Why doesn't netball get the same attention as football or tennis? - SportsHotels - The sports accommodation experts

Why doesn’t netball get the same attention as football or tennis?

Fierce campaigns are being formulated to have netball make its Olympic debut at the Brisbane 2032 Games, and we’re excited to see this popular sport take its hard-earned place among the world’s sporting greats. Considering the growing popularity of netball, many have asked why it wasn’t included in the Olympics before, and why the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has waited so long.

Netball was one of 12 “new” sports considered for the 2020 and 2024 Olympics, but it didn’t make the cut. One of the reasons attributed was that netball didn’t meet the global play and gender balance requirements, which stipulate that a sport must be played by men in at least 75 countries and by women in 40 countries.

The growth of netball did begin in Commonwealth countries, but it is now played n more than 100 countries, and 44 of those have teams at an international level – from Kenya to Thailand, and even Argentina.

While a growing number of men play netball on social and community teams, there are few professional or league men’s teams, but there’s a plan to increase men’s participation too. It has also been pointed out though, that synchronised swimming remains a women’s Olympic sport, and as men’s sports tend to get far more support, adding netball could make the situation more balanced.

Does netball need the Olympics?

Netball was first officially included in the Commonwealth Games in 1998, and this has been instrumental in the sport’s growth.

The prestige of competing in the Olympic Games is certainly deserved by netball’s dedicated players, but this is about far more than fame or publicity. Recognition of the International Netball Federation by the IOC in the 1995 (it was recognised as a sport but not added to the Games) resulted in a huge amount of funding for netball around the world. Having netball on television and n the news during the Olympics could provide an even greater boost, as well as driving netball’s popularity, as we saw with the Netball World Cup.

It has been fantastic to see women in the spotlight in sport, and greater status for netball can continue that trend. Netball is making a meaningful difference to women everywhere, and in particular to girls who take up netball at school, becoming more active, being part of a team, and enjoying all the physical, mental, and social benefits that provides.

Netball’s status at home

As one of this country’s fastest-growing sports and the number one team sport for women, netball is taking a prominent place in UK schools, sports clubs and leagues, and we’re making news on the international circuit.

There were fears that lockdown and the rising costs that had followed would stop netball’s growth, and it has been a tough battle, but broadcast deals such as the one with Sky Sports, and sponsorships like Vitality, combined with players’ determination to keep netball in play to keep the sport moving forward. Now, England Netball is preparing to relaunch the Super League in 2025, in its push for professionalisation of the sport.  

Sportshotels.com is a proud supporter of professional, local, community and grassroots netball teams, and we’re behind the campaign for Brisbane 2032 all the way. If your netball team needs to travel to compete, our network and experience can help make that happen! Give us a call and let’s find the best, most cost-effective accommodation – and who knows, we could be nurturing future Olympians!.

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