Readers react to the stand-off between netballers and the council

Netball players were shooting from the hip as they combined to condemn a decision by Blackpool Sports Centre to stop them playing indoors.

Monday, 17th July 2017, 12:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:40 am
Netball players have been told they cant pay to play indoors at Blackpool Sports Centre because six outside courts have been given a makeover
Netball players have been told they cant pay to play indoors at Blackpool Sports Centre because six outside courts have been given a makeover

The council has spent thousands of pounds on anti-slip surfacing on the Stanley Park courts and said it now wants teams in the Fylde Netball League to use them.

Fylde Netball League wants to continue playing indoors from October to March because of worries over maintenance and floodlighting.

The stand-off has left some teams threatening to quit.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

League secretary Barbara Jackson said: “It’s almost like we are second rate and we don’t matter. Our money is as good as anybody’s.”

Blackpool Council said it is committed to working with the Fylde Netball league “to allow its players to continue to access netball opportunities locally.”


As a player/umpire/coach involved in the FNL playing at Stanley Park for over 25 years, I am saddened that we have come a point where we have to spend time and effort to source alternative venues to play.

We have been faithful to Blackpool Council over many years and as the members have grown we have supported the council in using their venues in and around the Blackpool area.

So for them to now refuse our business on the grounds that they believe they can secure bookings for the indoor halls, whilst we are relegated to the outdoor courts is ridiculous.

I wonder how many inquiries they have had about the indoor courts recently.


Why, when there are facilities available, would you deny us the right to play indoors in the winter?

If you are not prepared to provide adequate facilities outdoors, which surprisingly enough includes proper lighting and clean courts, and not ‘half a job’ then what other option do we have than to look elsewhere.

Some people bring children along - are they supposed to stand outside in the middle of winter in the ONE shelter that is provided?

Obviousley safety and loyalty means nothing to blackpool council. Disappointing to say the least.

R de Mooij

The thing that they don’t seem to be grasping is that we fully understand they have spent £16k on revamping the court surfaces and everyone is greatful for that.

But that has nothing to do with the poor standard of the lighting that makes it pretty near impossible to play a safe game of netball on the outdoor courts in the winter months

Lis Jones

The courts are dangerous when wet, the lights don’t work and the park is full of little scrotes.

This is my 21st season in the league and it’ll be my last if the games are outdoors in winter.

Ridiculous decision by the council, maybe they should all stand outside when it’s hailstoning with tiny Lycra frocks on, then they would change their minds.

Jo Joey JoJo

Have they forgotten that the tax payer funds these facilities and their jobs? Keep fighting


if we play outside the more injuries we have, everyone is greatful of re doing the courts, but with the lights still not done how can we ? But not to be aloud to play inside is rediculous!

Then to have to make us play else where is hard as we all travel from all over.

I can’t understand why they are making it so hard for us

Amber Wilding

The outside courts are decent yes, but only when they are dry they are poor after a heavy shower and do hold puddles... also what about the local youths that hang around the skate park smoking weed, hurling abuse at the players, some people will find this a lot more intimidating thru the dark winter nights ‘cos the local authorities and the leisure centre staff are aware this goes on but do very little about it

Display No Name

I grew up playing netball at Blackpool outside in the winter league and I for one am not doing it again.

Every single season there were so many injuries, we had to adapt our game to a slower pace and was always constantly worrying about slipping or falling, especially now after I’ve already been injured it’s not worth taking the risk anymore

I really hope they see sense and let us play indoors, as so many teams are threatening to leave which could possibly lead to the Fylde netball league folding


I really hope you find an alternative netball court somewhere else then you can tell the sports centre and the council to shove their facilities]


This is about fair treatment and access to sport which for many women, is so much more than just exercise.

It’s one night a week away from work and the kids/family, to meet friends, let off some steam and have fun.

We’re not asking for free facilities.

We want to pay and it actually costs us more to play inside so the council will get more revenue!

If this was any other sport, be it hockey or football, there would be uproar


Shouldn’t the council be investing in their sporting facilities for their tax payers without holding people to ransom?

What happened to trying to get women to partake in sport

This Girl Can

The decision by Blackpool Sports Cente is greedy and short sighted.

They run the risk of losing FNL’s good will and significant, guaranteed revenue from the league if the decision to withhold our use of the indoor courts is not reconsidered.

Shooting hoops

Many of us live in Blackpool and pay for the use of sports centres so what is the difference of us booking a court for ‘personal use’ to play netball as opposed to the league block booking?


I think that getting the courts resurfaced was brilliant and welcomed by all netballers as it’s been long over due. But the problem in winter still remains regarding inadaquent lighting.


My wife plays netball a couple of times a week and her and a number of her friends have all been injured playing on the outdoor courts in bad weather and that is since they were re-surfaced.

She broke her leg last year and also ruptured ligaments on a separate occasion having slipped and fallen on the wet surface. This cost us dearly as a family as it meant she couldn’t go to work. We had to cancel a family holiday and caused no end of logistical issues getting the kids to and from activities, school and so on.

She gets a lot out of netball and I support her playing BUT it is far too risky playing outdoors in winter.

Do the right thing Blackpool Sports Centre/Blackpool Council ... these ladies deserve better