The Co-operative Netball Superleague season 2008/09 was launched in style on the streets of Manchester at the weekend.
Hundreds of people gathered in the city centre’s Exchange Square for the official countdown while the Kukri Allstarzz got the crowds going with their energetic dance performance.
Superleague players nationwide attended to represent their teams and take part in the day’s activities, which included netball demonstrations, question and answer sessions and autograph signing.
Pupils from Stockport Grammar, Chetwynde School from Cumbria and Giggleswick School near Settle, North Yorkshire, arrived in their netball kits ready to take part in the shooting challenge.
Sky Sport’s presenter, Ingrid Hagemann caught the attention of shoppers and passers by as she hosted the event, encouraging everyone to get involved.
“The event was a great opportunity to endorse the new season and attract as many new people as possible to netball,” said Amie Quirk, netball Superleague events co-ordinator at England Netball.
“Ingrid did a wonderful job as MC and the big screen attracted the interest of hundreds of passers by. All in all, it was a truly fantastic way to start the season,” she added.
Paul Clark, CEO of England Netball, said: “Manchester proved an ideal city to hold the event; the North West has strong links to netball and is home to our major sponsor, The Co-operative, and local Superleague franchise Northern Thunder, so it was a great opportunity to get the players interacting with their fans. It also allowed us to develop our relationship with Manchester City Council and LOCOG through their live site projects.”
Debbie Robinson, The Co-operative’s director of food retail marketing, said: “It was great to get the netball season off to such a fantastic start, with such a lively and well supported event in our home city of Manchester. Thanks to everybody who attended, especially the players and supporters, who helped to make it such an enjoyable day.”
photos Janos Schmidt