England Netball moves towards professionalism via Super League revamp
England Netball has unveiled its vision to elevate the Netball Super League (NSL into a professional competition from 2025, marking a significant step forward for the sport in the UK and women’s sport.
The governing body announced that an open tender process will be initiated to invite current clubs and potential stakeholders to express their interest in participating in the revamped league.
The NSL’s transformation is set to include matches held at larger venues, an enhanced live and televised spectator experience, increased competitiveness and improvements in the elite playing environment to offer netball players rewarding career opportunities. This endeavour is a pivotal step towards achieving a professional era in netball in the UK.
“Transformational yet sustainable change will take time, but we believe that going through a tender process will enable us to set new standards for the future and ensure we deliver a competitive league with clubs that are ready and able to embrace the professional era,” Fran Connolly, CEO of England Netball, said.
Liz Bloor, Managing Director at the Netball Players’ Association (NPA), added, “This provides the long-awaited opportunity for elite netballers to become professional athletes in the UK, to showcase their talents in bigger venues in front of their fans and to earn a living playing the sport they love.”
“For all the youngsters up and down the country who love netball, greater visibility of their heroes and the chance to dream of a netball career will be so inspiring.”
Netball, historically a female-dominated sport, is currently facing stiffer competition from sports with greater resources and higher profiles, notably football (soccer). These sports have witnessed a surge in popularity and increased investment at both grassroots and professional levels.
England’s Vitality Roses recently reached the Netball World Cup final in August – going down to traditional heavyweight Australia – in the nation’s best result at the tournament since 1975.
However, this achievement was marred by criticism aimed at World Netball for scheduling the tournament concurrently with the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
🧩 Jigsaws and jazz music
Loving every moment of the competition
✨ Inspiring the nation on and beyond the court
— England Netball (@EnglandNetball) August 7, 2023