Boys taking first steps into netball with Leeds Rhinos

Leeds Rhinos netball head coach Dan Ryan has said he wants the “sport to be available for everyone” as the club launch its first training session just for boys aged seven to 12, writes HANNAH CLARKE.

Wednesday, 18th March 2020, 6:05 am
Former Yorkshire Jets coach Anna Carter. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

This came from a number of enquiries from the parents and carers of boys who wanted to give netball a try. The first taster session is free and then the boys can choose to sign up to train weekly and continue to learn skills.

Although netball has featured in schools across the country for many years, it has been extremely female dominated. While the nation is a long way off reaching the same balance as Australia and New Zealand, there is an increasing number of men’s netball clubs and leagues.

Former men’s captain of Australia and new Leeds Rhinos head coach Dan Ryan said: “As a club we are really passionate about making sure our sport is available to everybody.

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“There is a real lack of opportunities for boys to play netball in this country, so we want to provide the much-needed opportunities and give them the chance to enjoy all the great things netball has to offer.

“If we can get more boys playing netball, we increase our overall participation numbers in the sport which can only be a positive and healthy thing.”

Ryan started playing netball at the age of eight and is now the head coach for Northern Ireland.

“With men’s netball on the rise in the UK, our aim is to provide boys who are passionate about the game with the pathway and platform to stay engaged and hopefully have a life-long involvement in sport” he added.

The sessions involve the basic skills of netball including throwing and catching, positions and footwork alongside games.

Rhinos has recognised that not all young people want to play sports in a mixed environment – especially not a sport that is dominated by the opposite sex and these boys-only sessions provides another opportunity across the Yorkshire community.

Leeds Rhinos director of netball and former Jets coach, Anna Carter said: “We are really keen to give everyone the opportunity to play netball.

“We want to be ahead on what netball stands for.”

“That is that is a fantastic all-inclusive game suitable for all in England.

“More boys want to play netball and we are delighted to have the capacity to deliver on it.”

Bookings for the weekly Saturday sessions can be made through the Leeds Rhinos netball website.