Sirens aim to change the game for women’s sport from their first match

Scotland’s new professional netball team will compete in their first Vitality Netball Superleague game against English side, Wasps Netball, on the 21 February 2017 at the Emirates Arena, Glasgow.  As Scotland’s first and only national women’s sports team with a broadcast deal, the match will be televised live from 7.30pm on Sky Sports Mix.

To launch the team in style and entertain the packed crowds in the main arena, there will be a half time Celebrity Netball Challenge lead by Clyde 1’s Breakfast Show hosts, George Bowie and Cassi. With Netball Scotland patron Dame Katherine Grainger DBE, Carol Smillie, STV’s Jennifer Reoch, Grado the wrestler, Glasgow favourite Johnny Mac and rugby legend Colin Gregor all taking part, the Sirens inaugural game will definitely be a night to remember.

Based at the £113million Emirates Arena and created through a long-time partnership between Netball Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), the Sirens are one of ten British teams competing in the UK-wide Vitality Netball Superleague. The Sirens have brought together top netballing talent from home and abroad and, under the leadership of head coach, Gail Parata, they are striving to win the league title while also tackling gender disparity in sport.

Claire Nelson, CEO of Netball Scotland, said: “We are so excited for the Sirens’ first Vitality Netball Superleague game on the 21st.  This is an opportunity for the team to show Scotland what females can do on the court and inspire the next generation.  Our ambition when starting the Sirens was to tackle how women are treated in sport and society, as well as win a few trophies along the way! 

“Despite 51% of the UK population being female, much more interest is shown in male athletes and sports teams. We want to change this, inspiring women and girls to get active and feel confident. We have already become the first women’s sports team in Scotland with a television deal, with Sky Sports backing us.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events, said: “Scotland offers the perfect stage for hosting great sporting events and where better than the Emirates Arena to kick off the first game of the Vitality Netball Superleague season.

“EventScotland is delighted to be supporting Netball Scotland to host this exciting season opener between the Sirens and the Wasps.  As Scotland’s only team in the Superleague, the Sirens are guaranteed the undivided support of the Scottish people as they set about winning the title while tackling gender inequality. I’m delighted Netball Scotland are using their platform to address this important issue.”

Aileen Campbell MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Sport, said: “It’s brilliant to see Scotland being represented in the Superleague and the Sirens are a great advertisement for netball as well as Scottish sport as a whole. Since the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, we have seen a huge growth in the number of girls playing netball and the creation of this new professional team is another step forward for sporting equality, which will inspire the thousands of girls who play netball in Scotland. 

“We’re always looking at ways to improve physical activity and make Scotland a healthier nation and making sure people know about the range of sports and activities open to them is key to that – this television deal will help with that.  I’m looking forward to attending the first match against the Wasps and cheering the girls on, hopefully to a win.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland (UWS), said: “It is hugely exciting that the UWS-supported Sirens’ first ever Vitality Netball Superleague match is just a matter of weeks away. The introduction of the Sirens franchise to the Superleague is a hugely important development not just for netball, but for sport, especially women’s sport, across Scotland.

 “We are delighted to be the principal partner of Sirens and to be playing such an important role in supporting this incredible team of athletes. The team aligns perfectly with our university commitment to excellence, widening access, equality and opportunity.”

Tickets are selling fast for the first match, so go to http://sirensnetball.com/ for more information and to secure your seats!

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