England are world champions…did you know?

By Joseph Fitzpatrick

England beat New Zealand to be crowned FastNet netball world champions for the first time in their history on Sunday.

Their triumph at the World Netball Series in front of a five thousand strong crowd at Liverpool’s Echo arena was in fact the only major championship England have ever won, but then you probably read about it in Monday’s papers.

After all netball is arguably the country’s most popular female sport played by over 100,000 girls a week, so if the national team won the World Series then surely the papers would be clamouring to cover England’s glory.

What’s that… you had no idea England even had a netball team until now?

Despite the sport enjoying prevalence in school sport for young girls that ranks alongside football for boys netball receives little to no media coverage.

The Fiat Netball Superleague – Britain’s top division – is aired on Sky Sports but that is where the attention stops – netball’s column inches are anaemic if best.

As netball is a non-Olympic sport it appears to have been banished to the media wilderness, with fringe female sports being favoured instead.

Some of the blame for this lack of media coverage can be laid at the door of the sport’s governing body, England Netball, with not enough work done to publicize key events, leading to a PR campaign by a fan website to correct the press’ ignorance.

Here at Mancunian Matters we too have been guilty of ignoring netball in the past, but to reprieve our sins and to show our support for a great English sport we will be running a netball story every day for the next week.

So make sure you check back tomorrow for our next netball instalment.

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