National recognition for Peebles’ Netball Club

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Peebles Netball has been chosen by its governing body, Netball Scotland, as the Junior Club of the Year for 2013.

At a glittering awards ceremony in Glasgow, Jo Pettitt, captain of the club’s senior team last season, received the trophy on behalf of Peebles Netball.

Last year, the club was successful in bringing home not one, but two, coveted titles, winning both the Scottish Schools’ Senior Gold Cup and the Youth Cup at Under-17 level.

On top of this they also had a number of players selected to play nationally, with two athletes representing Scotland at both the Under-17 (Jenny Hudson) and Under-21 (Jo Pettitt) Netball Europe Championships. Pettitt was also part of the national under-21 squad at the recent World Youth Netball Championships in Glasgow.

Presenting the award, Freda Hutchison, chair of Netball Scotland, said: “As well as fielding successful players and teams, this club makes a huge impact in its area by managing the Border District squads, running as many as five school teams for the local high school and even hosting an annual primary school festival.

“They have even grown the sport of netball to such a size that it can now be chosen by girls in core PE at secondary school. No mean feat for a club that is run solely by volunteers.”

The club has already received much national and regional recognition over the last year. Earlier in the season, Peebles Netball coach, Linda Nicholson, was runner-up in the sportscotland/Sunday Mail Local Hero award, while the club also received the Borders Sport and Leisure/Southern Reporter award for Team of the Year at the inaugural Celebration of Sport dinner against stiff competition from across the Borders.

The club is supported by four team managers, and a committee of volunteers.

Coach Nicholson told us: “We are thrilled to be recognised by Netball Scotland for our efforts over the season. We have had a tremendous year – our most successful to date – and to finish it with an award from our governing body is the icing on the cake.”

The success looks to continue this year as well. Of the 14 players in Scotland’s Under-19 long squad, three are Peebles players (Jo Pettitt, Jenny Hudson and Lauren Tait). Pettitt has now moved on to continue her studies at Strathclyde University, where she will play for their adult club, Glasgow Saltires.

“Fingers crossed for them all making the cut before the European Championships in March,” added Nicholson.