The countdown to the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 is well and truly on after April 2nd marked 100 days to go until it kicks off in Liverpool – and the grassroots game in this country is poised to benefit from the sport’s increased exposure this summer.

Tracey Neville’s team kick the tournament off on July 12 and, after Commonwealth gold in 2018, are the bookies’ second favourites to secure what would be a famous win on home soil.

Netball World Cup 2019 – the legacy

Sporting tournaments held on home shores always generate huge interest in the event itself, picking up viewers who may not usually have an interest. The legacy left by a tournament is, however, every bit as important as the tournament itself, so what kind of impact can the competition have on netball at grassroots level?

When GB women’s hockey team won gold at Rio 2016, the reverberations were felt all the way through hockey in this country. A generation had been inspired and clubs up and down the country reported a huge spike in interest.

The World Cup provides a unique opportunity for kids to become inspired by experience of elite netball, whilst also learning about the different countries and cultures within international netball.

With this in mind, England Netball have created an official schools programme for schools and home educators to allow children of all ages to experience the thrill of elite, world-class netball on our doorstep. With discounted tickets for juniors, including complimentary tickets for the teacher, the numbers of young people in attendance should be very healthy.

And with a more global remit, UK Sport – the government’s sporting arm – have funded NET2019, the competition’s official legacy project. Delivered by England Netball in partnership with the INF, NET2019 aims to provide coaching advice and facilitated netball sessions to empower women and girls through the power of netball around the world.

The mission of NET2019 is to empower women and girls through the power of netball and the legacy of the Netball World Cup 2019. The ambition is global, but with particular emphasis on two key territories, Africa and South America – areas where netball is rapidly gaining influence and is demonstrably becoming a force for good. UK SPORT

TV COVERAGE BOOST

Netball is clearly a telegenic sport but decent TV coverage hasn’t always been forthcoming. This time, however, Sky Sports and the BBC will both be showing live games – Sky will show every game live on each day of the tournament across its various platforms, while the BBC will also show every game free-to-air from day four onwards. In a summer without a major international football tournament, this kind of exposure will be a nailed on boon to the sport, and if England can have a good run to the final or better it would almost certainly leave netball in a healthier position that it’s ever been on these shores.

Tickets are still available, and the tournament gets underway on July 12. Get involved!

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