Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

There's a Whole New Ball Game in Our Team's Slot

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

There's a Whole New Ball Game in Our Team's Slot

Article excerpt

Byline: Brian Daniel Northumberland Reporter

NETBALLERS fear they are soon to be homeless after their slots at a local school were given to footballers.

Wansbeck Netball Club has played at a school in Bedlington, Northumberland for 20 years.

Now, however the girls have been told their twice-weekly slots have been given to a football club, leaving them fearing they will have nowhere to play.

The school has insisted it has offered the netballers alternative provision. The club has played at St Benet Biscop Catholic Academy for around 20 years, using its sport hall on a Tuesday and Thursday night.

However officials were last month those sessions would no longer be available to it as of November 1. They subsequently discovered their slots had been offered to Bedlington Town Football Club.

The netballers tried to find an alternative home at Bedlington High School but have yet to finalise a venue.

Players at the club have spoken of their anger at how the situation has been handled and voiced fears the club will be left homeless.

Lucy Burbridge, 22, who lives at Bedlington, said: "After playing for Wansbeck for ten years, it's really sad that we are now unable to use the sports hall to train and play our matches.

"We feel really let down by the school and feel like they should be encouraging women into sport and supporting us a community team instead of taking away our community facilities."

Jade Appleby, 23, also of Bedlington, added: "It's really disappointing how the school have handled the whole situation, there has been a lack of communication with the club throughout.

"We have supported the facility for over 20 years and it is sad that the same support for us is not shown by the school."

Academy headteacher Con Todd told us the school had been contacted by a junior football club which caters for children of all abilities and how he had been impressed by its "vision and ethos". …

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