VNSL 2021 Winners Survey & Competition Terms and Conditions

The survey and competition runs until 11.59pm on Monday 21 June. Entries after this point will not be entered. The individual winner of the competition, randomly selected from those who choose the correct team who win the VNSL Grand Final will win a pair of netball trainers of their choice from the selection available and in stock at Netball UK. The promoter, Netball UK, reserves the right to withdraw the offer at anytime. The promoter’s decision is final and no discussion about the prize will be entered into.

Easter T&Cs

Instagram Competition Terms and Conditions:

  • The competition runs until Monday, 5 April at 11.59pm.
  • The individual winner of the competition will win a pair of ASICS Ballistic FF2 for themselves and a pair for a friend.
  • The promoter, Netball UK, reserves the right to withdraw the offer at anytime.
  • The promoter’s decision is final and no discussion about the prize will be entered into.
  • The competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

 

Netball’s Sole Obsession

I’m sure you loved having elite netball back last weekend – how brilliant is it to be able to watch every game on YouTube or Sky Sports!

One of the questions we got on social media during the games was about the sort of netball trainers you should be buying for when we can – finally – return to court (and let’s hope it’s very soon… fingers crossed for what Boris has to say on Monday!).

75% of netball in the UK is played outdoors and I’m sure that figure will increase with Covid restrictions that may only allow play outside – so it’s important that you choose the best netball shoes, shoes that are suitable for playing outside.

But why invest in netball-specific shoes? Why are your bog standard running shoes not up to scratch. For me, it’s simple:

  1. Netball shoes help to avoid injury
  2. Netball shoes save you money
  3. Netball shoes make you play better

What’s not to love about all of that?

Wearing netball trainers will be even more essential with the lengthy lay off we’ve all had from the sport we love. The last thing you want would be to suffer an injury on your return to the netball court, and netball trainers will go a long way to reducing that risk.

But how do netball trainers actually help you?

Basically, it’s all about the sole! Yes you could say it’s our sole obsession, as this is where the majority of technology in a netball shoe is.

  1. Rounded edges are found on netball shoes as opposed to straight edge like a running shoe would have. The rounded edges align to the lateral movements of netball, whereas if you had the straight edges of a running shoe think how painful it would be rolling your ankle, those edges can make your ankle flip over. Simply put, the rounded edge will help you maintain your feet in the right position avoiding injury.
  2. The midsole is another key technology in netball trainers that again would be different to running trainers. In a netball shoe, the midsole is made up of a specific amount of compressed foam, to keep your foot stable while offering the perfect amount cushioning in the places you need it the most.
  3. Gel-cushioning – an easy misconception by many netballers is that if a shoe feels more spongy and cushioned like a running shoe it is better for you. Not in netball! The gel in a netball shoe is strategically placed for the lateral movements of netball. Did you know we only spend around 40% of our time on court moving forward? Therefore a specific amount of gel is vital for netball, anything more makes your foot unstable in your shoe.
  4. Hard wearing rubber – this not only gives you the best grip outdoors, but also saves you money. ASICS use a more durable rubber (AHAR+) in netball trainers while the rubber that Mizuno uses (in its netball shoes) is designed to be durable outdoors and grippy indoors. Therefore netball trainers can last you several times longer than using a running shoe – particularly a cheap running shoe.

So, if you’re being smart and buying smart, these are our top picks for sole outdoor performance:

It’s important that you think before you buy and remember we are the only netball store that ONLY sells netball shoes!

We’re the only experts in this field, we are all netballers of different levels from Superleague to local league, and we try and test the shoes to ensure we can give you opinions you can trust. There’s no need for extensive research on your part, let us do all the hard work for you.

Don’t forget, we are always at the end of the phone if you want to discuss in person and always happy to talk netball – let’s face it we all need a little something to keep us going in these lockdown times!

Like you – netball is our world!


Debbie Hallas
Managing Director, Netball UK

My Lockdown Life – by Debbie Hallas


Lockdown for me certainly hasn’t been boring! It has probably been one of the most challenging years of my life.

Normally, my work schedule follows an annual pattern around the netball season and we look forward to the releases of new ranges – particularly new netball trainers or Nike kit.

However, the pandemic has brought lots of challenges ensuring that no day is the same and we have had to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, continuously adapting like never before to different market demands.

In lockdown one, everyone wanted netball posts, balls and Crazy Catch for their gardens as we all basked in the sunshine. We sold out of everything we had or could get our hands on. It was crazily busy but once stock ran out and the demand died down it was quiet and I had more free time on my hands.

