The Change Foundation looks to build on “phenomenal” London event.
Netballers from top companies in fashion and finance took to the courts at London’s Lincoln’s Inn Fields in a new event organised by The Change Foundation (TCF), which uses sport to positively impact on the lives of young people, and sponsored by swimwear specialists Hunza G.
A total of 10 teams took part, including those representing both hosts with Hunza G making it through to the final and narrowly beating a side representing top level bankers Coutts. The fashion house picked up the trophy following a 4-3 win – and then donated swimsuits to the runners-up. Others taking part were Ralph Lauren, who fielded two teams, Oliver Bonas, Tapestry, Threads Styling, Consumer Additions and Perfect Moment.
The event raised funds for TCF’s Netball4Change programme, which uses the game to teach girls affected by the overuse of social media how to stay safe online. It empowers them to think more positively about their social graph, how it can affect their future prospects, and raises awareness of negative social media influences.
Players of all abilities took part, including some who were completely new to the sport, while others were experienced players.
Hunza G CEO Beverly Hill introduced the event and outlined what it was about.
“The tournament brings people together, gives them a chance to network and raises awareness of the charity and its work,” she said. “At Hunza G our values include inclusivity, equality, respect and transparency. We have a no blame culture.”
“And when it comes to on-line, we are very responsible as to what we express. We have a tribe which follows us, from 15-year-old girls upwards, and we are all parents, so we know how to act appropriately.”
As well as helping to stage the event, TCF Women and Girls Programme Manager, Shedaine Henry who first played netball in Jamaica, also took part.
“Netball is about teamwork and working together and we used the first game to see what each other’s strengths were as it was the first time we had played as a team,” she said.
“We alternated positions, so everyone had a chance to see where they fitted in most effectively. That made for it being an extremely inclusive environment, as well as great fun.”
Issey Giltrow was previously involved in county standard netball and plays for a team in a league held in Clapham.
She captained a team and organised the pre-match training.
“There were some very good teams here,” she said. “It’s not easy when you don’t know your teammates, but the spirit was amazing with everyone cheering each other on. I definitely took a leadership role.”
Tournament organiser and Senior Coach Mentor at the foundation, Ellen Rowley, said the event would pioneer the way for similar matches, involving leading corporate brands across London and further afield.
Elle said: “The event was phenomenal, even back in the planning stages, working alongside Hunza G was a match made in heaven. Ten teams here today, all smiles and minimal injuries.
“It was great to see the teams of all abilities integrating with our young people and young ambassadors and helping each other out on the side lines.
“This was an inaugural event and we reached out mainly to fashion brands. But we want to involve other industries and try other sports. This is the start of something special and could become a new feature of London’s vibrant corporate culture.”
Written by Nick Ames.