Tracey Neville on men and women netballers going head to head in new tournament in Manchester

Netball’s Rise Again Festival is back and it’s bigger and better than ever before - but this year there’s an exciting twist.

Fans will see every Vitality Netball Super League team take to the courts in Manchester on 11-12 December, but in a netballing first, they’ll also be joined by two elite men’s teams.

Traditionally, netball is largely played by female athletes, a sport where women are at the forefront, but as part of a move to push for greater male participation in the sport, men and women’s teams will go head to head at Netball’s Rise Again Festival. This will be the first time that men and women have competed in a tournament at this level.

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Former England head coach Tracey Neville says this giant step in sport will hopefully encourage more people to take up netball.

All 11 Netball Superleague teams plus Knight Men’s from London and Spartans Men’s from Manchester will compete in the two-day tournament, playing 24 games in total.

Alongside watching women’s vs men’s teams for the first time compete in a tournament at this level, the festival will be a chance for fans to see the likes of Nat Haythornthwaite back on home soil for the first time in two years. It will also be a chance to see Lisa Alexander- former Australian head coach- leading her new side London Pulse in their first competitive game.

The Rise Again Festival – sponsored by Kinetica K4 - was born out of a lack of live sport during Covid-19. When it was live-streamed last year in December 2020, it was the first time in nine months that anyone had watched any live UK netball. This year the live steaming is back but fans will also be welcomed to the Belle Vue.

For ticket details see here.