Thursday 01 December 2011
Fulham's Chris Baird became the latest Barclays Premier League player to grace the netball court as he took part in a skills swap with members of the Surrey Storm team.
The initiative at Surrey Sports Park was part of the Premier League 4 Sport project, which sees top flight clubs encourage people to participate in other sports.
Defender Baird and Fulham team-mates Kerim Frei and Jesse Joronen learned some shooting and passing drills.
Surrey Storm's Tamsin Greenway, Steph Bello, Katie Holland and Rhianne McHale practised taking penalties and tested their ball juggling skills.
The event marked the start of a new partnership between Fulham FC Foundation and Surrey Sports Park, which will see more community projects delivered there by the club.
"Netball is one of only a few sports significantly increasing participation"
- Fran Connolly
Baird said: "Football is a recognised sport throughout the world. It's important to use the power of football and global appeal of the Premier League to promote many other sports available to young people here at Surrey Sports Park.
"Participation in any sport is important to develop many skills and can help people to achieve many personal goals in their lives whilst leading a healthy lifestyle."
Over 140,000 women take part in netball on a weekly basis.
Fran Connolly, Head of Development at England Netball, said: "England Netball are excited to be involved in the Premier League 4 Sport programme and to be working with Fulham FC Foundation.
"Netball is one of only a few sports significantly increasing participation and we believe working with Fulham FC will enable us to reach out to even more young people using the power of the Premier League brand to engage them in netball.
"This is an exciting partnership that stands to benefit both sports."