“No lights, no netball, no fair!”

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College Netballers gathering at the protest. Photo by Alex Rastall.

Following the issue of the lack of lighting on the outside netball courts, 75 college netballers and fellow supporters turned out in Alexandra Square today in order to highlight the strong opinion on the matter.

As the situation regarding the floodlights remains unresolved, college netball is severely suffering from the lack of practice and game space. As it stands, they are unable to play in the evening and the league cannot be ran as it would normally.

The protest was organised by Tia Halliday, LUSU Cross Campus Officer for Liberation Campaigns, and Jack Taylor, LUSU Cross Campus Officer for Sports, in order to bring to light the University’s lack of urgency regarding the fixing of the lights.

The event was met with support from all of the undergraduate netball colleges with Fylde, Bowland and Grizedale drumming in the most supporters. Nonetheless, all of the colleges roused their teams together and demonstrated a united front in standing for a cause that they all believed in.

The form of the protest began with some simple ball games in the middle of Alexandra Square and developed into mini games between the colleges.

"No light, No netball, No fair". Photo by Alex Rastall.

Jack Taylor commented: “Netball is the second most popular sport at Lancaster University and the fact that 75 people turned out today to support the event shows how important an issue getting floodlights on the courts is. This will show LUSU and the University that this is an issue that they need to be working on for the benefit of all the students. We pay to be students and pay to use the facilities, yet are needs aren’t being met.”

Tia Halliday furthered Taylor’s comment by stating: “It’s a real shame that LUSU have failed to support its own ethos of inter-college sports, and neglected the needs of netballers since before Christmas. The fact that the astro-turf lights have broken and been fixed within the time we have been waiting also adds insult to injury. The fact that not only women were at the protest today, shows this issue transcends that of gender issues within sports and links directly to the insufficient communications within the LUSU activities office. Ironically Marc Handley [LUSU Vice President (Activities)] was not present to witness how strong we feel on this issue, even though invited and the event was discussed in the activities office.”

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1 Comment

  1. Couple of issues with unfortunately this article, not the actual protest itself, which I fully support and have been fighting for since november of 2011…

    Firstly, yes I was invited to the event, at 10.30pm on a Friday night, leaving me unable to change around calender commitments with my job so I couldn’t make the actual meeting. Contrary to seeming popular belief I do not control the Sports Centre, and can only lobby them to act in certain ways on certain issues.

    Secondly, the Astro lights were fixed as a result of the issue being something that happens quite regularly and as such there is a procedure in place to call out the relevant people. With the Netball court lights, they are being entirely replaced. Which is a completely different process due to the work going out to tender and a project manager at the university having to be appointed etc…things I cannot control.

    Thirdly, in terms of the apparently lack of support in the ‘ethos of college sports’ I believe it is fully alive and well. I, in conjunction with the two Inter College Cross Campus Officers and the Netball Captains as a collective have worked together to ensure that the league is still able to take place on Wednesday afternoons on the Astro pitches. Yes, it may not be the best place possible for Netball to take place, but surely it is better than no netball taking place.

    I would have loved a chance to comment in this article and show my support for the work Jack, Tia and the college captains have done to demonstrate how they are feeling, and support my arguments- but sadly, I was completely left out of this writing process. I am not asking to be included in every single sporting article, but a chance to comment and tell people my side would certainly be a pleasant chance.

    So to clarify, I would like to thank everyone involved for demonstrating their feelings clearly and passionately- and apologies for not being able to sort my calender out with two day’s notice.

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