Teenagers organise charity netball tournament to connect people with the sport

Emma Alison-Vije, 15, and Isabelle Salawu, 14, have organised a charity netball tournament at Thetfo

Emma Alison-Vije, 15, and Isabelle Salawu, 14, have organised a charity netball tournament at Thetford Academy. Picture: Isabelle Salawu - Credit: Archant

Two teenage friends are organising a netball tournament to share the sport they love with others while raising money for charity.

Isabelle Salawu, 14, and Emma Alison-Vije, 15, both from Thetford, have taken on the full responsibility of putting on the event.

Held on June 10 the pair hope there will be seven teams in the three different categories; under 12s, under 17s and over 19s.

Isabelle, who attends Wymondham College, said: “We both love netball and we have known each other for 11 years.

“We go to different schools and netball brings us together. We wanted to share our love for netball as it is such a big part of our lives.” The tournament will be held at Thetford Academy, where Emma is a pupil, with the school allowing the teenagers to use the court for free.

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People will pay £4 to take part and all money raised will be split between Cancer Research UK and the child bereavement charity Nelson’s Journey.

“Cancer Research we know do amazing work,” said Isabelle, who plays for Norfolk United netball club. “We wanted to help them in any way. I lost my granddad to cancer and it had a big impact on our family.

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“Nelson’s Journey helps kids and we know being a child, you can be really vulnerable.”

Emma plays for the popular Thetford Netball Club and was recently picked to take part in the Suffolk county netball trials.

The friends are hoping to encourage all abilities, ages and genders to take part in the tournament.

Through this, and on the back of England’s success in the netball at the Commonwealth Games, they hope people may find a new sport.

“We want people to connect with the sport and enjoy it,” said Isabelle.

She added: “We are looking forward to seeing it come together. We have been pushing ourselves and this is something we have never done before.”

The tournament will take place between 9.30am and 5.30pm. People can register as a team or as an individual and can be placed in a team. Spectators are also welcome.

Isabelle and Emma are also looking for volunteers and umpires. For further information email charitynetballtournament@hotmail.com

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