History made as 10 players become first English netball professionals
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History made as 10 players become first English netball professionals

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The first batch off ful-time players have been unveiled by netball'>England Netball as the organisation launches its world-class training programme.

In a historic day for the sport, 10 athletes have gone professional for the first time as the national governing body aims for success at the 2019 World Cup, which is being hosted in Liverpool.

Sara Symington, England Netball performance director, said that the sport was “now a genuine career option” and that the first 10 players are “pioneers” and “role models for women and girls across the country”.

The first 10 players to sign full-time terms are: Rebekah Airey, Summer Artman, Ella Clark, Beth Cobden, Sasha Corbin, George Fisher, Hannah Joseph, Leah Kennedy, Natalie Panagarry and Jess Shaw.

The players will now enter the Summer Training Camp and prepare for the inaugural Quad Series hosted by Australia and New Zealand in August.

England head coach Tracey Neville said the facilities for the training programme at Loughborough University are “absolutely world-class”.

“As a former England player myself, to see how far the sport has come and the potential of further improvement, fills me with great satisfaction and optimism,” she added.

In an interview with Sports Management England Netball chief executive Joanna Adams said the move was a “massive step forward for the sport”, and would allow England to compete with the two best nations in the world – Australia and New Zealand.

The majority of those becoming full-time will be paid centrally via England Netball.

To read the full interview with Joanna Adams, click here.

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The first batch of full-time players have been unveiled by England Netball as the organisation launches its world-class training programme.
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