SEVERN Stars netball bosses have secured the future of the Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) franchise under the sole ownership of the University of Worcester.
The request to change ownership has been confirmed by the VNSL board and will see the University of Worcester continue to run the franchise after co-owner University of Gloucestershire announced its withdrawal at the end of the 2022 season.
The University of Worcester is committed to the future of the VNSL squad and to its wider netball performance pathway and community outreach work in the region.
Beyond implementing England Netball changes aimed at strengthening the age group talent pathway, the current Severn Stars delivery operation will remain largely unchanged. All home games for the 2023 VNSL season will play from the University of Worcester Arena, offering enhanced capacity to welcome 2,000 fans per match.
Professor David Green, University of Worcester vice chancellor and chief executive, said: “We are proud to be continuing the Severn Stars franchise, which offers young women and students opportunities to be involved at the highest levels of the sport.
“Netball is the largest female participation sport in the UK and interest continues to grow in the sport across the country. Since its launch, Severn Stars has played its part in giving women’s sport the recognition it deserves and inspiring many thousands of women and girls in our region to participate in as well as follow netball.
“We are deeply committed to building on this progress as we move forward with the franchise.”
Mick Donovan, Head of the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester, echoed the Vice Chancellor’s comments: “In its first five years, Severn Stars has made great strides, both as a professional top-flight netball club and working across the region to provide opportunities for talented netballers at a range of levels, including our students.
“We aim to build on that and further strengthen the academy and talent pathway programme in the region, which we know is so important to so many people.
“Our discussions with England Netball and the league were very positive and we thank them for their support.”
Visit www.severnstars.co.uk for more.