There are plenty of reasons to celebrate for Boughton Belles Chester Netball Club following a trophy-laden season in what has been its 10th anniversary campaign.
Started a decade ago with just 10 players by former Bishop’s High School colleagues, Sue Garner (current chair) and Lindsay Huddart (treasurer and junior club secretary) to meet the need for a netball club in the area, it has now grown to over 300 members with some 19 teams competing in six leagues across Cheshire, the North West and North Wales.
Girls and boys from reception age through to adult ladies teams form part of the club, as well as a ‘Back to Netball’ campaign to encourage women and girls back into the sport.
Reflecting on the past decade, Garner said: “When Lindsay and I started the club we were keen to give girls the opportunity to play netball in Chester on a regular basis and get involved in team sports.
“It’s been wonderful to see the club grow so much and especially to see all the girls we started with now coaching and developing the new generation.”
And what better way to celebrate the club’s anniversary year than with a successful season on the court for its teams.
The under-11 ‘Predators’ and the U12 ‘Bears’ teams were both crowned league champions and enjoyed unbeaten campaigns.
The U9s ‘Boxers’ were runners up in their debut campaign, as were the U13 ‘Rockets’ in the Deeside League before claiming glory at the Condover Tournament in Shropshire.
The club retained its Sport England endorsed Silver CAPS award and coach Kate Scott was awarded North West Volunteer of the Year by England Netball.
Under-14 player Cerys Wotjan was also successful at the Junior Performance Pathway trials for the top flight Manchester Thunder team.
Huddart said: “We are seeing more and more girls almost every week– and increasingly boys too – wanting to get involved in netball and play our wonderful game, not just for matches, but for fun and fitness too.
“We are proud that our players stay with us so long and give so much back to the club. We are always keen to take on new coaches to develop all levels and abilities in every age group.”
The twice-crowned North West Netball ‘Club of the Year’ is not resting on its laurels but is busy planning for the next ten years – it has already sourced an extra training venue to cope with the ever increasing demand for netball in Chester and will play an active part in the planned development of the current one.
The club are also currently looking to attract elite players who have the ambition of entering higher level competition in the near future and experienced senior players for the U18/ladies section.
Further information on how to get involved at the club be found at www.boughtonbelleschester.co.uk or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org