A group of 15 ladies wearing blue or pink netball bibs.

The Thirsk netball walking group.

A sports club looking to extend the playing days of enthusiasts in a North Yorkshire town has enjoyed a successful launch of a walking netball group.

Thirsk Netball Club, which has been running for eight years, has used a £400 grant received from Broadacres to purchase the equipment needed to get things up and running for the walking netballers.

Over 20 people turned up for the first night of training, including one lady aged 68 along with her 50-year-old-daughter, who’s recovering from a partial knee replacement.

Emma Driffield and the coaching team behind the idea said: “For lots of people, whether due to injury or age, the quick-paced, intense nature of regular netball can easily become inaccessible. This allows people to continue enjoying the sport they love while significantly reducing the risk of injuries, such as falls or twisted ankles.”

Emma said: “After overcoming an injury myself I thought it would be a great branch to the club. The sport allows different generations to play together and also offers many mental and social benefits.”

The club meets every week for training at Thirsk High School and the grant from Broadacres has enabled them to buy the necessary posts, sets of bibs, balls, first aid and other equipment.

“You see the Broadacres vans bobbing about and it’s nice that they are supporting the local community,” said Emma. “There are national Sport England grants you can apply for but what I liked about Broadacres is that they were so helpful and the process was quick and easy.”

Those who have never played the sport before are also welcome to come along and try out the new venture at the club, which also has a thriving senior and junior section.

“Walking netball offers a low impact, sociable sport for all abilities which provides a fun way to work out that can improve balance and co-ordination and help with healthy weight maintenance,” said Emma.

Anyone interested can email the club for further details at thirskwalkingnetball@gmail.com

The Broadacres Community Development Fund supports local organisations, groups, and projects in areas where Broadacres has homes. All grants are approved by the Association’s own residents, via a Community Development Fund Panel.

Broadacres resident Jacque Maylon, who is on the Panel, said: “Grassroots sport plays a massive part of life in our communities and we were particularly keen to support this project which is ensuring that the older and less mobile cam continue to keep fit and stay active.”

People/organisations who would like to apply through the Community Development Fund can visit www.broadacres.org.uk/customer-area/getting-involved/community-development-fund to find out more.