Knowle Hotshots light up Netball in the Community event at Canoe Lake

Knowle Hotshots
Knowle Hotshots

Fareham’s netball heroes are walking tall

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Knowle Hotshots were on fire in a recent Netball in the Community festival at Canoe Lake in Southsea, writes Helen Dunning.

They remained unbeaten to take the honours, while Fareham-based Phoenix just pipped Springers, from Portsmouth, to the silver medals.

Meanwhile, Springers goal-shooter Holly Sexton was named best and fairest player by the volunteer umpires.

The competition was part of a summer of NitC events in and around the city. They are being organised by Debbie Laycock – former England Netball development community coach for south east Hampshire.

Laycock left that post in March but was back to what she does best organising the fun tournament in Southsea.

She said: ‘Every team got points on the board and for me that’s a great measure of how evenly matched this festival was. It was all about having fun in friendly surroundings and catching up with team-mates and fellow netballers.’

Among the highlights was a 4-4 draw for Portsmouth Pivotals against Springers – with Janine Robinson excelling under the post.

Meanwhile, Cams Chaos and Delme Diamonds shared an exciting draw, with Emma Heaysman consistent for the latter.

Springers ran Hotshots close but Vicky Richardson’s composure and the fab support of Angie Carpenter proved decisive. Laycock used the event to launch her NitC venture – with walking netball and social versatility festivals scheduled for August and September, respectively

NitC are also offering pay-and-play sessions at Canoe Lake Leisure. The outdoor sessions cost just £2 on July 9, 11, 30 (7.45pm to 9pm).

At the same venue, free walking netball sessions will take place on July 9, 30 (7pm to 7.45pm).

Laycock is excited for the future after being buoyed by the popularity of the Canoe Lake event.

She pointed to England’s success at the Commonwealth Games as a key factor and encouraged more women to come and give netball a go.

She added: ‘When you arrive early to set up and there are many players already there, you know netball is on the rise with the England Roses’ Commonwealth Games gold.

‘These taster sessions are open to ladies of all ages. Whether they played netball three days ago or 33 years ago – it really doesn’t matter. Just come along, give it a go and have a giggle.’