Comic Relief the big winner as Portsmouth High School hosts spectacular Netball in the Community festival

Netball in the Community festival
Netball in the Community festival
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Comic Relief was the biggest winner at the latest Netball in the Community festival, held at Portsmouth High School, as netballers raised £568 for the popular charity.

It was a fun and friendly tournament, writes Helen Dunning.

Cookies took home the gold medals, popular winners such was their sportsmanship and determination to play from start to finish in very hot whoopee cushion outfits.

Panthers, taking a more stylish route with Peaky Blinders fancy-dress creations, finished second.

As with all Netball in the Community events it wasn’t all about the silver wear and organiser Debbie Laycock was keen for everyone to have a great time and to raise heaps of money for Comic Relief.

She said: ‘We’ve had some great feedback and I really hope everyone had the best time. There were some superb fancy dress efforts. Local businesses came out in support with some great raffle prize donations.

‘Huge thanks to Milton Village Community Association, Eclipse Hair Lounge, Chocolate Treats Beauty, University of Portsmouth Sport & Recreation, John Harvey Master Reiki Teacher, Stansted Park, Up & Running Sports Injury Clinic, Tesco Fratton, Anytime Fitness Locks Heath and Canoe Lake Tennis for their fabulous donations.

‘We wouldn’t have raised as much money without them. We also had some special netball prizes that went down really well. 

‘Our volunteers actually won these prizes which is really fitting. Julie Crane won the Manchester Thunder signed netball donated by HC tournaments and coach and umpire Kimberley Churchill won the Surrey Storm signed dress.’

Her reaction really summed up the evening and all the teams were thrilled for her.

Churchill, so thrilled, said: ‘If I wear it to the next game can I get some court time with Surrey Storm?’ 

She tagged Superleague shooter Sigi Burger and the director of netball Mikki Austin into her social media post so will wait to see if she gets the call.

Laycock added: ‘As always, our volunteers were fantastic. Huge thanks to Kimberley and Julie, as well as Julie Vugler, Lisa McGuigan, Katie Holmes, Janine Robinson and Angie Osborne. They really are worth their weight in gold.’

Clare Goddard, of Sarisbury Sparks, took home the player of the festival award, as voted for by the umpires and volunteers. Her side also won the best fancy dress team award for their bee costumes, complete with glitter and painted nails.

Nikki Dunning, from Allstars, said: ‘What an accolade, our player Clare, player of the whole tournament, most importantly everyone enjoyed themselves.’

The next Netball in the Community festival is a Netballers United event for social teams as well as Walking Netballers. For more information, email netballcommunity@outlook.com