What products does gold medal winner Beth Cobden choose?

Gold medal winner and England Rose, Beth Cobden talks to us about what netball products she chooses and why:

I am thrilled to be part of the Gilbert Netball team as an ambassador, it is a privilege to be associated with such a high quality, reputable brand. I have played with Gilbert’s netballs for many years now so to have been given the opportunity to create my own signature ball was amazing!

As a Gilbert Netball ambassador, I have been given some awesome Gilbert kit over the year and a half I’ve been an ambassador; my favourite is the grey zip up sweatshirt that is well fitted and extremely comfortable. I love wearing it under the Gilbert gilet when I’m training and coaching.

The 2018 Gilbert Netball range is great, I love the new Synergie Pro trainers as they’re great to train and play in. They are extremely lightweight which allows me to adjust my feet quickly and change direction whilst giving me the upmost support for hard impact on the ground. The cushioning and support of the shoe around my foot and ankle allows me to deliver a secure footing on landing. As well as being great for Netball they’re also a great design and colour they come in a red/white as well as a blue/pink which I love!

Beth x

You can view the Gilbert netball range by clicking here >>

Netball UK to be official retail partner of Netball Northern Ireland

Netball NI, the governing body for netball in Northern Ireland, is coming together with the sport’s leading online retailer Netball UK for a new partnership.

Netball UK, the one-stop shop for everything netball, will be the official retail partner of Netball NI for the next 12 months.

The partnership will provide exclusive offers to Netball NI members, a retail presence at Netball NI’s key fixtures and information and blogs from Netball UK’s team, including Superleague player Kerry Almond.

Netball in Northern Ireland is growing in popularity. The team is currently eighth in the world and solidified this position with an eighth place finish in April at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. They have also qualified for next year’s World Cup in Liverpool.

Debbie Hallas, managing director of Netball UK, said:

“This is an exciting partnership which will bring our one-stop shop for all things netball, backed up by expertise and service from top level players and coaches, to Netball Northern Ireland’s members at a time of growth for the sport. We look forward to building a strong relationship with Northern Ireland’s netballers in the months ahead.”

Geoff Wilson Chair of Netball Northern Ireland, added:

“We are delighted to bring on board netball UK as our official retail partner. Netball in Northern Ireland is going from strength to strength not only on the court but off it as well. This partnership is a key element in moving forward our sport by providing our members with all the merchandise and support required in a modern day sport.

We have recently signed a number of commercial partnerships over the last few months and this gives us a great platform to grow and develop the sport over the coming years.”

 

Do you know what netball trainers are?

Don’t worry a lot of netballers don’t and this is why we are here to help you. Netball UK are the netball experts, 18 years of experience and Superleague players on hand to advise you.

On every product we give you ‘our opinion’ as we try and test everything we sell – and have a lot of fun in the process. Plus, we help you with educational videos with tips from the professionals.

Don’t be fooled by other brands just labelling their products as netball trainers.

Our advice for you: stick to the brands that are netball specific, researched and tested, Mizuno, Asics and Gilbert.

Top tips on netball trainers from Manchester Thunder’s Kerry Almond click here >>

View our range of netball trainers click here >>

Find out what the top 3 picks are now – Netball posts for home >>

Netballers – get out and active in the fresh air this summer!

The clocks have gone back, lighter nights are here and better weather upon us which means more time spent outside in the fresh air. Many of you will be searching the internet for BBQ’s, heaters, football nets and even Crazy Catches. So why not add a netball post to your garden furniture? Most females play or have played netball and a lot of competitive men out there will be dying to show us how much better they are – as it is just like basketball after all – isn’t it?

Well to put to bed a few myths the netball ring is smaller than a basketball ring at 15” diameter as opposed to 18” for the latter. Plus in netball we don’t have the advantage of a backboard. So gentlemen, the challenge is on!

Over the last few years the range of netball posts available for home use has grown massively as has the quality. Gone are the days where the pole was rickety, leaning to one side and the ring swings round when the netball hits it.

Now you can get a netball post that easily wheels around so you can not only use in the garden, but on your drive or even on the street, if it’s not a busy road of course. There are many inferior productS out there that we won’t touch, we carefully select what we offer and here are our top three recommendations for you:

  1. NET1 NETBALL SYSTEM

The NET1 Netball System is the market leader for home netball posts and it outsells its nearest rival by four to one. It is fairly easy to see why, first of all it has the most solid base around and not only can you fill it with sand or water but you can peg the base down if you are on grass or a similar surface. The base also has more than adequate wheels to enable you to easily move around.

