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London Pulse's Kira Rothwell delivered online sessions to care homes.

During lockdown, Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) side London Pulse volunteered their time to deliver online netball coaching sessions to the country’s most vulnerable.

Pulse are holding virtual sessions at six care homes throughout London in partnership with Anchor Hanover, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of care and housing for older people.

The first coaching session took place on Wednesday 22 July and was delivered by VNSL and Roses Futures player Kira Rothwell, who showed residents techniques on how to pass the ball and shoot into nets.

Further sessions will be taking place and delivered by other players from London Pulse’s Vitality Netball Superleague squad.

Rothwell said: “Providing coaching to Anchor Hanover care home residents was one of the highlights of my lockdown. The residents were fun to talk to and engaged, especially when it got to the competitions. It just shows that there’s a place for netball at all ages and it was an experience I’d love to do again.”

Care home resident Margaret Walker, aged 87, said: “It was a lovely session and I really enjoyed it. It was nice to see residents from other care homes and we were doing it together; it was fun. I would like to do it more often.”

The coaching sessions form part of Anchor Hanover’s broader programme to increase physical activity amongst older people across the country, helping to reduce social isolation and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of participants.

It also follows on from their Summer of Sport campaign, which was launched last week across all of their 114 care homes with residents participating in a range of sporting activities, the same week when the opening ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics would have been held.

Sam Bird, CEO London Pulse, said: “I’m delighted that London Pulse has worked successfully with Anchor Hanover to be able to deliver the first session. Anchor Hanover support our vision to connect with communities in London to play, watch and enjoy netball.

“These sessions create a great opportunity to work closely together, creating positive well-being and fun for the residents and to help them share their netball experience with families and friends.”

Lucy Brown, Community Partnership Manager for Anchor Hanover London, said: “Sport is a vital part of a fulfilled life for many people. As well as being a great way to exercise both the body and mind, sports such as netball provide opportunities to spend shared time with other people, strengthens our sense of community and can be a real focal point of  joy, so we are delighted that we have been able to enter into this partnership with London Pulse.”
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