Mixed teams to bid for a net gain

Ian Cook and Jill Foreman, who are helping to organise the mixed netball tournament
Ian Cook and Jill Foreman, who are helping to organise the mixed netball tournament

MEN are being encouraged to join in a sport traditionally played by women during a charity match.

Oaksway Netball Club is hosting an outdoor mixed netball tournament at English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College, in Catcote Road, Hartlepool, on Saturday, August 18, from 10am-3pm.

Mixed teams of men and women, whether professional or beginners, are encouraged to register.

Proceeds from the day will go towards the running of the club.

Club bosses hope the Olympic spirit which has swept through the nation for the past two weeks will rub off on local people and that both men and women will take part in the event.

There will be plenty for less sporty people to enjoy, as there will be a family fun day including a bouncy castle, inflatable assault course and face-painting, as well as entertainment and refreshments, which will also give players a chance to bring their family along.

Oaksway team member Natalie Connor, who is helping to organise the event, said: “We have been having a fundraising drive for the whole of the season and decided to go with a mixed netball tournament.

“It’s a bit more fun and light-hearted and we can get the whole family involved.”

Oaksway will be taking part, as well as members’ relatives, including boyfriends, husbands and dads, and work colleagues.

Natalie, 29, who plays in defence and has been a member of Oaksway since she was 10, added: “I have run mixed netball tournaments in Newcastle to help clubs fundraise and it’s just something fun.

“There are going to be lots of prizes and trophies on the day and a it’s also a chance to socialise.

“Mixed netball in Newcastle has taken off and they have quite a few leagues.

“It’s become very popular and once men have a go at playing netball they do actually quite enjoy it.”

Natalie, who lives in Durham and works in Easington Village for Groundwork North East, added that the event is open to anyone, including work teams and other town netball teams.

Teams must consist of a minimum of seven players and a maximum of 12.

The mix of males to females in the squad is up to the team. But the maximum number of men that can be on the court at any one time is three.

Registration starts at 10am, with the first games at 10.30am and there is a cost to enter each team.

Balls and bibs to warm up with can be borrowed on the day.

Games will consist of two halves of seven minutes, with one minute at half-time and two minutes between each round.

Deadline for entry is Thursday, August 16.

If anyone has any queries, Natalie can be contacted on 07534 854991 or email oakswaymixed@yahoo.co.uk.​