I hope you, your family and friends are staying safe and well during these unprecedented times. I wanted to write today to update you on what we're doing at Thunder to secure the future of our franchise amid the Coronavirus crisis.
From Friday 27 March, all 17 players and coaching staff employed by the franchise were furloughed through the government scheme to support businesses through the current unprecedented period.
This will ensure the business can continue to keep its on and off court team together and, once the restrictions on social distancing are lifted, resume our work.
For the franchise as a business, it means 80 per cent of our salary bill will be paid by the government. We have though committed to top up the remaining 20 per cent so our players and coaches continue to receive what they usually would.
We want to ensure we do everything we can to ensure that Manchester Thunder has a strong future once the national emergency measures are lifted and life, for us ...
Dear Thunder Family
Usually I would be writing for our matchday programme about how much we're looking forward to the weekend's game and having you cheer us on at Belle Vue.
But not this week - and probably not for some time.
So I wanted to write this email to you, to all our Thunder Family, to let you know that through these difficult and strange times, we're standing with you, as a team we're here to support you and you're never on your own.
No-one really knows what's going to happen over the next few weeks and I know that for many of you that's scary. But we'll get through it together.
Things will get back to normal. We'll get back to playing in front of you again at Belle Vue, we hope we'll get to continue our unbeaten start to the season and we know you'll be there to support us all the way.
But, until then, there are more important things and it's right we take a break from netball to focus on those. So, please make sure you're following the simple things ...
Dear Thunder Family,
You will be aware that the Vitality Netball Superleague Board announced the postponement of all fixtures on Sunday. Today, a further meeting was held and it has been decided the suspension of the league will last until 30 April when the latest situation will be assessed. You can read the full statement on the Superleague website >>
Given this announcement, and the decision from England Netball to also advise that all organised netball activities be suspended, we wanted to update you on our position:
Clearly, the decision means our next fixtures will not take place as planned. Ticket sales have been suspended and please do not travel to Belle Vue if you have tickets.
Tickets purchased for games that have been postponed will be valid for the rearranged fixtures.
When that new date is confirmed, if you cannot attend you will be asked to return your tickets and will receive a full refund - your ticket issuer will ...
Dear Thunder Family,
This lunchtime, the Vitality Netball Superleague Board announced the postponement of future Vitality Netball Superleague fixtures with immediate effect.
In a statement, they say:
"Further to the statement issued on Friday 13th March, the Vitality Netball Superleague Board have continued to monitor the outbreak and growing concerns around the rapid spread of COVID-19. The Board has taken the decision to postpone Vitality Netball Superleague fixtures with immediate effect.
The Board and all Vitality Netball Superleague clubs will convene again on Tuesday 17th March where the position of the 2020 season, in light of an anticipated update on guidance from the Government, will be considered. A full statement will be issued later next week.
We will continue to monitor the situation and keep the Netball Family updated as appropriate."
We have received no further details other than the above announcement - as soon as we do, we will communicate them to ...
Manchester Thunder continued their unbeaten start to the Vitality Netball Superleague season with an 18-point victory over Surrey Storm.
Round 4, at Surrey Sports Park, saw the 2019 Champions extend their run of victories to five. by 60 points to 42, on a day when little other sport was taking place across the country with the Coronavirus shutdown taking hold.
The game started goal for goal as the teams worked each other out. Under immense physical pressure Joyce Mvula and Eleanor Cardwell stood strong as they helped build a six goal lead by the first break – 10-16.
The Thunder defence of Emma Dovey and Lauren Ngwira were clearly assigned to put pressure on 6ft 4 shooter Karyn Bailey but Storm goal attack Sophie Hankin stepped up and was having success from distance. Recognised, this was snuffed out and Hankin was subsequently replaced by Ellie Kelk.
At the other end it was like watching WWE wrestling at times with a physical battle and big hits between Mvula, ...
We’re excited to be able to announce two new faces to Manchester Thunder’s off court team which show our determination to grow and develop in the months and years ahead.
Joining Debbie Hallas, as our Managing Director, and David Jennings on the Manchester Thunder Board will be Gary Young and Caroline Rogers.
Gary joins as a Non-Executive Director responsible for strategic development. He brings with him a wealth of commercial, business development and digital transformation expertise and will support the team’s ambitious growth strategy.
Caroline becomes our new Franchise Director responsible for the day-to-day operations of Thunder. In addition, she will work closely with the Board to grow the commercial side of the business, bringing in more investment to the franchise and exploring opportunities.
She has an impressive and extensive range of experience in operational delivery of world class sporting events, having previously worked for the ICC Cricket World ...
We’re excited to be able to name our on court leadership team for the Vitality Netball Superleague 2020.
As the Thunder team return to training with just weeks until the new season begins, Head Coach Karen Greig has chosen three players who will be pivotal to the title defence.
Emma Dovey will continue as Captain with Kathryn Turner named as Co-Vice Captain once again.
The retirement of Kerry Almond means a new face was needed for the leadership group, and the coaching team and Emma have decided to appoint Laura Malcolm to be alongside Kathryn as Co-Vice Captain.
Karen Greig said:
“Emma has proved to be as effective a leader as she is a player over the past few years and I’m delighted she is continuing as Captain. A Head Coach needs a Captain on court they can trust and in Emma I definitely have that.
“Kathryn is a stalwart for us in attack and provides strong leadership backing up Emma and supporting every single player. She deserves her continued role ...
Congratulations to Amy Carter who made her Vitality Roses debut last night in the Netball Nations Cup. She was one of the trio of Thunder players in Jess Thirlby's side alongside Laura Malcolm and Eleanor Cardwell.
Thunder Head Coach Karen Greig said:
“Having three Manchester Thunder players take to the court for the Vitality Roses was a proud moment for us all with Laura, Eleanor and Amy performing brilliantly for their country.
“I’m particularly thrilled for Amy winning her first cap. I have seen few other players with the commitment and determination she has so she more than deserves this opportunity.”
We go on the road for our next pre-season friendly taking a home game to the infamous netball town of Oldham.
Thunder will take on Surrey Storm at Oldham Leisure Centre on Saturday 8th February in their final game before the season opener on the 22nd February.
Doors open at 3pm. First centre pass is 4pm.
Tickets are just £10 for adults and £6 for concessions.
Buy tickets now >>
Mikki Austin’s side make the trip north having pushed Superleague runners up Wasps close in a thriller at Surrey Sports Park on Saturday, losing out by just 4 goals 46-50.
Head Coach Karen Greig said:
“We look forward to welcoming Mikki and her squad for our final preseason friendly before the league starts. From all reports Storm gave Wasps a run for their money at the weekend and will provide a strong opposition for us which is great preparation ahead of the Season Opener.”
“I am looking forward to us playing in my home town of Oldham where I started my own ...
Alicia Scholes, daughter of the Manchester United and England legend Paul, has been named as a member of the Thunder squad for the 2020 Vitality Netball Superleague season.
The 18-year old is called up to the senior squad for the first time and will be a training partner for the new campaign.
Thunder are the defending Champions, having won the 2019 Superleague title in May, and are counting down to the start of the season next month.
Alicia, who plays at centre and wing attack, has been part of the Thunder youth set-up for some time, and making it to the highest level is something her proud dad never doubted she would achieve:
Paul Scholes said:
"We knew from aged 6 or 7 when she first started playing at the ball hall in Failsworth - she had a team of friends and they were hammering everyone! We knew she had ability then, that she was talented and she’s still as dedicated now."
As well as being in the Superleague squad, Alicia will be part of Thunder's U21 team ...