Posted 16th Aug 2011

Team Bath wins four year netball franchise

Team Bath’s position in the nation’s premier netball competition is secure after a successful recent bid to England Netball.

Jess Garland, former Team Bath player and now the lead franchise coach alongside her England Excel duties, led a presentation team in London earlier this month which secured the four-year Superleague franchise deal.

“We are extremely pleased for netball fans in the South West, West and South regions that top-class netball is staying in Bath for another four years”, said Garland of a process which has seen success for Bath but disappointment for Glasgow Wildcats who lost their franchise in the Fiat-sponsored competition.

“We’re determined to continue our work in promoting and developing netball throughout the regions with our Team Bath players and to enhance the experience for our fans. These were both key components of our winning bid. We don’t intend to stand still. We want to carry on doing the good things well but also do some things better in the future both on and off the court”, she added.

“We strongly believe that Superleague is an important tool in developing the best England team”, said Garland.

Team Bath has won four Superleague titles since the 2005-6 season but also has a superb record in producing players who go on to compete for England on the world stage.  37 players in total from Team Bath have played for England at age-group, development or full senior level since 1999, 18 in the fiull England squad.

“We’re delighted with this news that top-class netball is here to stay.  It is very much part of our DNA at the University providing not only a superb training environment for elite players but also a complete pathway of opportunity for people throughout the local area and across the region. We also have a strong University club set-up and we are proud of our achievements in this sport”, said Stephen Baddeley, Director of Sport at the University.

Bath was quizzed on its ability to support England netball’s ambition of becoming the top nation in the world at netball as well as its commercial programme, fan-base, match-day environment and its capabilities in promoting and developing netball.

“That is still a very important part of what we are trying to achieve and we are certainly not complacent in anything we do”, said Garland.

By winning a four-year franchise rather than a shorter two-year deal, it would appear, though, that Team Bath has passed the current tests set by England Netball across all sectors with flying colours.

For further information please contact:
·      Caroline Searle, Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on 07831 755351 or caroline@matchtight.co.uk

Note to editors:

Team Bath Netball

Team Bath were SuperCup (predecessor to the Superleague) winners in 2003/4 and Superleague champions in 2005/6, 2006/7, 2008/9 and 2009/10. The team has not finished outside of the top three since 2002/3, including this year’s (2010/11) third place.

University of Bath

The University of Bath ranks highly in the league tables of UK universities published by a number of national newspapers, including the Times, Independent and Guardian. Its research is internationally respected, and its students are in demand by employers because of the high quality of its teaching.

The University has had close connections with industry and the public and voluntary sectors since its inception in 1966. It has developed strong links with universities abroad.

The University’s buildings are set in an attractive campus about a mile from the centre of Bath, a World Heritage City.

It is a safe and friendly campus with strong student services and good social opportunities. Its impressive array of sports facilities include a 50m pool, the fully equipped Team Bath Gym, eight court indoor tennis complex, a main sports hall and a 400m athletics track.

The vast majority of these facilities are fully open to the public.

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