Manchester Metropolitan University joins the Thunder Family


Manchester Metropolitan University is joining the Manchester Thunder family with a partnership building on the scholarships for Thunder’s Paige Kindred and Gabby Marshall, provided by MMU Sport.
Expert advice and facilities
The partnership gives Thunder access to MMU Sport’s specialist training facilities, including Manchester City’s former training ground Platt Lane. Thunder will now use MMU Sport’s strength and conditioning suite and coach in order to enhance their performance.
Thunder players will also be given prehab and rehab through physiotherapy and soft tissue therapy at the University’s Manchester Movement Unit, a commercial venture owned and managed by the Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care at Manchester Metropolitan University.
The partnership also gives Thunder access to the University’s leading sports nutrition advisors and sports psychologists.

Supporting academic excellence
MMU Sport have provided scholarships for top netballers Paige and Gabby to allow them to realise their athletic and academic potential. The scholarships provide financial support as well a range of lifestyle and support services vital to help them excel in their degree whilst being fully committed to netball, both for Thunder and for the University’s team.
England under 21 vice-captain Gabby is reaping the rewards of her scholarship. “The performance team have been influential in my ability to manage commitments this year. That extended support network within the university has been crucial to help liaise with my lecturers so that everyone is on the same page. As well as this, as a scholar I am given access to a top class strength and conditioning suite alongside regular physiotherapy and sports massage. All of these factors make a huge difference by easing pressure and allowing me to just concentrate on performing as well as possible.”
Rising University sport
MMU Sport field a team in the Northern 1A league of the British Universities and Colleges Sport championships – the second tier of University sport as well as seven teams in other divisions and a programme of recreational netball for staff and students. The netball programme at Manchester Met was developed by former Thunder and England captain Sara Bayman, who is currently playing her netball in New Zealand.
Performance Sport Manager at MMU Sport, Jérôme Read, is delighted to be growing the elite athlete player pathway at the University. Manchester Met has big ambitions for our future in sport. Working with Manchester Thunder who have been a dominant force in UK netball at all levels provides us with great reciprocal opportunities. From incubating Thunder’s developing talent to supporting athletes at the top of their game we are excited to be at the beginning of this journey of performance discovery.”
Debbie Hallas, Manchester Thunder managing director, added: “We are excited about working with Manchester Met and we share their ambitions for the future. We are especially looking forward to utilising the facilities at Platt Lane and MMU’s strength and conditioning suite. Both sides can certainly benefit from this partnership and our athletes will surely gain valuable knowledge and experience from it.”