UWS and Sirens netball tie-up a winner for women in sport

The Vitality Superleague’s newest netball franchise and Scotland’s only pro netball team, may be shooting for success on the court – but they’re out to be winners off it too.

The Sirens will feature in Sportswmomen Magazine’s Cover Story in our next edition where they tell us that, as well as winning matches and wowing crowds at the Emirates, they and partner UWS aim to be game-changers for women in sport too.

In an eight-page special, CEO Claire Nelson, coach Gail Parata, players including Rachel Forbes and Ellen Halpenny, and University of West of Scotland’s Craig Mahoney give us the inside story of Scotland’s latest sporting success.

In our in-depth feature into the birth of the Sirens, and the central role played by UWS, Sportswoman Magazine’s Isobel Irvine, goes behind the scenes with key players, on and off the court.

In the next edition of our print magazine Sportswoman, Claire Nelson, CEO of Scottish Netball tells us: “UWS were always on board through their Principal and vice-Chancellor, Professor Craig Mahoney. He has a background in netball and an understanding of not only what sport can do for a university in making it attractive to students but also because he really supports women’s sport and understands its value.

“If we didn’t have UWS we wouldn’t have a Superleague team.”

Professor Mahoney added: “It’s been a partnership built out of an interest by me and the university in elite sport and netball with a desire to support women’s sport, equality issues and performance sport, and also to market the profile of the university.

“So it was seen as a win-win opportunity by both UWS and Netball Scotland.”

The Sirens have assembled an impressive array of talent, including Kiwi star Ellen Halpeny. She told us that working with the community was important to the Sirens and added: “I feel really privileged to be part of this. We’ve got a really great CEO backing us. She wants equality in women’s sport.”

Rachel Forbes, who also works with Winning Scotland Foundation added: “I just love being a role model for netball! I get to be a role model in my day job here, too, working with the Winning Scotland Foundation.”

More, (much, much more!) in our next edition, including Rachel’s guide to the Sirens squad. As well as the Sirens, we’ll have Jade Konkel, Scotland’s first and only pro women rugby star, a fantastic feature on Crossfit Airdrie, the inside story on Glasgow City FC … and a chat with Sports Minister Aileen Campbell on her Sporting Life.

Sirens have also been backed by sponsors including Viper 10 sport and Albert Bartlett.

Stephanie Essex, MD of Viper 10 Sportswear, tells Sportswoman: “We knew instantly they were the franchise we wanted to work with at Viper 10 Sportswear. The passion was evident and the vision was not only exciting but it was on our wavelength and we knew we could add value to their mission of #ChangingTheGame.”

Michael Jarvis, Head of Marketing at Albert Bartlett and Scotty Brand says: “Albert Bartlett want to be associated with winners, and so partnering with Scotland’s newest and most exciting pro-women’s sports team, the Sirens, gives us a unique and exciting opportunity to work alongside top flight athletes in one of the UK’s fastest growing sports whilst engaging with a female audience. The Sirens are ground-breaking for Scotland and we are proud that they have chosen to be fuelled by Albert Bartlett potatoes.”

So far, the Sirens have followed their opening 43-57 home defeat to Wasps with two great victories, 73-36 over Celtic Dragons in the Super Ten and a 64-46 win on the road over Team Northumbria. These followed a 53-49 defeats at Manchester Thunder and a narrow 66-51 loss to Loughborough Lightning.

After an away trip to Severn Stars on Monday March 27, they take on Team Bath, on Friday March 31, and Surrey Storm on Saturday April 8, in Glasgow, with plenty more action to come.

Buy Sirens tickets on www.sirensnetball.com.