I wanted to get outside to exercise – I struggle to do a lot of running due to bad netball knees (a problem many of you will probably be familiar with!) so thought I’d give cycling a go. My cousin had been doing a bit and came to stay for a few days (when we were allowed) and we thought we’d go all out and try what turned out to be a 26km ride around the Peak District. I loved it and this started a theme of a cycling trip every weekend.

I cajoled my friend and colleague Kerry Almond to join me and we also roped in my fellow coach from Oldham Netball Club, Suzy Ashworth. We tend to stick to the off road routes, usually along some part of the Rochdale or Ashton canals, where we also ‘stumble’ across a local pub for a healthy lunch. Ah those were the days, when pubs were open!

During August we were lucky enough to get the go ahead for netball to return which was just the best news for every aspect of my life – from here at Netball UK, to my other roles as managing director of Manchester Thunder and coach at Oldham Netball Club, and of course a netball player – albeit social netball these days. I guess I couldn’t be more involved in netball if I tried – good job I love it!

Adult netball unfortunately didn’t last long – certainly not indoor netball, which impacted all the levels I’m involved in. Luckily junior netball was still allowed to go ahead – it’s a great outlet for all the youngsters not just for physical activity but for their mental and social wellbeing.

As you will see if you follow me on my social channels, I really got into Cross Fit a couple of years ago and was ecstatic to get back to the gym. It benefits me physically and mentally and it’s really challenging taking me out of my comfort zone. Believe it or not I had never in my life done a handstand until joining! There’s a great community at the gym and also great competitive spirit which I thrive in. The benefits of all round strength cross over so well to netball and I felt better on the court than I have done for a long time.

Lockdown two hit with a bang but, with a time limit to it, it was easy to see light at the end of the tunnel. But I have to say the current lockdown three has probably hit me the hardest personally. It’s so cold and dark in January that it is challenging in the best of years – and this has not been the best of years. In the winter, it’s not as easy to get outside, particularly on a bike with the snow and icy conditions. However, with the vaccination programmes being rolled out quickly in the UK hopefully it won’t be too long now and we’ve all got to hang on in there.

The massive news for netball is that the Vitality Netball Superleague is back with a vengeance with EVERY SINGLE GAME LIVE on a Sky Sports platform. In my role at Manchester Thunder, it has been a gruelling year as we endeavoured to bring elite netball back. I’ve really enjoyed getting out and about at our pre-season friendlies and even enjoyed some live commentary alongside Gary Neville who popped in to watch.

It has taken an immense amount of work and adaptability to make this happen and I have to give a shout out to England Netball who have done an amazing job with the product they have put together. A lot of hard work has gone into it and I can’t wait for everyone to see it starting this Friday. We will have live netball four days a week – what more can you ask for?

Elite netball has an important role in the coming weeks. Our league will get more visibility than ever before and put us on a platform to ensure our future is bright. I also hope it is the precursor to all of us being back on court soon. Let’s keep everything crossed.

Stay safe, take care and – together – we’ll get through it.

With best wishes

Debbie Hallas
Managing Director, Netball UK

Lockdown Life – Natalie Dawson

Hi everyone, by now I think everyone is feeling the same – fed up, bored and unmotivated!

And that’s exactly how I felt when the government announced the third national lockdown a few weeks ago.

In the first lockdown we had lovely weather and me and my sister would stick a YouTube workout video on and do this in the back garden! However, this time has been a lot tougher. With the snow, ice and Baltic conditions, we haven’t been doing much of this recently, obviously!

As most people have been doing, I’ve really been enjoying walking. There is nothing better than some fresh air to clear the mind and it’s great exercise too. I find that the fresh air helps me sleep better too.

I set myself a goal of going for a walk every single day and I have succeeded in this so far which I am proud of. I think my dog is sick of me now though!

I was lucky enough to help volunteer at last month’s Manchester Thunder friendlies. It was so good to be back in a netball environment and to see some of my netball family’s faces – albeit behind a face mask and at two metres distance of course! There is nothing quite like watching elite netball up close. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we can get back to attending events like this.

Watching Manchester Thunder play inspired me to get back out in the garden and make use of my netball post. I went out into the cold prepared with a quite a few layers and my gloves on! I share my netball post with my niece who lives next door to me – we have the Net1 Pink Portable Netball System. We have this post so we can lower the height for her as she’s only seven – it’s got five different height setting so it has been really helpful for her to start at a young age and progress gradually. We even have matching netballs!

We finally got to see some netball on Sky Sports too with the Vitality Roses taking on the Superleague All Stars. How amazing was it seeing netball on TV? It really did boost my mood knowing we all had live Netball to look forward to and I’m sure many of you felt the same. My favourite player from the series was Nat Haythornthwaite (and that’s not just because of her name!). I thought she was fast, dynamic but most of all consistent, she clearly has a great rapport with her NSW Swifts and Roses team mate Helen Housby.

