The Bringing Netball Back club in Nigeria is, for the most part, driven by a desire to promote the sport of netball in Nigeria, but by its very nature as membership grows so does the number of benefits on the local community and its people.
THE CLUB WAS FOUNDED IN 2012 INTENT ON PROMOTING NETBALL AT GRASSROOTS LEVEL
The Bringing Netball Back club, based in Lagos in Nigeria, is a force for good for sport, for netball, for women, and for the community.
The club was founded by Abimbola Smith, with the assistance of Fehintola Soetan and Bethabel Soetan. In February 2012, they gathered a group of ladies at the YMCA on Awolowo Road to start playing netball and ‘Bringing Netball Back’ was born. The club was officially incorporated in May 2014 and now boasts a growing membership base of over 37 women. The aim is to provide members – both veterans and those new to the sport – the opportunity to play on a regular basis.
The club’s genesis is rooted in its desire to promote netball, beginning at grassroots level, with its primary objective being to see the sport re-introduced back into Nigeria as the number one competitive team sport of choice for women and young girls.
“We are Bringing Netball Back Club, formed in 2012 when a group of long-time netball players wanted to reintroduce the game back into Nigeria. Th club is committed to raising the profile of netball in Nigeria amongst women because we firmly believe that competitive sports, such as netball, give women a sense of achievement and empowerment that affects their lives in a positive way. As women, we also feel that less emphasis has been placed on the development of sportsmanship, leadership and teamwork in young girls as benefited by boys who play competitive sports such as football and basketball. Team sports develop discipline, fitness, co-ordination and healthy competition – all of which are essential building blocks towards raising confident and self-assured adults.”
LONG-TERM GOALS CENTRED ON PARTICIPATION IN NETBALL HAVE LIMITLESS POSSIBILITIES
Bringin Netball Back regularly hosts events which boosts the sport’s profile and raises awareness of the game. The long term goals of the club is to establish a permanent club site with playing facilities, access to netball for women and young girls and coaching and umpiring opportunities for its members at a local and international level.
“Our initiatives as a club include an annual exhibition match which serves as a platform to raise awareness and an opportunity to invite the public and identified educational institutions to witness a game with the aim of fuelling its introduction into the sports curriculum of schools. Our last exhibition match was held on December 6, 2014 and we were able to showcase the first inter-club netball match in Nigeria (BNB vs. The Abuja Netball All-Stars). In attendance was the Secretary of the Nigerian Netball Federation (NNF) and a representative from the Commissioner for Sports and Youth Development, Lagos State. The event was a resounding success.”
The Vision for Bringing Netball Back is to be a pioneer as one of the first netball clubs in Lagos and Nigeria. Through its affiliation with the Nigerian Netball Federation, the club hopes to promote and participate in inter-club matches, state and inter-state leagues as well as overseas tours. The possibilities are endless.
The club continues to garner interest across various media platforms and our membership and subscribers continues to grow with each event we host. Please visit our website which offers a snapshot of our past events and projects, in particular our support of the Family Vocational Institute for the Disabled (FAVD). We successfully raised funds to support their work with disabled children through our exhibition match in December 2014 and a charity Mixed Netball Tournament hosted in May this year.
Our vision simply put is to promote netball as the team sport of choice for women and girls in Nigeria.
We want to see the next generation of girls embrace netball as their sport with the eventual emergence of a national team!
As one of the pioneer netball clubs in Nigeria, we want to encourage the development of other clubs, inter-club and inter-state leagues and international tours in order to really integrate the sport into our culture and society.
We plan to use our resources as a club, sponsorship as well work closely with the NNF to see this great game return to the forefront of sports in Nigeria. ABIMOLA SMITH