2nd Oct 2021

Our fantastic volunteers and parents have been exploring any options to get us back indoors and we are awaiting confirmation of facilities outwith East Ren. We will notify you as soon as possible. 

30th Sept 2021

With great sadness and frustration, our planned return to indoor netball has been postponed by East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure, I apologise for the extremely short notice, I guess I was hopeful for a change that hasn't been forthcoming.

Further information provided below, and what action we have taken so far, in addition to this we have explored a variety of options including seeking access to indoor facilities outwith East Renfrewshire. At the time of writing this email the only option we have is to continue outdoors at Clydesdale, who have been extremely accommodating by agreeing to extend our hours on Sundays. Wednesday evening netball is no longer a viable option as it is too dark at this time of year and we also have to consider the lower temperatures, which impacts upon our volunteers who are there for multiple sessions.  

We are in the process of working out a potential timetable to continue outdoors however, with October School holidays approaching and other factors to consider, we have no sessions on offer at the moment. I sincerely hope this situation changes imminently and will provide updates as soon as possible. I have engaged the assistance of Netball Scotland who have secured an urgent meeting with East Renfrewshire authority and SportsScotland which I hope can bring us some good news. 

As an inclusive netball club our members are far and wide, I would urge our members living in the East Renfrewshire authority to contact your local council/councillors/MSP and anyone else you think may help to intervene on our behalf. The women and girls in sport agenda, mental health and wellbeing, simply being active and providing a sense of belonging, and promoting Netball as the number one sport for girls are the foundations from which we have built upon, the impact of covid has been felt by us all, I can share countless photos and videos to show what our volunteers and members have done to keep us going, the number of girls at our sessions tonight in temperatures of 8 degrees and fading light speaks volumes to the appetite and need for our continuation. 

I am hopeful that my next communication will be more positive.

25th Sept 2021

Dear Councillors, 

I am writing this email following receipt of the email below from East Renfrewshire Community Facilities.

 

Dear customer 

CANCELLATION OF BOOKING

 

Firstly please accept our sincere apologies for the short notice. 

 

Following an emergency meeting with East Renfrewshire Council Education Department they have advised ERCL they are not in a position to accept out of hours bookings for external groups in schools at this time. 

 

They have advised they will constantly review their decision and as soon as we are advised their position has changed we will contact you to reschedule your bookings.

 

We fully appreciate your frustrations with this decision and are grateful for your patience and understanding.

 

Best wishes,

Community Facilities

 

The impact of the COVID pandemic on our netball community has seen many innovative and exciting ways to maintain contact and deliver our sport to its many members.

We strived to keep our members active and interested and when the time came to be able to come together as a sport, we pushed boundaries by seeking, sourcing and delivering outdoor netball. It was with sadness that as an East Renfrewshire Club, and member of Giffnock Community Sport Hub, we were only able to secure outdoor facilities outside of East Renfrewshire. Access to this Glasgow based facility has been a lifeline for our members, and our club and we are entirely grateful for how we have been accommodated throughout these challenging times.

 

Once notified by Community Facilities of the roadmap for our return to indoor netball, we were delighted to be able to plan our return indoors, especially as we were approaching the Autumn and Winter months.

 

Within 2 weeks of our planned return, the notification above leaves us with nothing to inform an adapted plan of action. The impact of which leads us to consider how we can continue offering our sport to the girls and women within East Renfrewshire with no facilities on offer.

 

Furthermore, we are confused at the latest announcement within local schools that East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s timetable of sport is now on offer within the same venues that we are advised cannot be accessed as a result of a decision made by East Renfrewshire Education. Approximately 99.9% of the children who attend our club also attend a school within East Renfrewshire.

 

We would like to understand the decision making in this process and would ask for transparency and clarity, and a realistic and reasonable timescale for access to ensure we can continue to provide our members, and the local community, the opportunity to be part of our inclusive and community-based netball club.

 

The majority of our members have attended our outdoor sessions however we are now facing the dilemma that the outdoor facilities will not meet our needs due to lighting conditions and we will have nowhere for our members to train/play.

 

This decision also has a wider impact on out netball community, as our District Netball Squad has registered to participate in the Sirens District Netball Programme, and they now have no training facilities. This squad comprises of members of our club and St Cadocs Netball, also from East Renfrewshire.

 

What can be done to support the continuation of delivery of netball to the girls and women of East Renfrewshire?

What can be done to enable the continuation of our junior and bounce back to netball club? A club that was once the largest junior club in Scotland, a club that is entirely volunteer based and a club that works hard to support and develop our members to become future coaches and officials for our longevity and sustainability for future generations.

 

We hope you will address this as a matter of urgency and work with us to provide a solution.

 

Kind regards,

 

Anna Beattie

All Star Junior NetballERs Head Coach

Netball East Renfrewshire Chairperson