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New formal partnership sees Sirens become UWS Sirens

Sirens has today announced that it has entered into an exciting new formal partnership with the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), meaning that next season they will be known as the UWS Sirens.

Professor Craig Mahoney, UWS Principal & Vice-Chancellor, commented: “The Sirens are a truly outstanding group of high-performance athletes from across the world, who have had a significant and positive impact on women’s sport in Scotland, and who have acted as exemplary role models for all.

“We are extremely proud of our hugely successful association with Netball Scotland, which allowed us to support the launch of Scotland’s first ever semi-professional netball team, the Sirens, as their Principal Partner in 2016.

“The overwhelming success of this partnership and our new status as the formal title partner of the UWS Sirens allows us to cement our emerging reputation for excellence in sport.

“UWS’ revolutionary approach to investing in women’s sport demonstrates our dedication to challenging the status quo and daring to be different through our ground breaking commitment to the development of the performance sport agenda for women in Scotland.

“We believe the UWS Sirens will continue to be excellent role models and play a key part in shifting inequalities in sports

“We share the Siren’s ambition in establishing Scottish netball as among the world’s best – the team’s debut season was hugely meaningful for everyone involved, establishing this new team as a force to be reckoned with in professional netball.

“We are excited about the future, and can‘t wait to see UWS Sirens continuing to change the game for women and sport across Scotland and beyond.

“Together we will dream, believe and achieve.”


Superleague Award winners announced

Loughborough Lightning and, in particular, Peace Proscovia were the big winners in the Vitality Netball Superleague Awards on Saturday evening.

For the first time, the VNSL Awards were welcomed within England Netball’s Goalden Globe Awards to celebrate the season and reward some of the competition’s key performers.

The new 10-team competition was bigger and better than ever in 2017, with so much excitement and many unpredictable results, and fans were treated to a weekly spectacle of high-quality netball.

The first award of the evening was the VNSL Umpire of the Season with Gary Burgess scooping the accolade after his hard work and commitment in maintaining the highest officiating standards.

Vicki Oyesola collected the VNSL Young Player of the Season Award. She got her Loughborough Lightning career off to the perfect start, making a winning debut on the opening round of the season and being named Most Valuable Player.

Both the VNSL Players’ Player of the Season and the Vitality Player of the Season Awards went to Peace Proscovia.

The Ugandan superstar struck terror into the hearts of Superleague defenders in 2017 and helped fire Loughborough Lightning to the top of the table.

She dominated in the circle and displayed her shooting prowess by winning the Gilbert Netball Goalden Shot Award after netting a whopping 812 goals.

Karen Atkinson picked up the VNSL Coach of the Season trophy after her years of hard work, dedication and squad building since taking over as Loughborough Lightning head coach in August 2014 came to fruition with the club enjoying their most successful season ever in 2017.

Nicole Aiken Pinnock (GK), Layla Guscoth (GD), Beth Cobden (WD), Bongiwe Msomi (C), Liana Leota (WA), Kathryn Turner (GA), Peace Proscovia (GS) made up the VNSL All Star VII.

Well done to all the nominees and congratulations to the winners!


Sponsorship deal sees Hertfordshire Mavericks become benecosMavericks

Hertfordshire Mavericks has today announced a major sponsorship deal which will see the franchise change its name to benecosMavericks.

Benecos, the award-winning natural and organic makeup and skincare brand, will extend its partnership as main sponsor for the next three years commencing in October 2017.  This increased partnership will see Hertfordshire Mavericks change its name to benecosMavericks.

Gloria Keech, Franchise Director, benecosMavericks said: ‘Benecos have been a fantastic partner for us over the past year sharing our commitment to netball and encouraging more people to get out there and enjoy the benefits of getting actively involved in the game we love.

‘We are delighted to extend our relationship with them and to begin a new era of netball in the region with our new name benecosMavericks.’

Graeme Hume, MD of Pravera Ltd and distributor of the benecos natural and organic skincare brand in the UK, added: ‘Benecos is all about natural, organic and healthy living and this is a perfect fit with netball and the audience this exciting sport attracts.

‘After a successful partnership for the 2016-2017 season, we decided to contribute more to the development and success of the Mavericks over the next three years.

‘The sport is getting more airtime than ever before and as the appreciation and support for netball continues to grow, we feel it’s the right partner for growing awareness for the benecos range of affordable natural and organic skincare in the UK.’

As part of the agreement, benecos will create engaging content for the match day programmes, distributed at home matches with the aim to promote its range and the benefits of natural and organic beauty products to benecosMavericks supporters. Content will include personal product favourites from benecosMavericks players, skincare advice and product information and promotions.

At any netball events, benecos will provide a branded sales stand where supporters can explore, trial and purchase benecos products. All sales will help towards fundraising for the club.

After the success of launching a benecos nail varnish in Mavericks purple in 2016, benecos are exploring the launch of more products that celebrate its support to netball this year.


Four of Wasps Netball’s Superleague winning stars re-sign

Four of Wasps Netball’s Superleague winning stars have re-signed for the club to help defend their title in the 2018 season.

Amy Flanagan, George Fisher, Josie Huckle and Sophia Candappa have all re-joined the team which play at the Ricoh Arena – as Wasps bid to secure back-to-back titles in their first two seasons.

Huckle and Flanagan were both part of the starting seven that guided Wasps to victory in the Vitality Netball Superleague final against Loughborough Lightning in June.

Goalkeeper Huckle was a key player in the defensive circle for the team, with Flanagan proving dynamic in the mid-court.

Talented 18-year-old goal shooter Fisher re-joins Wasps to continue her development, after a summer which has seen the rising star represent England at U21 level in the Netball World Youth Cup.

Vice-captain Candappa missed the majority of last season, after suffering a season-ending ACL injury in round seven.

Wasps Director of Netball Tamsin Greenway is confident that bringing back familiar faces will help her team mount a challenge in 2018.

Greenway said: “We’re very happy to be bringing these players back to play for our team in the upcoming season.

“It is vitally important to retain our brilliant team spirit if we want to compete for the title again in 2018 and we want to keep as much of last year’s squad together as possible.

“Even though we took home the trophy last season, we know there is still a lot of work to do here and we want to keep building and further establish our team.

“We’re excited about the potential George Fisher has shown already and believe she can be one of the top shooters in the league, it’s fantastic to have her back.

“Amy Flanagan and Josie Huckle were central to our success too and to be able to welcome back Sophia Candappa after her injury last year is brilliant.

“With the type of character that Sophia is, we are confident she will come back from her injury stronger than she was before and make a huge impact on the court.”

Sophia Candappa added: “I can’t wait to get back out there and show my passion for this team on the court.

“It was tough having to watch from the side-lines last season, but the girls were brilliant and to be there when we won the title was magical.

“I’m working to get back fully fit for the new season, it’s been tough but I’m delighted that Wasps have shown faith in me and hopefully I can repay that faith by helping the team to another league title next season.”

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