History of South & West Dorset Netball League

It would appear that the league was formulated following a Winter Tournament held on 15 January 1978, which was organized by Jo Satchell. Indeed Jo recall’s this as wet, damp and cold day in Dorchester and she states who would have thought this day spawned what is now your league. 10 teams entered, with Bridport winning and Radipole runners-up. Jo continued to be the leading light in the launch of our league (and as she continued to be for the West Dorset County for 30 years). For this, we offer her our sincere gratitude for all of her hard work and commitment to netball.

The league games have been played at various venues :

Wyvern School , Dorchester School , Westham, YAC, Weymouth Grammar School (now Budmouth) and Royal Manor School .

The first Presentation Dance attracted a crowd of 147 on 12th September 1981 at Nino’s Function Room¬† tickets were priced at ¬£1. Other venues for the presentation evening have included the Pavilion, Weymouth Working Mens Club, The Russell Hotel, Mirage, The Centenary Club, Willowbed Hall, The Hotel Rembrandt and The Golf Club.

In the late 80’s, the League had grown to 32 teams with 4 divisions. The current venue of one floodlight court at the YAC just couldn’t accommodate the league anymore. The committee set to work to provide courts for the league. A target was set for 30,000 which was needed to surface and install floodlights at the existing courts at Budmouth School . Fundraising events were organized by teams who were given free training court time for their efforts. Denise Camp and Christine Gould applied for grants, and the overall project provided us with the four floodlit courts and changing facilities. The various sponsored events included quiz nights, car boot sales and a race night.

At the beginning of 1993 the League set up a partnership with Budmouth Technology College with funding from the Foundation for Sports & Arts, West Dorset District Council and Chickerell Parish Council. Two additional new courts were opened by Jean Cockerell, Chairperson of WDDC on Sunday 13th June 1993. The England U21 team held an exhibition match, followed by a league tournament.

And now, 2008, 30 years later, as part of Budmouth Technology College’s re-vamp, we will soon be playing on 6 new courts which are, ironically, situated in the location of the original courts!