Each season the League has been committed to raising funds to support local charities and this year has seen them driving support for a cause very close to their hearts. Local netballer, Lee Willington tragically suffered a cardiac event whilst playing a netball match for her team Zeus. Lee survived but has been left severely brain damaged and is reliant on constant care from her family. With a partner and two children under the age of 5, Dudley Netball League wanted to help support the family any way they could and committed themselves to raising £3000 to help fund a special chair for Lee. They could not have anticipated the response they received from the netballing community…
In the 14 weeks since the League played its first matches of 2014 they have seen donations pour in from just about everyone possible; teams, players, umpires, Walsall Netball League, pupils from the School where Lee taught, local businesses, along with friends and colleagues of players and the league totalling over £2350. To further support with fundraising, Midrange Netball Club held a family fun day on Sunday 6th July which included a netball tournament, bouncy castles, netball stands, candy cart, minion mascot, raffle and tombola. A total of 28 teams played netball and over 350 participants, umpires and spectators took part in the special event. With the League still to hold a charity evening at Sedgeley Working Mens Club on the 29th July, it’s looking likely they are going to smash their target with donations of a TV, signed football shirts, vouchers and many more items for the raffle. Even the venue and evening’s entertainment have been gifted in aid of such a great cause.
Whilst in pursuit of raising funds, the League has been at the forefront of raising awareness of Lee’s cause and have even helped secure funding, along with George Salter Academy, from the British Heart Foundation and Ambulance Trust for an AED which will be on site at the Academy and available for both the League, School and community use. Kate Roberts, Coaching Development Officer at George Salter Academy said of the league and AED ‘When the Dudley Netball League decided to relocate to George Salter Academy this year we worked hard to ensure a high standard facility which accommodated the leagues requirements. With this came the request for an AED to be installed onto the community site. The committee discussed at lengths the importance of the defibrillator and why this was so close to their hearts. The Academy and committee then worked together and produced a bid to the British Heart Foundation to have an AED installed on the premises. We are delighted as an Academy to have had the bid approved and to now provide a community sports facilities that is much more equipped to deal with a heart attack’.
It’s been an astonishing effort from the League Committee and the response from the netballing community has been astounding, everyone has come together to support a very special cause.
Any donations for Lee and her family can be made by contacting Dudley Netball League.
Pictured bove are representatives from Dudley Netball League (L-R) Rose Peakman (Match & Registration), Carol Finlan (Fundraising), Diane Parkes (Honarary Member) and Jo Steventon (Vice Chairman)