Secondly, the pole comes in robust sections which avoids any bend giving you a constantly accurate height, plus you get pole padding which is not absolutely necessary for practising outside but just in case a competitive dad or brother decides to get involved the safety aspect is there!

Next is the fact that it has five height settings, and ok most of you probably won’t use them all, but it is an advantage if you have younger kids as the height can go up very gradually as their strength and ability increases. It finishes off with a sturdy ring with hooks for the net so there is no messing about trying to tie knots and tape it on.

The instructions are easy to follow even if you’re not a DIY expert.

Netball UK Score: 10/10

Feefo Score at Netball UK: 5 STARS!

BUY HERE >>

  1. GILBERT NETBALL POST

All in all a decent offering from Gilbert, a good solid base with wheels, three height adjustments for the ring. It also features the hooks for the net, again making it easy to attach.

The advantage of the Gilbert Netball Post is that you can easily disassemble it, so if you want to move it by car, take on holiday or even take to a tournament for practice you can do this easily.

It doesn’t have quite have the build quality of the NET1 and as many height adjustments, but you won’t be disappointed, plus if you need a more transportable option this is the one for you.

Netball UK Score: 8/10

BUY HERE >>

  1. Sure Shot Prime Shot Netball Post

A tidy new addition for the Sure Shot range, this is an impressive improvement. The Prime Shot Netball Post is more sturdy and much better quality all round than the garden netball sets out there and features a better round ring with no ties.

Ideal for youngsters starting out this post goes as low as 4ft while you can also extend to the full height of 10ft to cater for every age and level.

Easy to assemble with simple instructions.

Netball UK Score: 8/10

BUY HERE >>

REMEMBER…

  • We try and test all the products that we sell to ensure we offer you good quality, realiable equipment. You can read our opinions on every product and also independent reviews by our customers.
  • You get FREE DELIVERY on all three posts we have reviewed
  • If you order before 3pm you will receive the next day (see terms and conditions for full delivery information).

Click here to view the whole Netball UK Range CLICK HERE >>

 

 

 

Why I Swear By SKINS – Kerry Almond

SKINS are an Australian invention and come loaded with technology to help you, either during training or after, for recovery, depending on the type of Skins you have.

Training SKINS, such as the DNAmic and new K-Proprium ranges, are gradient compression garments which help to regulate and accelerate the blood flow through your body, bringing more oxygen to your muscles, boosting your performance.

Kerry Almond stars for Manchester Thunder in the Vitality Netball Superleague

One of the key technologies in the training garments is the muscle support. This wraps and supports key muscle groups reducing the vibration of the muscle fibres as you exercise. This increases the strength, control and balance in your muscles which lowers the chance of injury and soft tissue damage. It also helps to reduce the amount of fatigue in the muscles meaning you can exercise harder and for longer (always something your coach wants).

But does this technology work?

Quite simply, yes.

I’ve been wearing SKINS for many years now for both training and recovery and the difference between wearing them for training and not wearing them is incredibly noticeable. Whilst wearing them I always feel like I can train for longer, even if my lungs are telling me a different story! They really help to fight off the inevitable muscle cramps from a tough session.

The DNAmic SKINS are a good everyday training garment, useful for everything from on court training to spinning sessions and classes in the gym. Plus, they come in some great new designs so that you can really stand out from the crowd if you want to.

Perfect for pre-season endurance training are the NEW K-Proprium tights, which are serving me well while our coach Karen Greig puts us through our paces in the lead up to the Superleague season. These tights really fight against against muscular fatigue and help you to get the best out of your endurance training.

Kerry Almond in action against Wasps Netball

The recovery SKINS (RY400) are made for use afterwards to accelerate the recovery of your muscles -reducing tenderness and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) by delivering more oxygen to your resting muscles.

I would say that the recovery SKINS are one of my favourite products. Why? Because they eliminate the need for the most dreaded of recovery tools – the ice bath!

All in all, while SKINS can be an expensive outlay, they are definitely worth it and the RY400 tights are always one of the first items into my kit bag on a match day.

Kerry Almond

Manchester Thunder & Netball UK Office Manager

SHOP OUR SKINS RANGE CLICK HERE >>

Do you ensure your child has enough support when playing netball?

Are you safe-guarding their bodies through a key time in their life while they are growing?

Netball is a sport that is tough on the body with lots of stop-starting, change of direction and jumping and landing. And it’s never too early to protect all important joints.

You’ll find a lot of junior netball is played outside, particularly at schools or tournaments and these are hard surfaces. So, it is key that youngsters are wearing the correct footwear.

There are four shoes that meet the recommended criteria for playing netball, the most choice junior netballers have ever had!

