Rhondda Netball is a charity that was established in late 2016 to change the landscape of female equality and opportunities in one of the UK’s most deprived areas, giving girls and women what the Valley’s boys and men have had for decades. Focusing on sport and netball as the main vehicle, we have already seen remarkable success in our short history. Our key objectives in Rhondda & Rhondda Cynon Taf are:
- Fighting gender inequality and creating opportunities for girls and women.
- Improving physical wellness and encouraging participants to live active healthy lives.
- Tackling social isolation and supporting emotional well-being.
- Building a strong sense of belief and confidence amongst all participants.
- Create an “I can” culture that encourages young girls to work hard and dream big.
Founder & Managing Director, Lawrie Davies, established the charity because he believed that the only way to see success in the above goals & objectives, was by creating a professional every-day charitable operation that was fully committed to the cause. He researched male provision in Wales and the Valleys and the really successful cases all had a small number of males working full-time to generate the support, financial and otherwise, to create a sustained effort to really make a difference on an ongoing basis,. For example, when Rhondda Netball first started, there were over 10 males employed on a full-time everyday basis for the provision of male sport (rugby & football). Until Jody Barnes (Rhondda Netball’s full-time Operations Manager), there were 0 females committed on a full-time basis to developing female sporting opportunities and provision.
At the end of 2017 Rhondda Netball became Wales' largest female sports participation initiative with over 500 girls and women taking part in our out-of-school provision on a weekly basis. We have also created an infrastructure for after-school/in-school participation across Rhondda Cynon Taf, creating ongoing opportunities for approx 1000 school girls in RCT. But Rhondda Netball is more than sport, and the impact we're having goes way beyond improving physical wellness. It's social inclusion, mental wellness, building self-confidence and raising self-esteem. But while we've seen plenty of success so far, the best is still to come!