“WE’RE absolutely devastated.”
That was the sentiment shared within the Jersey Netball Association by both its president, Linda Andrews, and performance lead, Serena Kersten, as word was received that Santander, principal sponsors of Jersey Netball, are to withdraw their funding.
“It’s a serious blow for the whole organisation,” said Andrews.
“We had an absolutely fantastic relationship with Santander.
“They loved the efforts we made to promote them and it’s devastating that this has happened now.
“For such a big name to have taken us on and shown faith in us was a massive achievement and something we took very seriously and were immensely proud of.
“Losing their sponsorship at this time is a huge blow for us.”
Kersten, Team Jets head coach and JNA performance lead, added: “Without that funding, we cannot offer the pathway for our girls to aspire to.
“Our plan for the Jets programme is to have two teams competing in both the national and regional leagues. We cannot achieve this without funding.”
The JNA boasts over 90 active development and senior players, one of the highest participation rates of any sport on the Island, especially impressive considering that number is entirely made up of girls.
The former England captain continued: “We need that high performance pathway in place for our young players to have something to aspire to.
“Our girls want to wear Jets colours and play for their Island.
“Without that pathway, we’re going to be left with an amazing sport and no real motivation for players to want to stick with it. We are a club that has been built organically from the ground up, based entirely around developing home-grown talent.
“Along with that, we are extremely aware of the benefits sport plays in the mental health of our girls, especially since the pandemic.
“We provide a safe and enjoyable space for our girls to build and nurture those crucial social connections while being active at the same time.
“If our girls lose this, it’s going to seriously compound some of the issues currently present on the Island surrounding mental health and wellbeing.”
Jersey Netball are now actively seeking new financial investment and are open to hearing from any potential investors.
Kersten continued: “We have proven that we deserve to be seen as more than a box-tick exercise for Jersey Sport, but we have been left in limbo.
“I feel there’s a real lack of clarity within government recently around the future of sports on the Island and we have now been caught right in the middle of that.
“We need someone to join us who is passionate about female sport and understands the positive implications it has for women on the Island.
“We have been able to do incredible work to showcase Jersey Netball professionally through our work with 3Ci Sport.
“They’ve been amazing and are currently working with us to try and find a way to keep our partnership going.
“Jersey Netball is in a fantastic place to keep growing and developing.
“We have the plans in place to take our performance even higher and with the right financial backing, we can continue to play a pivotal role in the lives of our female population on the Island.”
For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities within the Jersey Netball Association, Serena Kersten can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.