As we all know, the 2020/21 season has proved to be quite difficult so far, with ongoing uncertainty around training, leagues and tournaments postponed. We are constantly monitoring the situation and we were able to get the Club ready for a brief return to court in the Autmun.
We are taking every precaution possible so that the girls can train safely in-person (when allowed) or online and we will continue to be guided by Government and England Netball recommendations.
To keep players safe, we have :
- Appointed Sally Key as our Covid Officer. In this role Sally ensures that we follow all the guidelines and that we are compliant with Government and England Netball standards.
- Parent volunteers supporting the coaches in running sessions – taking temparatures, registers etc.
- A volunteer Manager present at every training session to help with getting girls in and out of the venue and sanitising equipment before the next session.
- Put guidelines in place so that we can all practice good social distancing and keep our community safe.
I would really like to say a huge thank you to ALL our volunteers for the hard work and dedication that they put into the Club. We simply couldn’t function without you, so Thank You !
Our partnership with SGGS has really paid dividends, allowing us to get back to training at their facility for a few weeks in the Autumn and we’re maintaining an ongoing dialogue with SGGS about returning to scheduled training when practical. We were also able to arrange to use the indoor and outdoor courts at The Croft Prep School, Loxley, before the current lockdown was announced and all face-to-face activity was temporarily put on hold.
Please watch your email for news and updates on how the coaches will be supporting the girls with online training during the early months of 2021.
Notable Successes in the 2019/20 Season
Warwickshire County and West Midlands Regional Competitions
U14 Undefeated County Champions,
U16 County Runners Up – losing to Lyndon by 4 goals having beaten Henley, Leamington, Elmdon and Copsewood.
Both teams went on to represent Warwickshire County in the regional round of the National Clubs Competition. The Regional Competition was stopped half way through, however it is highly likely that both Squads would have qualified for the National Finals.
Central Intermediate Netball League
It was the debut year for the league, and thunderbirds certainly made their mark. The first Sunday of fixtures saw wins from 17 out of 18 matches.
Walsall Senior League
Mixed U13 / U14 / U15 Teams finished Fourth in Division 2 against experienced senior women’s teams.
Stratford Netball League
It was the club’s first year entering the Stratford Netball League and despite some challenging opposition, our U14 B, U14 C, U14 D and U15 D teams took their first experience of senior netball very well. The league commented on the exemplary behaviour of the Thunderbirds players and the opposition were complimentary of the girls’ never give up attitude. Overall a brilliant experience.
Stourport Netball League
U11 A team – League Champions against opposition such as Scorpions, Worcester and Ryland.
Sisters’n’Sport National Competition
U14 A team are due to play the National Semi-Final against Kingsway Power- however COVID has seen this fixture postponed. The girls previously had victories against, Ryland, Sutton Town and Warrington
U16 A team had a great start in this knockout tournament, defeating Market Harborough in the first round however they were knocked out by Tameside in the second.
County and Superleague Franchise Places
We had a number of girl’s gain franchise places in 2019/20 with eight at Loughborough Lightning , two at Severn Stars and three at Wasps.
The 2020/21 is shaping up to be even better with sixteen at Loughborough Lightning, together with several more at Severn Stars and Wasps. The final totals will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
What are we doing to move the Club forward ?
The Club Action Planning Scheme (CAPS) is a Sport England Clubmark accreditation scheme for clubs with junior sections. It is built around a set of core criteria which ensure that clubs operate to a set of consistent, accepted and adopted minimum operating standards in training, membership, management, player development and safeguarding.
Since 2016, Thunderbirds have enjoyed bronze status and were due for reassessment in June. The pandemic, however, has suspended all England Netball activities and delayed our ambitions to apply this time for enhanced CAPS status. With the support of a newly appointed Warwickshire rep, Elaine Binks has agreed to work with the new Executive, and with Kelly and Molly to prepare the Club for renewal of its Bronze CAPS.
So, that is an overview of where we are at the moment, but can I just add that Thunderbirds is YOUR club ! We may be the volunteers who help get everything together, but we can’t run it properly without more help ! With 240 members, we are now the size of a small primary school and there are important jobs that need to be done. These jobs can be shared … the more the merrier, so if you think you can help in any way at all, please do get in touch because we really do need your help.