Netball On the Up In Upper Nithsdale

After running successful ‘Adult Netball Taster Sessions’ back in March, the newly formed Upper Nithsdale Netball Club have now completed their first 10-week block of social netball, gaining a consistent attendance for the Tuesday evening events.

The group were initially supported by Julie Tyson of DG Council’s Active Communities, to run 4-weeks of community netball sessions catering to all skill levels and fitness abilities.  After the Easter break a weekly programme commenced with the welcome funding of Thornhill Community Council.


Natalie Hamblin, Committee Chairperson and Club Captain said

“It has been a dream working with such an enthusiastic, proactive and driven group of women to get this club off the ground. After identifying a clear demand for netball in the Upper Nithsdale area, the team have worked hard to ensure our vision became a reality.
I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved in a short space of time, and we have big plans to grow the club in future – ensuring we can bring netball to people of all ages and abilities within this rural area. It’s important to us that the club is sustainable yet affordable for all, and we are grateful to our supporters for helping us make this happen.”


Anita Stobbs from Thornhill attended the taster sessions, and is now a member of the club, said “When I first saw the (Facebook) post asking for netball team members I was both excited and nervous. Not knowing anyone, health issues and not having played for 30 plus years I found myself surrounded by a very mixed age group of people of all abilities.  I was welcomed with open arms and got to know lots of new people.
I would recommend to anyone thinking about joining to do it, I love it and my health is improving loads, which is a huge bonus.“


The one-hour weekly sessions, offered to the current attendees aged 19-58 include ball skills, footwork drills and teaching game rules before the group get on court for a friendly game of netball.  Club Coach, Erin Dobie also allows time for a warm-up and cool down to ensure the wellbeing of players.


Committee member and Club Treasurer Bron Clark said

“We have players who have never set foot on a netball court before, and I am so pleased we are able to offer a comfortable and supportive club for women of all ages to be part of. Over the past 3 months I have admired at how much the skill level and confidence increased in everyone.
With a recent grant from Closeburn Community Council the club have hired the Wallace Hall Academy games hall for another 10 weeks, this has ensured the club has the financial foundation it needs to continue to support social Netball for Upper Nithsdale.”


With their first friendly ‘away’ match to Dalbeattie in the first week of June, the club hope to host a reply match over the Summer.  Currently the club is an over 18 organisation but there are future plans to offer participation to younger players.  The Club committee hope that as support grows there will be potential for a competitive team to be formed, and this senior squad will join regional competitions.


Sponsored by SC Fitness, the club are excited to be working with Sarah Craig who recently set up her new business, The Gym, in Thornhill. Many of the club’s members also attend ‘The Gym’ and Sarah is thrilled to see another fitness opportunity for people in the area. Thanks to Sarah, the team will soon have club tops to represent Upper Nithsdale Netball Club formally.


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