I’m excited the Vitality Superleague is just around the corner too so we can all have something to look forward to every week. There are quite a few new imports coming into the league this season, plus the addition of a brand new team in Leeds Rhinos, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.

Here’s to hoping we will be back together soon Netball Family.

Take care and stay safe.

Natalie

My Lockdown Life – by Rachel Moss

Hey everyone. So, today is day whatever of Lockdown! How’s it going for you?

For me, the past week has been particularly hard as I continue to have two girls at home – one age 7 and another age 4. With home schooling and keeping my kids entertained, I am trying not to lose my mind. I’m sure you many of you are the same.

From trying to juggle being a teacher to trying to create some exciting for dinner times, I am trying to encourage myself and my girls to stay active and to stay netball fit during lockdown.

As a family, my girls have really enjoyed Joe Wicks PE classes each morning which helps start the day. Florence, my 7-year-old, started playing netball last year for Oldham Future Stars, which she loves. Despite the fact that’s all on hold for now, I am trying to keep her still engaged with a netball post and size 4 netball. We have been trying to create some shooting and passing games to make as fun as possible.

As for me, I have really missed netball as I haven’t played for over 10 months which is killing me as I normally play two to three matches a week. I am trying to set myself goals to keep myself active and not pile on the pounds – which is tricky with the kitchen so close and the stress levels so high!

My friend and I are trying to do a 5k run five days a week in the evening to help clear our minds – and it really works to help me have a better night’s sleep. I also set myself a small challenge each day:

  • 1-minute Plank per day
  • 1-minute Skipping
  • Trying to use some free weights – I am using 10kg Kettle Bell

It’s hard work, but I know it’s important to keep working on my fitness.

On another note, it was amazing to see some great live netball back over the past week with the Roses v All Stars Legends Series on Sky Sports and YouTube. I know it was a huge effort to get the games on from everyone – players, coaches and the support teams – and I hope they realise how much us netballers appreciated being able to watch the sport we love.

We’re also, of course, counting down to the start of the new Vitality Netball Superleague season next month which I can’t wait for – and I know many of you can’t either.

Take care, stay safe and we will be back on court together soon.

Rachel Moss
Head of Teamwear

My Lockdown Life – by Kerry Almond

So, lockdown – again. By now, I’d like to think that I’ve gotten pretty good at this keeping fit thing whilst not being able to access a gym. But this one feels a lot harder.

My feeling is that it’s down to the fact that during lockdown one in England it was spring and then summer, and we had glorious sunshine to explore our local surroundings. And then lockdown 2 was pretty ok too. A bit damp but nothing too bad.

This one? It’s freezing. It’s icy, it’s slippy, it’s doesn’t get light until later in the morning and gets dark a lot earlier in the afternoon.

But, I’ve done ok.

I’ve been keeping fit with Zoom sessions run by the gym I go to. Matt Hoyle, our trainer, has been great. We’ve been loaned equipment, much like a lot of gyms, and he makes it a good session, fun and testing, and a great group just keeping each other going digitally through the mountain of burpees! My main worry is making sure that I don’t whack the living room ceiling with a dumbbell at 6.30am! Some days I’m successful. Others not so much.

Walking is my other way of keeping fit.

2020 was the year I discovered that I actually really like it. It’s low impact, which is great when you’ve got very dodgy knees like I have and you can’t (don’t want to) run outside, and it’s easy to do. Stick some trainers or walking boots on and a waterproof coat and head out of your door. I’m incredibly lucky in that I live on the doorstep of the Pennine Hills, so I have access to some amazing scenery and routes that wind over the backbone of Britain just a short walk from my front door. A few miles in the hills gives you a pretty good workout.

I’ve also tackled some cycling with Netball UK head honcho and Manchester Thunder managing director Debbie Hallas, and former Thunder coach Suzy Ashworth. We’ve attacked the local canals and coffee shops (when allowed – so not this lockdown sadly) and had a blast doing it. Punctures, long dark tunnels and dodgy bells included!

Of course, netball has continued – for most of us it’s been training at home or in the garden (and make sure you check out everything you need to #KeepNetballing at Netball UK) but elite sport is allowed to continue, even in this lockdown, so for the last few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to be present at Thunder’s friendly games.

First I was in charge of the team Twitter account as we took on Sirens, then last weekend I made my commentary debut as we took on London Pulse in a game that was live streamed!

It was pretty much learn as you go but I really enjoyed it. I spend my days talking about netball with my office mates so there’s not too many better ways to spend a lockdown Saturday than to sit and talk all things netball with Debbie. The plus side is that I get watch my old teammates run around and see where they’re up to ahead of the 2021 season, and maybe scope out the opposition too!