ASICS Professional 13 Junior Shoe

The Professional GS Junior is a take-down of the record-selling adult version. For the first time, young netballers can now wear the same shoes as their idols. It features GEL in the forefoot and rearfoot plus a midsole trusstic which is what provides the support when twisting and turning and changing direction. Something running shoes don’t offer

Mizuno Wave Mirage Junior

The Mizuno Wave Mirage Junior is a clever replica of the adult version. A lightweight performance shoe, this shoe gives you ultimate support plus excellent grip which becomes more ‘grippier’ as the shoe warms up.

ASICS Gel-Netburner 18 GS Junior

The Asics Gel-Netburner GS Junior shoes are a very supportive shoe with great protection, particularly from the forefoot GEL, for young growing feet.

Mizuno Wave Twister Junior

The Mizuno Wave Twister Junior is a take-down of the adult version. The size take-down to the junior version means there is less of the EVA midsole cushioning. However, it has more than adequate cushioning and support for juniors (not for adults trying to get a cheaper shoe :-))

It is a very supportive shoe without being clumpy.

Click here for the orange version

Click here for the wild aster version

Us females are usually fussy when it comes to colour, particularly youngsters growing up wanting to be cool. So, with plain white options through to bright orange and a crazy black print, everyone should find a shoe they like.

Look after your youngster and ensure they are wearing the right protection for their sport.

Debbie Hallas

Netball UK donation encouraging netball in Malawi

It’s hard to ignore the rise of netball in Malawi, as the Malawi Queens really stamped their name on the international scene with victory over England Roses to claim bronze,  in last year’s Fast5 World Series in Sydney.

While star shooter Mwayi Kumwenda is a professional netballer for Melbourne Vixens in the Australian Netball League and Joyce Mvula is the first Malawian to play in the UK Netball Superleague.

However, it could be argued that Mwayi and Joyce are exceptions to the rule in Malawi and have succeeded despite the lack of equipment, kit and facilities. There is financial hardship throughout the land-locked country in south east Africa, but they are using netball as a positive influence and inspiration for the female population.

pic4

These players started as young girls in their communities and often as part of projects set-up by charities. One such project is the Phunzira project base in northern Malawi, founded in 2009 the UK-based charity’s main aim was to improve education and healthcare.

Encouraging youngsters to engage in sport is recognised as an important part of sustaining such projects and Dr Philippa Mander, a health co-ordinator at the Phunzira charity, contacted Netball UK looking for donations towards the project.

Dr Mander said:  “Thank you again so much for your extremely kind donation of two sets of netball kits to the Nyumba Ya Masambiro youth club. The club members are absolutely thrilled with the donation and they have held both an inaugural match and a mini tournament against a local school netball team in celebration of these donations. They also use the bibs weekly in their sports session. Having these bibs has really boosted female engagement both with sports and with youth club attendance in general for which we are very grateful.”

pic

Mike Greenwood, director at Netball UK added: “When Dr Mander contacted us it really was a no-brainer, such a modest donation can have a huge impact on these youngsters.”

“In light of this story and having a great partnership with Manchester Thunder we are looking at a way we can support a project on a regular basis linking in with their Malawian player Joyce Mvula and her netball community.”

pic3

You cannot deny the Malawians strength out of adversity. Their passion for netball is undeniable and you wouldn’t bet against them improving on their current ranking of 6th in the world. Go Malawi!

pic2

You can read more about the Phunzira project by clicking here… http://www.phunzira.org/Welcome.aspx

Why the Mirage is not an illusion – Gabby Marshall

Why the Mirage is not an illusion – by Gabby Marshall

With my club side Manchester Thunder and England Netball partnering with Mizuno, the opportunity arose to try out their range of netball shoes. I have always worn netball specific shoes as opposed to running shoes as I know the importance of grip, support and change of direction – all crucial components to my position in the middle of the court.

Mizuno-mirageLike most players I have historically worn Asics shoes so was intrigued as to what Mizuno had to offer. I initially tried the Wave Phantom, a very stable shoe favoured by some of my team mates playing in and around the circle. It’s a great shoe but I needed something more dynamic to suit my game. That’s when I picked up the Wave Mirage. The first thing that struck me was the weight – how could a netball shoe be this light? It made me question whether a shoe of this weight could also provide support.

Gabs-Mirage

Within a few minutes of my first training session I knew I had found a shoe that suited my game. It’s low, flat base did indeed provide the stability I was seeking. It’s outsole grooves allowed me to pivot and move instantly and the grip got better and better as the sole warmed up and interacted with the court surface. As with any change of equipment however I knew I needed more time for testing – could I definitely adapt from a shoe with a soft feel and running DNA to the firmer, more responsive Mizuno Wave Mirage?

