A year that includes participation at a Commonwealth Games is always going to be a good one – and especially as it was only the second ever season of Scotland’s only professional netball team, the UWS Sirens.
The Glasgow-based netball team, including two ACT sponsored players, Emily Nicholl and Nicola McCleery, was formed in 2016 and made a debut into the newly expanded Vitality Netball Superleague season in 2017. The league, which runs from February to June, features 10 teams from across England, Wales and Scotland.
Although the season did not get off to a great start with three losses in their first three games (all away fixtures), this was put straight with a win against Team Northumbria at their first home court game at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
The team continued to play some competitive netball, narrowly missing out on wins against Benecos Mavericks and Surrey Storms throughout the season.
They won two more home games against Team Bath and Celtic Dragons and one away against the Celtic Dragons most recently.
The UWS Sirens finish the season winning against the Benecos Mavericks at the Emirates Arena last Thursday and placing of 8th overall in the league. While this is not the ranking they might hope for, the 2018 season has included the prestige of competing at the Gold Coast 2018.
Nicola and Emily are also members of the national side, the Scottish Thistles. At Gold Coast 2018, the team faced a tough opening pool including New Zealand and England, ranked second and third in the world respectively.
In their heat, the Scottish team won against Wales, but lost their other three games to England, New Zealand and a very close match against Malawi.
The support for the Scottish Thistle went crazy on Twitter following the final match. They then played for 9th and 10th place and were delighted to win against a very strong Barbados team.
Nicola said (on Instagram): “That final performance…just wow! 9th in the world secured, I am so proud of every single one of the girls.”
Emily said (on Instagram): “It’s been a pleasure Gold Coast 2018, coming back with the best memories.”
Growing fanbase for UWS Sirens
The team was formed in 2016 and while their goal is to play top-level netball, the UWS Sirens are also keen to spread the word about the benefits of playing netball.
They have focused some effort on raising their profile and have seen a 25% increase in Facebook page likes over the year.
There were more than 100 athlete appearances in the 2018 season at events such as coaching workshops, school assemblies, NSPCC school visits, holiday camps and skills masterclasses.
In addition, the Sirens were recognised with two prestigious awards, Scottish Women in Sport Campaign of the Year and Women Sports Trust Finalist for Role Models of the Year.
ACT Construction sponsors Emily and Nicola through their UWS Sirens tea,. Recently ACT managing director Ken Godsman was presented with team kit as a thank you for his support this year.
We wish them an enjoyable and restful summer before the new season kicks off early in 2019.