Alconbury Weald has launched its first netball club, with support from master developer Urban&Civic and Living Sport’s Active New Communities programme.

Active New Communities was approached by local residents last December to see if there was local interest in forming a netball team and a Facebook post generated over 40 expressions of interest. Lockdown restrictions put plans on hold, but interest was renewed in the Spring by Nicola, a Level 2 Netball Coach and B Award umpire, who had recently moved to Alconbury Weald.

To help get the club started, Active New Communities grant funded use of the primary school’s courts for six weeks. Additional funding from Active New Communities and a grant from the Alconbury Weald Community Chest helped the club buy bibs, balls, first aid kit, ice packs and portable netball posts.

Nicola said: “We have 25 ladies on the books of different ages and abilities, some new to the game and others seasoned veterans. It is great to have a competitive sport that local ladies can enjoy and we’re hoping the club will go from strength to strength.”

This kick start has enabled the club to set up a six-week rolling programme and, if there is further interest, a second group could be established on another evening.

Christine Sprowell, Living Sport’s Active New Communities, said: “The netball club is a really good example of local residents joining together to set up new activities. I’m so pleased we could give them that bit of initial support and funding that will hopefully enable them to become self-funding. Alconbury Weald is becoming one of the most active communities in the county, and we have also recently supported a running club – the Alcon Falcons - who now meet twice a week on a Monday and Thursday.”

Active New Communities is a programme run by Living Sport and funded through the National Lottery, which supports people within new communities to establish healthy active lifestyles, especially those most vulnerable to dropping out of sports or activities, such as women and girls.

Natalie Leigh-Brown, Community Development Lead for Alconbury Weald, said: “Alconbury Weald has been designed along healthy living principles to encourage people to get out and active. We know when people move home, they lose their routines and possibly their networks of friends and local groups, and that can have an impact on their activity levels.

“Active Communities is about working with the Communities Team to ensure we can help residents make good choices as they move, to establish new routines and use sport and activity to also meet new neighbours and make new friends. I am pleased our Community Chest fund helped Nicola to move the Club forward and I look forward to seeing it grow from strength to strength.”

Those wanting to join the waiting list should contact Nicola through the AlconburyWealdNetballGroup Facebook page. Anyone interested in setting up new sporting activities in their local community should email info@activenewcommunities.com.