The Netball Development Trust (NDT) is a new pilot scheme working in conjunction with the Tag Rugby Trust (TRT) and is supported by England Netball and Gilbert. It will be introducing netball to Primary School children in Uganda this summer with the aim of improving children’s health, well being and enjoyment as well as publicising the sport of netball. It is hoped that the pilot tour will lead to further international netball development schemes in Uganda and other countries.
Monica Thandi, who set up NDT following the Tag Rugby Trust’s model and organised the trip was joined by two UK volunteers Symone Lawson and Marie Heathcock and three International under 21 Ugandan netball players who all helped to coach the children. At the end of the week’s coaching, a tournament was hosted at one of Mbale’s biggest schools, North Road Primary and it is hoped that this will inspire children and teachers to continue playing the traditional format of the game.
Volunteer Marie Heathcock commented; “We coached the children and from the first day it was back to basics where we painted the court lines by hand and dug holes for the posts! The children did not understand footwork and positions. However they quickly learned to play at a high level and on the final day they played in a tournament. The smiles and thanks we received were incredible!”
As well as teaching the rules of Netball the NDT also took old and unused Netball resources. England Netball and Gilbert donated teaching aids and fans had donated kit and equipment at The Co-operative Netball Superleague Grand Final in May which were all taken to Uganda, Monica went on to comment; “I’d like to thank everyone who supported our trip and donated their kit and Netball resources, the children were so excited to receive proper bibs as they had previously been making their own embroidered versions."
A return trip is already being discussed, with the aim being to educate teachers, local volunteers as well as students so that Netball can grow and tournaments can start to happen between schools.
If you would like to get involved with NDT, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org
this article originally appeared on the England netball and IFNA websites.
Further information about the Tag Rugby Trust can be found at www.tagrugbytrust.co.uk