As our Pivoteers prepare to be part of netball’s pinnacle event, Salford university student and guest blogger Taran Dhamrait, met two students rolling up their sleeves at this summer’s World Cup.
Last summer, England beat Australia against all odds to win Commonwealth gold, which inspired a new generation of netball players. England, having reached their first major final, claimed gold thanks to a last gasp winner from Helen Housby, giving England a 52-51 victory.
Netball has become the largest female sport within the University BUCS programme and has over 400 teams competing each season.
In 2014 England submitted a bid to host the 2019 World Cup in Liverpool. A year later they were successful and this July, Liverpool will host 16 nations at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool for the 15th staging of the competition.
The last World Cup was held in Sydney and host country Australia picked up their 11th title. England picked up bronze, finishing third.
England begin their World Cup campaign against Uganda on Friday 12 July at 7pm. Back in November 2018, England beat Uganda 50-46 also in Liverpool – a repeat of that would do nicely for the Roses.
For July’s World Cup to be a success, the tournament will rely on approximately 500 volunteers, known as Pivoteers.
We had the chance to speak to two of those pivotal in keeping this summer’s 10-day competition running smoothly.
Lois Betts and Carlie Pimlott are two university students and avid netball players.
They are from different parts of the country but in July will be coming together as two of the Vitality Netball World Cup’s Pivoteers.
A ‘Pivoteer’ is described by the World Cup as ‘of crucial importance to the success of the world’s most prestigious netball tournament’.
So how do Lois and Carlie feel about having being given the chance to be part of the team this summer?
Lois, originally from Stockport, says: “I believe it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity in which I will be able to learn new skills and meet new people. I am really excited to be a part of the event.”
Lois studies Fashion Buying and Merchandising at Manchester Metropolitan University and said with the World Cup being held so close to home, it was a great opportunity:
“Once I saw that the Vitality Netball World Cup were looking for volunteers in Liverpool, I thought it would be a great opportunity to get involved in an exciting event that I may not have the chance to be a part of again.”
“I have watched the World Cup previously but, this year with it being so close to home, I was inspired to be a part of it in a completely different way.”Carlie, who hails from Sutton Coldfield and is a Civil Engineering student at Liverpool John Moores, says this year’s World Cup has the potential to be very special:
“It’s hard to describe, but I think the Vitality Netball World Cup has a really special feeling about it this year – it really feels like the Roses are within touching distance of the double gold medal (Commonwealth and World Cup) and I think everyone’s really excited!”
“It’s been so amazing seeing more and more media coverage on the sport and seeing the ripple effect of the Commonwealth gold right down to grassroots level.”
“It’s such an exciting time for netball in England and to be so involved is incredible – it doesn’t quite feel real!”