Tamsin Greenway, currently the coach of the England under-21 team, has signed up for Wasps Netball which will compete in Vitality Netball Superleague, from February 2017.
Greenway, who played for Surrey Storm and then last year coached them to the Superleague title, has competed in three World Cups and one Commonwealth Games and won back-to-back national elite Superleague titles with Storm.
The creation of Wasps Netball, which will play its home games in the Ricoh Arena’s Jaguar Exhibition Hall, comes after Wasps were named as one of three new teams to compete in the Superleague.
The new venture is not only designed to be a force in the national game, but also to increase Wasps community programme which engaged with more than 50,000 youngsters across the region last year.
David Armstrong, chief executive officer of Wasps rugby club, said: “This is really exciting news for the region, the city of Coventry and netball as a sport.
“As a professional sporting organisation playing a part in our community is really important. Our community programme is proving very successful and our journey into netball, a sport that is growing in popularity, will enable us to further diversify and reach a wider range of people.
“We see this very much as a natural progression. While there are certain areas of expertise that Wasps Netball will be able to tap into – such as strength and conditioning, match analysis and marketing – Wasps Rugby and Wasps Netball are very much standalone clubs operating under the Wasps banner.
“We will also be replicating a fan village on match days where families, schools, and netball clubs will take part in netball games and other fundraising activities, while netball will also be showcased on rugby days.
“One thing Wasps Rugby and Wasps Netball will certainly share is the ambition to succeed and to win. We have made a long term commitment to Wasps Netball and with Tamsin at the helm, we have high expectations.
“This announcement also reinforces the Ricoh Arena as a top-class sporting venue that is flexible enough to host a variety of sports. The arrival of netball will add to the list of sports which have featured at the Ricoh Arena which include football, rugby league, tennis, snooker, weightlifting, gymnastics and darts.”
Wasps Netball will train at the University of Warwick, which already boasts fantastic sporting facilities and a highly-rated sports strategy, and will also work with the sports science team at Coventry University.
Greenway is in charge of player recruitment and is relishing the opportunity to put together a competitive team that can inspire the region’s girls and women to take part in netball.
She said: “I am thrilled and excited about joining Wasps Netball. It's a real honour to be part of such a fantastic organisation and I look forward to the huge challenge of developing a brand new Superleague team.
“Netball is my passion and the opportunity to work with the team at Wasps, to play week in week out at the Ricoh Arena and on a personal note, to return to my roots in the Midlands, is just incredible and an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. I can't wait to get started and look forward to the exciting season ahead.
“After seven incredible seasons at Surrey Storm, I feel now is the right time for me to take on a new challenge. I would like to personally thank all the team behind the scenes at Storm, my support staff over the years, the players, team mates and of course our exceptional fans for the amazing journey we have all been on.
“The last few years have been a special time for me as both a player and a coach, I am extremely proud of what we achieved at Storm, and I wish the future team all the best moving forward.”
Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Director of Sport & Active Communities said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Wasps and to have helped secure a super league netball team to the city.
“Sport is hugely important to the University and we are committed to working with Wasps to bring some talented athletes to the city, providing benefits to both our internal university community as well as being a key player in the wider sporting landscape of the city. This provides an opportunity for young people to have a dual career as athlete and student, and we look forward to providing development pathways with education programmes with Wasps and Tamsin.”
More details can be found at www.waspsnetball.co.uk
The Ricoh plays host to international netball later this when England play Jamaica in the Vitality Netball International Series, on Sunday, 4 December. Tickets can be purchased by visiting www.tickets.sky.com.