More people than ever before are taking up netball in Islington with men joining a traditionally women’s game as leagues across the borough bring in new ladies and mixed teams.
Gap in the market
Playnetball, founded ten years ago by Steve Price, identified a gap in the market and was among the first new outfits catering to this growing sport to emerge in Islington. The company, which sets up and runs netball leagues, have three venues in London, two of which are in Islington.
The sport’s national body England Netball reached 100,300 members last year – and demand in Islington continues to grow. With two venues in the borough, Playnetball is already one of the biggest leagues in the capital – and new players and teams of all age and skill levels are able to sign up at any time before April.
Improvements for netballers
Price set up Playnetball with dreams of creating the perfect league after others failed to meet his expectations. “After playing in another league for a while, I realised that there were lots of improvements that could be made for netballers in London,” he said. “Together with co-founder Emma Williams, we started our own league which has now grown to include more than 150 teams almost entirely through word of mouth”. Players can join leagues of different grade levels depending on their experience, from complete beginners, to seasoned professionals.
Best in all areas
Rachel, a regular player at the outfit’s venue in Angel, said: “I’ve really enjoyed playing and think the whole league is brilliantly organised – all of my team agree that Thursday nights have become the highlight of our week!”
Euan, who also plays in the borough, said: “”I have been playing netball in London since 2002 and I have played for various netball organisers. So far, Playnetball.com have been the best in all areas.” Some squads in the league, including the Saucy Salamanders women’s team, have grown from 6 to as many as 42 people in a year and a half.
Teams from to 8-10 players can compete in a twelve week season, working out at around £5 per player per session – with other rates are available too.