Knowle Hotshots finally came up trumps at the latest Back to Netball festival.
The talented squad have been making good progress in recent competitions, with second and third-place finishes, but hadn’t been able to get their hands on the top prize.
Now that has changed as the Fareham-based side are celebrating success after combining with their male counterparts in a twist to the normal rules.
This event at Southampton Sports Centre saw men also taking part.
Natasha Howson-Baggott, organiser of the successful Knowle Hotshots team, was particularly impressed by the way the men performed in the competition.
She said: ‘It was a great day of netball, full of fun and banter and some really great play, too – especially from the men.
‘We were delighted to finally get our hands on some silverware!
‘Although whatever the outcome we always look forward and enjoy the festivals – that’s what it is all about.’
It’s been another big success story for Back to Netball.
Howson-Baggott explained the team have relished returning to the sport and are enjoying playing in the All About Netball League.
She said: ‘We formed from a Back to Netball session around 18 months ago and haven’t looked back.
‘We now play in the All About Netball League at Cams Hill School and just love playing netball with our friends – it’s a proper little netball family!’
Ball Huggers, made up mostly of Cams Chaos Back to Netballer Becky Lish’s family members won the runners-up trophy – on goal difference from Calmore Reds.
Lish’s new husband Jack was awarded male player of the tournament, while Becky Hampshire, from Calmore Blues, won the female player of the tournament.
Both went home with Back to Netball T-shirts as prizes.
England Netball’s Debbie Laycock organised the festival and felt it went very well.
She said: ‘Mixed netball is becoming more and more popular in the area and I was delighted we had so many teams enter this tournament for Back to Netballers.
‘The emphasis was still on fun and friends and I think the men did really well – more often than not giving the ladies a run for their money!
‘It was great to see so many people take to the courts on a lovely day, all enjoying themselves and being active.
‘We couldn’t successfully run these events without the fabulous volunteers who help on the day and also the organisers of the teams, they do a great job of getting players there and playing!’
For more information about Back to Netball see the website englandnetball.co.uk/Back-to-Netball.
Alternatively, contact Debbie Laycock on 07854 09047 or Debbie.firstname.lastname@example.org to find your nearest Back to Netball session.