Over the past two years, the Premier League 4 Sport (PL4S) has gone from strength to strength, inspiring youngsters from all over the country to get involved in different Olympic sports through their local Premier League club.

Following the success of the programme, netball is the latest sport to be added, joining badminton, volleyball, judo and table tennis, which have already proved incredibly popular.

To mark the introduction of the sport into the programme, Arsenal joined forces recently with fellow Premier League clubs, Liverpool and West Bromwich Albion, together with England Netball to create the first PL4S competition of its kind.

Eight girls from five different schools in Islington and Camden were given the honour of representing Arsenal at the inaugural event on Merseyside and did themselves proud, comfortably seeing off the challenge of West Brom’s youngsters, before a hard-fought victory against the home side.

One of the participating girls, Billie, commented: “I really enjoyed today even though we had to get up early! The matches went quite well and we improved our teamwork. I felt it was a good experience. The professional matches were really inspirational. I’d redo the whole day again definitely! I’ve met some nice new people and had lots of fun. Thank you to everyone for a great day!”

Following the exertions, the group travelled across to the city’s famous Echo Arena to see the professionals in action in the ‘World Cup of Netball’, the World Series. After a good opening game between Australia and Jamaica, the youngsters saw England beat Fiji 32-15 in their opening match. The added bonus was that the Club’s very own Hertfordshire Maverick and Arsenal Community netball ambassador, Sasha Corbin, played a starring role in the England win.

Over the weekend, Sasha and the England team went on to win the World Series, beating reigning champions New Zealand in the final. Sasha will be visiting one of Arsenal in the Community’s netball sessions very soon to congratulate the girls on their first match wins!

Fran Connell, Head of Development at England Netball, added:  “It was fantastic to be joined at the World Netball Series in Liverpool by three of our PL4S partner clubs.  We hope the opportunity to play matches against each other, coupled with watching some of their England role models on the court will inspire the young people to stay involved in netball.  This is a great start for the Arsenal PL4S Netball team and with England Netball’s World Netball Series win over New Zealand, will help to raise the profile of the sport.” 

Arsenal in the Community would like to thank the Liverpool Foundation, England Netball and Islington Netball Club for their organisation and efforts in making this inaugural event such a success.

For more information on Premier League 4 Sport Netball, please contact Ross McKinley on 0207 704 4147 / rmckinley@arsenal.co.uk

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 15 Dec 2011