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  1. ITV Report

Netball: The sport which is seeing a big boom in the East

It's a sport that's never featured at the Olympics - but thanks to the success of the Women's Super League and a triumph at this year's Commonwealth games, netball is on the rise.

The number of players looking for a new club has already risen by a huge 2,000% since the Roses won gold over the weekend.

England's netball success is already starting to rub off on clubs and schools in the East.

The England women's netball team celebrate with their gold medal Credit: PA

The numbers speak for themselves - 180,000 people play netball at least once a week.

On a typical weekend there are now more women playing netball, than there are men playing rugby union.

Last year, there was a 44% increase in participation, with an estimated 1.4 million women and girls now taking part in the game each season.

600
Number of netball clubs in the East
Around 2500 women aged 16 years plus tried netball last year Credit: ITV News Anglia

Students at King Edward VI School in Bury St Edmunds love playing netball.

It's one of the main sports taught there and many girls say they are now inspired to play professionally and one day follow in the footsteps of the England netball team.

After seeing England and Harlow's Jo Harten do so well in a major competition, teachers say it's already raising the profile of the game.

It'll just hopefully support the leagues as well so that girls can say "oh there's a league that we can play netball" and it gets a higher profile and it'll take off like football, like hockey, and like rugby.

– Patrick Jean-Jacques, Teacher
Girls playing netball at King Edward VI School Credit: ITV News Anglia

Netball fever has hit hundreds of clubs across the Anglia region.

In Norfolk, netball is growing in popularity among all age groups with waiting lists at many clubs.

Many of the players at Norfolk United netball club have already been spotted by the Hertfordshire Mavericks - the only professional club in our region.

For many girls, playing in a league provides a pathway to playing the game professionally.

We see more and more young girls coming into our club.

We run sessions all the time from the ages of 6 and 7 and it's becoming an incredibly popular sport.

Having seen the Roses win Commonwealth gold, I'm sure it will inspire many, many young girls to try the sport.

– Anita Barclay, Netball player and umpire
England Netball initiatives have attracted more women of different ages and abilities back into the game Credit: ITV News Anglia
4th
Netball is the 4th biggest sport in the country

Last year, Sport England launched the Walking Netball and Back to Netball campaigns - and around 2,500 people took part in them last year.

Next year, England will host the Netball World Cup in Liverpool.

It's a chance for England's women to shine once again and to build an even bigger following.

Netball is thriving in the East Credit: ITV News Anglia