Walking Netball initiative launched in Penrith

Netball NSW and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services have entered into a partnership to develop a program that modifies Netball to remove barriers to participation for older people to experience health and social benefits of the sport.

The modified program, which is called Walking Netball and launched in Penrith today, Tuesday 22 August, will be a slower version of the game; Netball but at a walking pace. The program will be designed so that anyone can play it regardless of age or fitness level with fun, laughter and camaraderie the focus.

The Modified Sports Program is part of the Liveable Communities Grants Program under the NSW Ageing Strategy 2016-2020 which focuses on the opportunities and challenges facing the state’s older population.

NSW Minister for Ageing Tanya Davies and Minister for Sport Stuart Ayres joined seniors in Penrith to launch the Modified Sports Program, a partnership between the NSW Government, FNetball NSW, Football NSW and Gymnastics NSW.

“Sport is one of the greatest connectors of people and communities in this state, and age should be no barrier,” Mrs Davies said.

“The NSW Government’s $100,000 investment in lower impact versions of Football, Netball and Gymnastics is another example of how we are committed to ensuring older people lead healthy, active and happy lives.”

Minister Ayres said seniors stood to benefit from the inclusive and healthy nature of sports like netball.

“Sport is a vital part of the social and economic fabric of NSW and it helps keep our older community members fit, healthy and engaged,” he said.

“By participating in modified sport seniors can remain engaged at a level which suits their abilities, extends circles of friendship and builds social connections.”

Echoing those sentiments, Netball NSW’s Nikki Horton – General Manager Sports Development – said the new initiative was a wonderful opportunity for people to prolong their time on the netball court, or even take it up for the first time.

“Netball is all about inclusion and this initiative is a natural fit for your our organisation,” she said.

“There are many people who move into administration at their Clubs and Associations when they feel their bodies can no longer take the rigours of netball, but this new modified version of the sport means they can keep playing.

“We see netball courts packed every Saturday but there is no reason they can’t be used during the week too and that what we want to see happen with this program.

“It is not just seniors we are targeting either; some people may just not feel they have the fitness or physical capability to play netball, but this version is both welcoming and fun and we cannot wait to see it take off around the state.”

For more information and to express your interest in Walking Netball please fill out the online form below: