Project 500 Case Study
Background A shortage of Level 2 qualified coaches was hampering delivery of Back to Netball in and around the City of Oxford and sessions were being postponed or cancelled. ONDB had also identified a gap in skill development between pupils attending state and independent schools. In an attempt to narrow this gap, it was decided to run a Hi 5 pilot in two City Schools to give pupils an opportunity to develop their skills


Process/ Recruitment &Training
Oxford Sports Partnership spoke with the Coaching Studies Tutor at Oxford Brookes to ascertain if there were any students he would recommend for development. Two 2nd Year Coaching Studies students were identified Stephanie Walters and Alice Cavender and booked on the Level 2 Course. Neither had a Level 1 qualification, however given their background in Coaching Studies, it was decided that they could be fast tracked to Level 2. This was funded 50% by Oxfordshire Netball Development Board and 50% by Project 500. In addition to this training, OSP tutors delivered the MSD workshops SPC and First Aid (to 50 Coaching studies students including Alice and Steph), to support NGB qualifications and delivery. The girls also attended a Hi 5 workshop.
Steph and Alice were mentored by the Netball Development Officer (NDO) who worked closely with them observing and providing feedback. OSP also provided opportunities for training with free places at workshops and the Coaching Conference. Steph and Alice found that by working together, the peer support was of great benefit and also facilitated travel to venues etc .

Deployment Outcomes
Alice and Steph delivered 25 Back to Netball sessions to on average 16 ladies per session.
12 social sessions were delivered with Steph and Alice, organising, collecting match fees and officiating matches, this has led to a growing social League at Blackbird Leys LC.
High 5 sessions were delivered in 2 Oxford Primary Schools x 10 sessions in Rise Hill and John Henry Newman schools.

Challenges Faced
ONDB were doubtful that the partnership would work, given that they had previously placed some OBU students in clubs only to find that they were unreliable. An agreement was drawn up between ONDB, Oxford Brookes University (OBU) and the students to deliver Back to Netball sessions and a Hi 5 pilot in Oxford Primary Schools in exchange for funding the Level 2. ONDB can now see the value of investing time and money in the development of these two coaches.

Social sessions have grown and a social league at Blackbird Leys LC with 7 teams. Oxfordshire Netball now have two coaches up skilled to a higher level and accessing continued support through England Netball, Project 500 and the OSP coaching offer. This project highlights the importance of ensuring that OSP programme support is delivered in a joined up and coordinated manner to best suit the needs of the local sports community. Linking National Governing Body priorities into local projects is key to ensuring sustainable sports clubs and programmes.

Next steps
3 First year Coaching Studies Students at Brookes University have been identified to attend Level 2 Courses and already supporting the delivery of Social League, Back to Netball sessions, School Games and Hi 5 in Primary Schools.

Quote from Alice Cavendar
“Project 500 has been a huge support in the progress of our coach development. As well as funding the qualification, it has given us opportunities to get involved with coaching in and around the Oxfordshire area. It has been a great experience and we particularly enjoyed the Hi5 sessions in the Primary Schools”.


Case study provided by Oxfordshire Netball Development Board (ONDB), Oxford Brookes University (OBU) & Oxfordshire Sports Partnership (OSP)