Reasons to be cheerful for Portsmouth-based Walking Netball group
A Portsmouth-based Walking Netball group have a double reason to celebrate - they have been awarded £500 from the Arnold Clarke Community Fund and celebrated their third anniversary.
Walkie Talkies has 25 members registered and returned to their pre Covid-19 indoor facility at the end of September, at Miltoncross Academy, having spent the summer adhering to modified rules on an outside court.
Organised by Netball in the Community and hosted by Debbie Laycock, Walkie Talkies have gone from strength to strength despite the pandemic.
Laycock said: ‘We are delighted that everyone has returned since lockdown and a bonus is that we have welcomed new members as well.
‘The various lockdowns were tough for a lot of the Walkie Talkies, many of whom live alone. The popular netball motto of ‘here if you need’ could not have been more apt.
‘Our Whats App group was very popular and we arranged walks and get togethers when we were allowed!’
Laycock added: ‘The funding from Arnold Clarke, which we were delighted to receive, will go towards some of our players taking their Walking Netball Host qualification and discounting our indoor sessions to regulars.
‘There is a significant difference between sports hall costs and outdoor court hire costs!
‘This means the long-term future of Walking Netball is safe.’
Short term, as well as returning to their indoor training venue at Miltoncross School, Walkie Talkies look forward to a festival and a friendly game in Gosport.
Member Leslie Smith is delighted that Walkie Talkies march on.
‘Walkie Talkies is fantastic,’ she enthused. ‘It has given me the opportunity to meet new friends and meet lots of other ladies, whilst exercising.
‘It’s interesting and fun by introducing lots of different practices. I go home on a Monday feeling that I have worked hard and also in a happy mood. It helps you forget your normal cares and woes.’
Walkie Talkies celebrated their third anniversary and £500 windfall with a match play session, followed by cake and hot chocolate, as well as a ‘thank you’ to founding members Jackie Powell and Angie Osborne.
Powell said: ‘II never dreamt that I would be back playing netball again after an injury stopped me playing ‘full fat’ netball 25 years ago.
‘I love it now, as much as I did then, thanks to our amazing coach and a great bunch of friendly and super-enthusiastic ladies.’