Published On: Sun, Jun 15th, 2014 on 3:43 pm

Former England international netballer to inspire Calderdale pupils

Joanne Walker Netball

Joanne Walker (left) playing netball. Image courtesy: Thomas Gadd Photography

A former England international netballer will join hundreds of schoolchildren this month to inspire them through sport.

24-year old Joanne Walker will attend the annual St Joseph’s School Football and Netball Festival taking place on 21 June.

Organised by the school’s Parent Teacher Social Committee, the festival will be held for the 15th time in history and 12 schools across Calderdale will be taking part.

Ms Walker will be attending the event to speak to young netballers.

She said: “I am looking forward to being able to meet those taking part in the festival and encourage the girls from the schools across Calderdale to continue to play netball for a long time into the future.

“It was the passion shown for netball at my school that inspired me to dedicate so much time and effort to the sport and I hope we see some of those taking part in the competition playing for the Yorkshire Jets in a few years’ time.”

Ms Walker currently plays as Goal Shooter for the Yorkshire Jets, one of only eight teams in the Netball Superleague.

A passionate advocate for the sport, Ms Walker has written for several newspapers defending netball.

In particular, she responded to a columnist who wrote netball was a, “ridiculous sport… sissy basketball, seemingly designed for dainty flamingos who don’t want to break a nail.”

Schools taking part in the festival will be: St. Joseph’s Catholic Primary, St. Mary’s Catholic Primary, Woodhouse Primary, Carr Green Primary, Longroyde Primary, Shelf Junior and Infants, Greetland Academy, Holy Trinity Academy, The Gleddings Preparatory School, Northowram Primary, St. John’s Academy, and All Saints.

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