Netball club celebrates its 20th anniversary

Founder member Sara Thompson with Natalie Haythornthwaite. (s)
Founder member Sara Thompson with Natalie Haythornthwaite. (s)
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One of the founder members of a local netball ball club was one of many who attended a ball to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Sara Thompson, a founder member of Ribble Valley Netball Club, attended its anniversary ball held at The Eagle at Barrow recently.

She is pictured with Natalie Haythornthwaite, who received a special achievement award from Ribble last season.

Natalie, who started life at Ribble Valley Netball Club when she was nine, is a current member of the England squad and was voted Sky’s netball superleague player of the year last season.

To commemorate the club’s landmark anniversary every guest was presented with a special edition “pin”. The club has also launched a special edition golf style umbrella.

The club, which has just started its 2015/16 season, currently has more than 150 playing members plus volunteers, coaches and officials. It has enjoyed a busy year with more than 700 girls ages eight to 19 and their families participating in the Annual Open Tournament at Pendle Vale College, Nelson, over two days in June. The event attracted entries from clubs across England including Oldham, Nottingham, Chorley and Chester.

The club has also held its annual presentation night. Staged at Accrington Town Hall, it was attended by more than 180 players and their families.

The event, sponsored by Clitheroe firm Johnson Matthey which paid for the venue, is a chance for the club to recognise outstanding effort, commitment and the achievements of members of the club. Awards are given by age group and recipients are selected by the respective coaches and fellow players.

Anyone interested in playing netball for the first time or coming back to netball should contact the club via its website –

Sessions for all ages are available, but players in the Year Five and Year Six age groups are particularly required.

Founder member Sara Thompson with Natalie Haythornthwaite, who received a special achievement award. (s)