Netballers raise ‘amazing’ record amount as Children in Need festival returns

A record amount - £1,575 - was raised by local netballers at the annual Netball in the Community Children in Need festival.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 9:20 am
Knowle Hotshots - best fancy dress (from left) Zoe Jennings, Mimosa Griffiths, Vicky Richardson, Helen Manuel, Angela Carpenter, Stacey Grantham, Lisa Ayres

Debbie Laycock, who has been running the tournament for over a decade, was overwhelmed by the final total.

Following the 2020 non event due to the pandemic, Laycock was ‘determined to make this year’s festival at the Mountbatten Centre one of the best ever.

‘Our previous record was just over £1,200 in 2019, so to raise such a massive amount in 2021 is just amazing.

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Wallabies (from left) Nicky Harris, Charlie Leech, Megan Savage, Clair Buckland, Katie Luff, Mel Arnold and Marie Sutcliffe

‘Huge thanks to our army of volunteers and BH Live who generously waved the court hire so every single penny went to Children in Need.

‘So many people contributed to this final total and I thank every single one of them from the bottom of my heart.’

Portmouth-based Wallabies took home the winners’ medals, remaining unbeaten throughout, with Misfits runners up.

Third place were Knowle Hotshots, who also took home the ‘Best Team Fancy Dress’ award, playing throughout in mime artist attire.

Portsmouth Pivotals (from left) Megan Giles, Anne Marie Clavey, Janine Robinson, Rebecca Warwick, Vic Ross, Aisha Longhurst, Maddie Roberts

Other eye-catching costumes included Seventies’ Hippies, Cruella Deville and her Dalmations, a fruit salad and a fry up breakfast.

A total of £780 was raised through entry fees alone. A grand raffle and a baking competition further swelled the coffers.

Laycock added: ‘I approached heaps of local businesses and they came up trumps big time.

‘Many of them are local independent traders and have had a hard time during the last couple of years, so their donations really were appreciated.’

Havant Hoops won the ‘Great Netball Bake Off’ thanks to their Pudsey and netball inspired tiered creation.

Megan Giles, from Portsmouth Pivotals, was awarded ‘Player of the Festival’ as voted for by the volunteers.

Misfits pushed Wallabies all the way in the title decider, where some great defensive

work from Katie Luff saw Wallabies hold on for a 5-3 win.

The only draw (3-3) took place between Havant Hoops and Southampton Stars.

Laycock concluded: ‘All Netball in the Community events has ‘fun and friendly’ at the very heart. There’s no point unless we enjoy our netball and I will always do everything I can to make sure everyone leaves with a smile on their face.

‘There was no one with a more broader smile than mine, though, when I realised how much we raised for Children in Need this year!’