Hornby club eyes up premier grade netball

Hornby Netball Club form up for a celebratory photo.

Premier grade status is the sights of the Hornby Netball Club, which has turned 10.

The club has gone from strength-to-strength since it formed in 2008. But having teams in premier one and two grades has always alluded them.

Club president Lynlea Willan said she hoped club teams could again reach and maintain a spot in both senior grade divisions of the Christchurch Netball Centre next season, and qualify for both premier grade divisions for the first time.

Club members marked their 10th anniversary with specially made match balls and an eye-catching drone photo.

Mrs Willan formed the club in late 2008 after feeling dissatisfied with the club she belonged to at the time.

She said she saw a niche in Hornby, which had lacked a club since 2000, and thought with the area having plenty of schools she would be able to attract young players to grow the club.

Members of Hornby Netball Club’s U13 team.

Beginning with 108 players and 12 teams in 2009, their first year playing, Mrs Willan said she was “blown away.”

“That wasn’t on my agenda, to have 12 teams. I thought I might get five at the most.

“Being in Hornby we had the option to either play in Selwyn or Christchurch netball centres. I’d played in Selwyn so I thought it would be easier to have a fresh start in Christchurch,” she said.

Over the club’s life, numbers had fluctuated, peaking at 28 teams last year, there were now 26 teams and around 250 players. Mrs Willan said club members were very loyal to the red and white, the club’s colours.

“I really couldn’t be any prouder. When I started it I had no idea what to expect. I’m really, really stoked.”

Young Hornby Netball Club players with Laing Properties’ Grant Laing.

She said the club had forged many relationships and friendships and had a family-focused atmosphere.

To celebrate the decade, club sponsors Laing Properties and L&A Apparel and Monograms provided an anniversary match ball to each team and a branded netball to every girl in the Future Ferns teams, aged between seven and 10.

A group of around 85 club members also met in Denton Oval to form the number 10 and the club initials with their bodies for a photo, taken by a drone, to use on their social media pages and website.