Tracey Neville calls for increased investment after a year of Roses success

After winning Commonwealth gold and claiming the Sportswomen Team of the Year award, Tracey Neville feels increased investment is the ultimate reward for England Netball.

Neville's elation at winning the Commonwealth Gold Medal back in April this year

1.8 million viewers tuned in to watch England beat hosts Australia to win their first ever gold medal match in the Commonwealth Games final last April, and since then, the recognition of netball and the Roses' profile has seen a massive boost.

England's Head Coach is fully aware that winning awards and increasing participation in the sport is crucial in order to build momentum for the sport, however she also believes that the team need to be world class both on and off the court, in order to compete at the highest level.

Neville is the brains behind the gold medal, moulding a squad that beat the world No 1-ranked side on their own patch, but, to her, the three-year deal with Vitality, which is thought to be one of the largest deals in women's sport in the UK, is a sign of greater things to come. Neville said:

"For them to increase funding is huge. Sustainable income is absolutely crucial in sport and that has to come from generated revenue, so that is a massive plus,"

"Vitality have been with us from the start, they've really invested in our sport from the beginning of my reign with England Netball. The way they market everything is superior to any other sponsorship.

"They actually take a real look at where we're going with the sport - not just on a performance level but more on a participation level and that's something they're great supporters of."

The increasing sponsorship and participation is huge for England Netball - it is the golden ticket to growing the sport from grassroots to elite level, which is vital ahead of and beyond a home Netball World Cup in Liverpool next July.

With another major sponsorship deal set to be announced later this year, alongside the gold medal and now the Team of the Year award, England Netball are on the up, and will be hoping to add a Netball World Cup gold medal to their accolades in 2019.

The Roses are back in action on home soil later this month with the three-Test Series against Uganda which gets underway on Thursday November 27 at Liverpool's Echo Arena, with all games being shown on Sky Sports.

By Kate Lightfoot


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