We have been blown away by the commitment, kindness and creativity of netball clubs up and down Wales over the past few months.

Faced with closed courts and lockdown restrictions, you have met these challenges with a positive, can-do attitude that makes Welsh Netball very proud.

This week, we are highlighting the work of Cil-y-Coed Netball Club in Monmouthshire as part of the National Lottery ‘Dedicated To…’ campaign. A family-run club, Chloe is Head Coach and looks after the youth sides. Her Mum, Jill is coach to the under 10s and ladies team while sister Lauren pitches in when she can.

Of course, lockdown put an end to ordinary training sessions and get togethers but the club was quick to get creative and get online:

“We started with an Easter challenge. Each day for two weeks, members were set a challenge such as how many chest passes can you do in two minutes or how many figure of eights can you do through your legs. They were all a bit of fun but designed to maintain fitness. Our members would post their videos and photos on our social channels so there was a lot of camaraderie.

“Another time, we had a 15-day plan which would include fitness skills and ball skills. It was just something to keep people active and entertained. It helped maintain the sense of belonging at our club.”

When we reached May half term, we asked members to bake and decorate cakes with a netball theme. One member designed an entire netball game out of lego and animated it with stop motion. We have discovered our members have all sorts of skills!,” laughs Chloe.

Chloe may joke but the work undertaken to keep a club together with Zoom quizzes and online content takes time and is typical of netball clubs right across Wales.

The club recently received more than £1,000 in National Lottery funding which has been spent on PPE, hand sanitisers, first aid kit and extra equipment so that coaches and players can avoid sharing and cross-contamination:

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to all National Lottery players because this funding will allow us to restart safely. It makes us feel more confident to come back and play because we know it will be within a safe environment. It wouldn’t be possible without the National Lottery.”

With the help of National Lottery funding, thousands of grassroots sports workers and volunteers from local clubs and organisations across the UK, have been be able to continue to help the nation to remain active, happy and motivated during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, many of which are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.