What a year for the girls of BL Netball! We have had an unbelievable year as a club and seem to be flying from strength to strength with so much to be proud of. Carrying on from our many successes from last year our main focus this year has been female empowerment and inclusion in sport and we could not be prouder to be able to offer any girl, whatever ability, a guaranteed place on any of our 6 teams or the chance to learn a new sport altogether!
Our massive family gained some incredible new members this year helping this girl gang to grow to an astonishing 85 members. This makes us one of the leading female clubs on campus with an incredible 6 teams entered into three different leagues: BUCS, LUSL and the QMSU league. We are consistently creating new teams and entering more teams into new leagues to accommodate for our growing numbers to make sure our girls get the most out of their sporting experience at Barts. This year our 4th team had their first year in the BUCS league and they absolutely smashed it! More to come with this years impressive results below.
We have had a crazy fun-filled social calendar this year and the biggest right-handed commendation must go to our legendary social secretaries BrOre (Bridget Cullinan and Ore Akinwale). They have given us all we could have ever wanted from our Wednesday evenings, spent mainly in our beloved Griff Inn with a good old-fashioned tables sesh. We have had socials with just about every club at Barts including some very questionable dance moves and some even more questionable fancy dress. The girls have also done a great job of hosting non-alcoholic socials which have been a blast.
We have also had two insanely fun tours away to Liverpool and Bratislava (rogue, we know) and the biggest of thank you’s must go to the Kylie and Kendall of BL Netball, Emily Bennett and JoJo Parsons and BrOre ofcourse. Live, Laugh, Liverpool and The Floor is Bratislava will go down in BL Netball history and we are eternally grateful for you girls and your love of stash #DVTour #HundyPgonnarally. Our strong social media presence over the year is something I am particularly proud of! You can find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook with our captains, social secretaries and members consistently posting match results, club successes, social updates, tour updates and support for other clubs and societies at Barts as well as any events/campaigns on campus. Above all we have loved how much the support between clubs has grown this year and we can’t wait to see more of this next year! Check out our year of success on the following: @blnetball or BL Netball on facebook and Twitter.
A huge thank you as well to our wonderful treasurer and all around club saviour Angel Julia Stichbury or AnJules, a true mastermind of the Excel spreadsheet, for keeping us financially stable as a club. Our finances are the strongest they’ve ever been, and we are excited to finally be in a position to be able to make the most of our financial savings to give our girls the best next year! A big thanks as well to Jules and Fatima ‘you alright Pooj’ Rashid our Club Secretary for treating us girls to such a fabulous and special AGM. Loved it girls! The Association fund and Annual fund have been extremely kind to us this year with all our funding applications being awarded. Most excitingly, we were granted funding to put two of our members through C grade level umpire training with Netball England. Milly Newham and Katie Briggs will be the hottest new umpires on court come October 2018 when the next netball season starts and we can’t wait to reap the benefits of reduced umpire costs, increased sporting experiences, quality umpiring and self-sufficiency as a club. Go on girls!
We are extremely proud of our philanthropic efforts this year which saw us being involved in cross campus campaigns and charity opportunities. We participated in the This Girl Can Campaign hosting the largest attended event by collaborating with QMBL Muay Thai to host a self-defence session. It was a great success and we can’t wait to collab with them in the future. We also participated in the 12 Days of Titmas Challenge hosted by the Uni Boob Team at QMUL and had an absolute blast. We were the first team to sign on from Barts and completed boob related challenges over 12 days during Christmas which was great fun. Our other efforts include being involved in the Bloody Good Period drives, Mission volunteering over the years, The Shag Calendar and our spice girl themed consent campaign!
My proudest moment as BL Netball President was raising £1197.37 for Street Doctors, Rape Crisis UK & Wales and the Barts Guild through our A Night In Paris ball in collaboration with BL RAG. This years Moulin Rouge themed ball was insanely successful and went above and beyond all of our expectations. The event offered: Live performances, drinks deals, games such as spin the wheel and black jack, a photobooth and best of all a silent disco! We are proud to have hosted the only event put on by a sporting society where all the proceeds go directly to charity for the second time in a row now! The event completely blew me away and I am so grateful to both my netball committee and the RAG committee for all their hard work, time and dedication. Our efforts helped win us the incredible achievement from the Queen Mary Volunteering and RAG awards for RAG event of the year this year which we also won last year for the Prohibition Ball! Hopefully we can maintain this rewarding event for years to come!
Our annual netball tournament enjoyed by the students of Barts was a massive success this year. We were blessed with the finest of London’s sunshine, great company and incredible outfits. This years entries saw ten teams comprised of both sporting and non-sporting society members battle it out to become netball champions. The competition was fierce, but Mens Basketball conquered the courts and stole the crown from last years winners - Rugby. We always have the best time sharing our love of netball with the rest of Barts and are already rearing to go for next years competition. The biggest thanks to our club veteran Laura ‘Blanche’ Blakey for her efforts in organising such a great day.
I want to say a massive thank you to Dr. Lesley Robson, our Staff president, for her unwavering support this year. She has been incredible to be around and has supported us at all of our big club events such as Christmas dinner and AGM. It has been an honour Lesley and roll on next year!
And last but not least, our sporting successes this year! I’ll keep it short and sweet seeing as six teams is immense. Our firsts had a great year in the BUCS South Eastern 2B league and the LUSL premier league and will happily be maintaining their spots in these top leagues next year. Our 2nds did extremely well finishing 4th in BUCS South Eastern 5B and joint 5th in LUSL. We are extremely proud of both our 3rds and 4ths who are both expecting a double promotion next year. Our 3rds have had an outstanding season, smashing their BUCS South Eastern 7B and LUSL leagues finishing top of the table in both! Our 4ths have been an absolute dream and have only gone and finished top of the table in both their BUCS South Eastern 9B and LUSL leagues. This was their first time entered the competitive BUCS league and they dominated. Go girls! Our lovely 4ths blew not only us away but also the BLSA board and came away with the very much deserved Team of the Year award at this years Association Dinner Awards. Our 5ths are thriving in their second year of the LUSL league finishing 8th out of 11 teams and they have been enjoying the weekly QMSU league along with our 6ths. The 6th team are going from strength to strength in the QMSU league with many players having been completely new to netball this year.
I am so incredibly proud of every single player in the club and the progress that is displayed by all of our team’s year upon year is truly astounding! A massive congratulations to our incredible captains this year, you girls are THE bomb: Gauri ‘GG’ Saxena, Claire ‘CHOOK’ Huck, Varnika ‘VK’ Kaushik, Esmee ‘EsBAE’ Engels, Jessica ‘JLO’ Long and Priya ‘PriYAS queen’ Sivakumar. Couldn’t have done it without you. What an insane year we’ve had. I love you girls and this club with all my heart. Thanks for making this year so incredibly special. Onwards and upwards netball GalPals!