A netball club has been re-launched to give opportunities for local children following on from lockdown.

Gemini Netball Club has been founded by twins Chrissy Bannerman and Sharon Duffield, and coincides with the launch of England Netball’s Bee Netball.

The club is based at Andover Leisure Centre and are taking bookings for years three to seven children from September 2021.

Despite a delayed start and additional work behind the scenes due to Covid-19, Gemini held successful launch parties on October 14, which were “hugely popular” and the courts were “buzzing with excitement”.

Due to the third lockdown in January 2021, training stopped but the coaches continued to stay positive and provided free Zoom sessions and online challenges.

The coaches were “delighted” to be back on court for the summer term expanding to three sessions with 85 children and six new helpers.

The club was also “very grateful” for a charity donation from the Jamie G Sporting Trust in 2020 which is a charity set up by a local family in memory of Jamie Gentleman. These funds have supported the cost of new equipment setting up the club and a cheque presentation was held on the June 28.

Jacqui Gentleman (Trust member) presented the cheque with Samantha Rogers (Trust Secretary) to the Juniors.

Jacqui expressed the importance of keeping active, especially at a young age, and to enjoy and have fun with whatever sport they are doing.

Jacqui said: “It was endearing to speak to some of the under-eight year olds and to see how confident they were and how much they enjoy being at Gemini netball club.

“Also it is amazing to see so many Juniors playing netball as the last few years it has mainly been adults.

“Well done to Sharon, Chrissy and all the helpers who take time out to support running this club.”

Chrissy Bannerman from Gemini said: “We have been amazed at the interest in our club. Thank you to everyone who has supported us in our first season, especially with all the additional challenges faced in 2020. Watch this space for some further exciting developments for the future.”

Sharon Duffield from Gemini said, ‘We are so proud of our club and everything we stand for, our helpers and our young netballers and what we have achieved as a club so far. It is amazing watching the children grow week on week in their confidence and seeing their new friendships strengthen. The personal highlight for me has been doing all of this alongside my sister Chrissy’

Quotes from the members,

Ava, 10, said: “I love my new club because the coaches are really nice.”

Evie, 9, ‘Gemini netball club is so good because we have fun and I like playing the games’

Macy, 10, added: “I love how fun it is here, it’s a good sport and I have made loads of new friends.”

Georgia 11 and Freya 11, ‘This club is extremely fun as it teaches you the basics of bee netball whilst incorporating exercise into your daily life’