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Active Lincolnshire is committed to providing opportunities for everyone in Lincolnshire to be active every day. We work with partners to address inequalities and inactivity, responding to the needs of people and places.

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As advocates for the positive power that physical activity has on everyone’s lives, we work in partnership to improve understanding, influence change, and tackle the challenge of inactivity.

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Funded Projects

Horncastle Hotshots reignite netball passion in the town

Horncastle Hotshots reignite netball passion in the town

Netball has grown in popularity in the UK over recent years and more women than ever are getting involved in the sport. JB’s Sports Coaching wanted to bring netball to one of the most rural locations in the county with the aim of building friendships, developing confidence and making people feel like a part of a team. Horncastle has limited options when it comes to community facilities and JB’s Sport Coaching identified that women in the town had fewer opportunities to be active, often feeling excluded from participating in community provisions which led them to feel isolated, lonely, anxious and experiencing poor mental health.

Therefore, they created the Horncastle Hotshots.

Thanks to Sport England’s Together Fund, distributed in the county by Active Lincolnshire, JB’s Sports Coaching were able to deliver 20 sessions on a Monday night, to two age groups. 66 women and girls participated across the sessions, with 34 aged 11–16-years-old and 32, 17 years and over.

Removing barriers for women to attend was important to JB’s, they wanted to ensure that all women could attend, get active and reap the health benefits. They decided to run the sessions at the same time and place as children’s football sessions that were being run, so that childcare was not a barrier to taking part. One participant noted:

‘’My main challenges were childcare. I was able to take part in this as my daughter took part in the under 17’s netball at the same time and my other daughter was able to sit and watch.’’

A huge success of the project was seeing so many mother and daughters play together, and the mum’s not just stood at the sidelines watching.

Another of the participants told us:

‘’It’s great to have something for mums in Horncastle. Toni has made the sessions sociable and inclusive, I really enjoy them.”

Three coaches have now been trained thanks to the funding, all receiving their Netball Level 1 qualification which means that the sessions are continuing in the future. This has also developed the coach’s self-esteem and confidence, one of the coaches is studying BTEC Sport and aims to be a PE teacher. This leadership experience has been invaluable to her reaching her future goal and has been a great experience.

Toni McHamilton, coach at the sessions says,

‘’It’s been great to have so many adults and young people getting involved in our netball services. Though there has been an element of competitiveness, it’s been great to see people coming along and enjoying the sessions. Meeting new people, becoming more confident in themselves and their own ability and actually improving their netball skills too!”

Despite a few issues with venues, JB’s were determined to deliver the project realising that to get more people active, it is not about the venue, but about keeping it safe to play, and remaining consistent in the delivery. The winter months are now with us, but the team are still coming together and hope that this continues.

England Netball’s Lincolnshire Development Officer, Louise Key, has been working with the Hotshots to ensure sustainability of the team, with the hope that partnership and support continues within the county for the sport.

Sport England’s Together Fund existed to help reduce the negative impact of coronavirus and help community groups working with target audiences to grow and help more people. The Fund was a continuation of the Tackling Inequalities Fund that was set up in April 2020, as part of the support package to help the sport and physical activity sector through the Covid-19 crisis. £20 million of National Lottery funding committed to helping groups that were being disproportionally affected by the pandemic and was significantly impacting their ability to physically active. This included lower socio-economic groups, culturally diverse communities, disabled people and people with long-term health conditions.

To find out more about the Together Fund's impact in Lincolnshire here.