The answer was a resounding “yes”. After a few sessions I could really sense how much the shoe was benefitting my game – I felt more efficient as the superior flexibility and grip meant I worked less to stop and turn. In sport it’s important to seek every advantage possible and I know that in the Wave Mirage I have found the shoe that gives me an extra edge.

Gabby Marshall. Manchester Thunder, Oldham, England & Mizuno All Star.

Gabs-Mizuno

Does this apply to your sports bra?

Does this apply to your sports bra? 

  1. You’re noticing more movement as you’re exercising
  1. You can’t read the care label anymore
  1. Your workouts are working and it suddenly seems too big
  1. It’s pilling or otherwise quite worn

If so, it could be time to invest in a new one.

Did you know that on average the support in a sports bras only lasts for 6-12 months?

I was quite surprised when I learnt this, as I had had some of my sports bras for at least a couple of years. Along with our staff, I like to be well educated in all of the products that we sell, firstly to ensure we are selling the right products for netball and secondly so we can pass on important messages to you.

First of all, advice that will help you know when is the right time to replace your sports bra plus some helpful tips that could prolong the life of your sports bra.

I have found a good rule of thumb to go by is if you wear your sports bra twice a week and wash it once a week you should definitely replace it on its anniversary.

best-sports-bra

Tip 1: Ideally, sports bras should be hand washed and hung to dry. But if you must place yours in the washing machine, it’s best to put it in a lingerie bag; hooks and rough fabrics from other clothing can damage sports bras during the washing process, making them less supportive.

Tip 2: Avoid throwing your sports bra in the dryer when you can since dryers makes lycra less stretchy.

Tip 3: Avoid using fabric softener. Using a fabric softener is a highly effective way to improve the feel of your washing, but unfortunately when it comes to technical fabrics they are also particularly damaging. Such softeners line your garments with wax like chemicals that will damage the materials ability to both breathe and wick moisture from the skin.

Tip 4: Take off your bra straight after exercising. Back in the day, women didn’t sweat, they ‘faintly glowed.’ Today’s women work out just as hard as the men do and they’re not afraid to show how hard they’re working. Whether it is in training or a match wash your sports bra as soon as you can. This will help remove some of the sweat and bacteria that can cause the fibres to break down.

So invest in your breasts, ensure you have good support when exercising. Go and check yours now and ensure you start the new season with the right equipment for your body.

Debbie Hallas

Managing Director.

Click here for our full range of sports bras…

4490- ACTIVE MULTI SPORTS bubble LIFESTYLE

Why I am a Mizuno Netball Trainer convert – Kerry Almond

I’ve always been an ASICS girl when it comes to netball shoes, ever since I joined a netball club nearly 19 years ago. Until now.

Over the summer months I made the switch from the ASICS Gel Netburner Super 6 to the Mizuno Wave Phantom trainers, and I haven’t looked back.

For me, stability in a netball trainer is key, having been through major ankle surgery and more than a few minor injuries in my time, I need a lot of support and underfoot stability in a netball trainer. And the Wave Phantom doesn’t disappoint.

When you first put them on they do feel harder underfoot than an ASICS trainer, but this is down to the way that Mizuno cushion their shoes. ASICS tend to use a thick GEL cushion in the shoes which raises you up higher and means your feet are further from the floor, whereas Mizuno use WAVE technology for the cushioning and this brings you closer to the ground. This, for me, leads to greater stability underfoot as there is less of a high platform for rolling the ankle. Which, when you have glass ankles like I do, is a huge selling point, and also one that builds confidence in being able to play and not worry when the next roll is coming!

I’d go so far as to say that out of all the netball trainers I’ve worn through the years, the Mizuno Wave Phantom is the most stable I’ve ever come across.

Another feature I love about the Phantom is the grip which is far better than any shoe I’ve worn in recent years. The sole warms up as you move in them and ends up slightly tacky. This means that they grip the floor better and means that I can push off a lot faster on a change of direction than if I was wearing a shoe with less grip. And when you’re like me (older and slower than some of my teammates) any advantage you can gain is welcome!

kerry-almond-2015-semi

A lot of people have asked about the fit of the shoes recently, and for me, the fit seems to compare to ASICS in most ways. Although, I feel like there is a little more room around the toes, but this hasn’t affected the fit for me.

All in all, the Mizuno Wave Phantom is a great shoe, with good cushioning and fantastic stability, and is at a great price point too. I highly recommended the Phantom, it will definitely be my shoe of choice for the upcoming Superleague season.

Kerry Almond

Manchester Thunder

& Netball UK Office Manager