SPECIAL anniversary celebrations are up in the air for Cheshire Stars Netball Club due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are in our 10th anniversary year," said Ange Cope, lead coach and chairman for a growing club that are based in Middlewich and Northwich.

"We had so much planned, a tour to Ireland/Isle of Man with the seniors, our annual PGL Netball tour for the juniors and numerous tournaments across the north west that we compete in.

"All of which is up in the air with no ability to plan."

Netball has been hit hard on and off the court during the pandemic.

"We hold annual fundraisers where we donate to local charities, but we had to postpone our comedy night that was planned for October 2020," said Cope.

"We hold an annual fun mixed tournament, again where we raise funds for local charities close to our members' hearts.

"2020 hit netball hard, we had to adapt like all sports along with the added issues that got in the way, particularly with us being a predominantly indoor sport.

"The seniors were affected the most with England Netball having to stop all indoor activity for over 18s.

"For our juniors we lost our training facility as Middlewich High School/Leisure Centre closed to indoor sports. We have trained at Middlewich LC for 10 years, it is our home and we love being part of it.

"Fortunately we were able to secure outdoor court space at the wonderful Grange Sports Centre which became our new temporary home. We were able to start back and offer sessions across the club."

Cheshire Stars have a healthy growing 'bees' section for school years 1-6.

"We have teams across the senior school age group," said Cope.

"We have five senior teams who compete in the local Everybody League in Crewe/Middlewich (pre-covid).

"In total we have eight junior teams and five senior plus I coached very healthy Back to Netball sessions which we haven’t been able to run since last March."

The club have turned to other ways of keeping the togetherness alive.

"We took on the challenge of keeping morale up by introducing Zoom sessions for our juniors. They have twice weekly high intensity interval and body/conditioning sessions with our strength and conditioning coach Kat Kirkman," said Cope.

"We offer weekly skills sessions with England netball players though Maias Netball, ran by England player Laura Malcolm.

"We also have weekly social Zooms with our junior teams which include many fun activities as well as ball work and fitness competitions. We set weekend challenges and offer monthly family sessions like quizzes and bingo.

"We have involved ourselves with helping to raise funds for local causes, including Save Chester Zoo, where we adopted a number of animals! We are also currently completing the 2800 Squat challenge during Feb for Teenage Cancer trust.

"The seniors hold regular inter-team competitions and social Zooms. We are just starting a HIIT/Body conditioning programme with Kat Kirkman too.

"We are very fortunate to get great support from our families and have received sponsorship to support the club from Strands hairdressers in Sandbach."