We had heaps of fun and the feedback was pretty good too! We’ve already got one topic ahead of another live streamed match this weekend, but if you’ve got any burning questions or topics you want discussed, let us know via @debbiehallas or @kerryalmond on Twitter!

And please join us on Saturday – you’ll get all the details on the @thundernetball twitter feed.

I’d love to know how you’re keeping fit and managing to #KeepNetballing – please drop us a line at Netball UK on our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Take care and keep safe.

Kerry Almond
Netball UK Sales & Purchasing Manager

Don’t lose your touch in lockdown

So, here we are again.

Virtually the whole of the UK is in lockdown, the netball courts are empty and we’re back to training by ourselves at home or in our gardens.

It’s tough, but we’ll get through it together and, as a player and a coach, my message to everyone is that – despite everything – you need to stay ahead of the competition and maintain a training regime so you don’t lose your touch.

I’ve put together some of the pieces of equipment we sell at Netball UK that might help you do just that.

Take care and stay safe, remember the Netball Family are always with you.


Debbie Hallas, Netball UK Managing Director


Improve your hand eye co-ordination and reactions with a Crazy Catch unit – available in a range of sizes and styles. Shop now >>


Hone your shooting skills with a netball post perfect for your garden or driveway. Shop now >>


We’ve developed a training pack specific to netball skills, for a wide range of exercises during lockdown. Shop now >>


Take the time to progress your skills and drills using the marker discs. They’re non-slip so you can keep your eyes up, and not be scared of slipping on them. Shop now >>


Ideal for proprioception – which is very important to the brain as it plays a big role in self-regulation, coordination, posture, body awareness, the ability to attend and focus. In sport this is key to injury prevention. Shop now >>


Having quick feet is one of the most important elements in netball, key for tight marking or getting free from your opponent. Utilise the foot speed ladder in many ways to achieve this. Shop now >>


 

January Giveaway

To celebrate the start of 2021, we’re giving you and your team or club the chance to win big with Netball UK.

  • For you >> a pair of Netball Trainers of your choice – any brand, any size, any style.
  • For your team or club >> a stash of essentials and goodies worth over £500 – including netballs, bibs, patches and markers.

To enter, go to our Instagram or Facebook and follow the details on each channel.

Here’s what’s in the Club Stash pack:

Terms and Conditions:

  • The competition runs until Sunday, 17 January, 2021 at 23.59.
  • The individual winner of the competition will win a pair of Netball Trainers of their choice from those available and in stock on Netball UK at the time of choosing.
  • The promoter, Netball UK, reserves the right to withdraw the offer at anytime.
  • The promoter’s decision is final and no discussion about the prize will be entered into

Netball UK and Netball Northern Ireland renew partnership

Here are Netball UK, we’re proud to have renewed our partnership with Netball NI, the governing body for netball in Northern Ireland, for the next two years.

We’ll be the official retail and footwear partner of Netball NI providing the world-leading ASICS netball trainers to their international squads.

As well as supporting the Northern Ireland Warriors squad, there will be exclusive offers to Netball NI members and pop-up shops at the country’s international events in Northern Ireland.

Advice and blogs from Warriors captain and Netball UK ambassador Caroline O’Hanlon will feature on this website, as well as the regular columns from the online shop’s team of netball players and coaches.

It’s a boom time for netball in Northern Ireland with six players from the Warriors squad being picked by teams across the Vitality Netball Superleague for the 2021 season and fans eager to watch them complete alongside and against the world’s best.

Karen Rollo, Executive Manager of Netball Northern Ireland, said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to renew and indeed increase our partnership with Netball UK. Having had a successful time as our retail partner, we have now extended our partnership to ‘Official Retail and Footwear Partner.”

“As the ‘go to’ for every club when purchasing netball equipment and the industry experts for netball trainers, we know Netball UK have the knowledge and experience to support our members at all playing levels with their purchase needs, as well sharing our passion and commitment in supporting and growing our sport.

“Like the Netball NI staff team, Netball UK have many netballers within their team so add real life insight to their products, ensuring what they offer delivers exactly what netballers need as we play and train for the sport we love.

“This partnership will see benefits not only for Netball NI and Netball UK, but most importantly for our member clubs and participants.”

“I’m delighted to secure our partnership for another two years and have Northern Ireland’s players showcasing our ASICS netball trainers.

There’s no better time to be a fan of Netball NI and our sport in general, and with so many Warriors players being part of Superleague in 2021, we’re proud to be able to support their development as we support netball across the UK.

 

 

 

Debbie Hallas
Managing Director, Netball UK