MEMBERS of a netball club are playing smarter after netting a sponsorship deal from a company that cares.

Thornaby Netball Club players are all smiles, in brand new red and black kits, after teaming up with expanding North-East care company, Care Matters.

The club was formed in 2012 by Eyv Hardwick, with the help of Sport England, to encourage women of all ages to enjoy the benefits of the sport.

Club secretary and player, Nic Crowther, said: “We are a growing club that plays an important role in the local community through a collective love of netball, helping to build friendships, reduce isolation, and boost physical and mental health.

“Our existing kits were starting to look a bit worse for wear, so we’re thrilled to be able to replace them thanks to the support of Care Matters.”

The Northern Echo:

The club has three teams playing in different local leagues: the A and B teams play in the Cleveland and Teesside Netball League; while a third team plays in the Back To Netball League. There are 35 regular club members, with others turning up on an ad hoc basis.

Since 2012, the club has helped to raise more than £4,000 for Cancer Research UK, Mind, and The Brain Tumour Charity, via fund raising and charity netball tournament events.

Care Matters, which is part of the Newlands Group, has strong links with the Stockton area, having been a framework provider for the borough council since 2019, supplying domiciliary services in Yarm, Ingleby Barwick, Thornaby, and the Parkfield and Oxbridge areas of Stockton.

Earlier this year, in a vote of confidence by the council, Care Matters won a new contract to expand into supported living in Billingham, Eaglescliffe, and other parts of Thornaby and Ingleby Barwick.

The company’s managing director, Lisa Spark, said: “We passionately believe in the power of grass roots sport, and Thornaby Netball Club does a magnificent job in inspiring women and girls to stay fit and healthy. It’s a pleasure to be able to support what they do.”

Last month, another of the Newlands Group companies – The Robin Centre – supported Redcar Athletic Football Club’s disabled team with donations of kit and equipment.

  • Thornaby Netball Club trains at Ingleby Manor School, at Ingleby Barwick, on Wednesdays between 6.30pm and 8pm, and anyone interested is welcome to turn up. The club also has its own Facebook page.