtic Dragons - got on board to judge the entries, settling on a rainbow-inspired pattern from 13-year-old Elysia Wilson.

Elysia was pleased to help out the NHS in this small way. She said: ‘They’re doing such an amazing job with all of this and helping everybody out, they’re the most at risk so it’s great to give them some support.’

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Members of Sarisbury Sparks netball team, based in Warsash, raised money for the NHS by holding a t-shirt design competition, which was won by Elysia Wilson. Pictured: Coaches Karen Watkins, Nikki Dunning and Alex Hughes wearing the winning design

Proud mum Laura added: ‘It was a really good entry, we were absolutely made up [when she won]. We were delighted, it was lovely news especially during lockdown when we haven’t had anything new happen.’

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Karen Watkins, who set the club up with Nikki Dunning in 2017, hopes to donate the funds to the paediatric wards at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

Karen, from Sarisbury Green, said: ‘It’s not a massive amount but it’s great as a small community, obviously going forward we’d like to raise some more funds.

Elysia Wilson, 13, won Sarisbury Sparks Netball Club's t-shirt competition to raise funds for the NHS

‘The NHS have done so much through Covid and without them we wouldn’t have got through it. As a community we wanted to give a little bit back - they’re the heart of the country.’

The coaches have been trying to keep the players engaged throughout the lockdown period, with netball still not allowed to resume under government guidelines.

They hand-delivered a netball to each player so they could join in with training through Zoom, and ran this competition as another way to stay in touch.

Members of Sarisbury Sparks netball team, based in Warsash, raised money for the NHS by holding a t-shirt design competition, which was won by Elysia Wilson. Pictured: Coaches Karen Watkins, Nikki Dunning and Alex Hughes wearing the winning design

Karen, whose 14-year-old daughter Teah plays for one of the teams, said: ‘We still can’t get back to netball so we’re doing fitness sessions.

‘It’s just growing and growing. It’s about getting children back into sport and they have got to have some fun. People come to netball for so many different reasons and it’s not just about playing netball.’

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