Netball is thriving again at the University of Chichester.
The uni fields seven netball teams. Five compete in BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) leagues while the sixth and seventh play in a local league at the university.
The first team are second in south eastern 1A, three points behind Surrey. They have had wins over Brighton, Kings College London and completed a home and away double over Brunel. The game at Brunel brought a tense 44-43 victory.
They have made it to the last 16 in the cup and face Bristol at home in February.
Three Chichester players attended English universities trials at Exeter Uni recently.
Chi’s seconds and thirds are having tough seasons in their divisions and face Portsmouth and St Mary’s respectively in their next matches in January.
The fourths and fifths are both third going into the Christmas break.
Netball is the biggest women’s sport in the BUCS programme with more than 400 teams competing. It leads the way as a female participation sport nationally outside of university and college sport.
A survey released by Sport England indicated that more than 180,000 people aged 16 and over are playing netball at least once a week.
Recent internationals between the England Netball Roses and Jamaica were sell-outs and the sport has attracted large broadcast and sponsorship deals.
The Chi Uni teams play on Wednesdays and train on Mondays and Tuesdays.
The teams are supported by a number of committed coaches. One, senior lecturer Jane Lomax, of the university’s Department of Physical Education, was nominated for coach developer of the year at a recent awards ceremony organised by the national Sports Coach UK foundation.
She has coached national university netball teams and is an England Netball coach educator.
The netball teams, along with other university sport teams, return to action in January.
Follow them in the New Year at www.facebook.com/yourSUsport or at @su_sports on Twitter – and in Chichester Observer and our website, www.chichester.co.uk/sport
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