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Manchester Thunder launch successful first ParaNetball event

Manchester Thunder during the match between Manchester Thunder and Celtic Dragons at Resorts World, Birmingham, England on 5th February 2022

Manchester Thunder launched their first ever ParaNetball event to resounding success earlier this month.

The inclusive session, held on Saturday 5th November, offered a unique netball opportunity to people in the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) community who live with a disability.

The event marked the first time a Netball Super League franchise has launched an official ParaNetball programme, following in the footsteps of local Manchester team Dominoes Netball Club.

Partnered with Nichols plc and Vimto, the event saw more than 20 disabled people from across the Northwest travel to Wright Robinson College to take part in the launch.

The day was a huge success with Thunder’s ParaNetball head coach Katie Thompson delivering an inclusive session full of running and games before participants were treated to an appearance from Manchester Thunder mascot, Thunder Bear at the end of the session.

There are more than 1.5 million deaf and disabled women and girls under the age of 50 in England. In a 2017/18 report produced by Active Lives for Sport England, it was reported that 42% of disabled people are likely to be physically inactive.

Commercial Director of Manchester Thunder, Gary Young said: “The partnership with Nichols plc provides us with the capability to run free ParaNetball sessions and participate in the annual ParaNetball tournament run by England Netball.

“It’s really given us the means to make a difference by enabling us to secure the facilities, equipment and qualified coaches to fully support young people with disabilities.”

Manchester Thunder to launch ParaNetball programme

People & Sustainability Director for Nichols plc, Christine Shillington added: “Like Vimto, Manchester Thunder is a really great brand, and it is synonymous with elite sport.

“There is such a strong alignment between Thunder’s vision – increasing participation, accessibility, and inclusivity in netball, with what we’re trying to achieve, which is about creating access to opportunities for young people in the Northwest who need it the most.”

The Manchester Thunder ParaNetball sessions will run on the first Saturday of every month from 10am-11am at Wright Robinson College in Manchester, and they are free for all participants.

Sign up here: www.manchesterthunder.co.uk/paranetball/

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