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Netball: New Cambell still going strong

16:30 22 September 2016

New Cambell players celebrate

New Cambell players celebrate

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Pat Watson discusses aims for new season and we take a look at the history of famous Dagenham club

New Cambell are still going strong and producing quality players after being formed over 50 years ago by Alice Hallmark and Rita Shea in 1959.

The Dagenham-based club, one of the largest in the area, has a wonderful reputation in the Essex Metropolitan League and have maintained a real family feel since their existence.

Hallmark’s daughter, Pat Watson, is the current head coach of the successful outfit and one of many to have gone on and represented her country.

Cambell were one of the founder members of the England National Clubs Competition, now titled the National Premier League, and have won the prestigious title on many occasions.

Throughout their 57 years, the Dagenham club have provided players and officials to represent their country. Watson has captained England in the past, as has Jillean Hipsey, a current Cambell life member and vice-chair.

Meanwhile, Meve Curtis, the current club president of the local club, represented England in the first ever Netball World Tournament held in Eastbourne in 1963.

Curtis has been appointed vice-president of the Essex Met Netball Association for the upcoming season too and will be hoping to see the club produce more talent this year.

Cambell had representation at the first ever Netball World Tournament and have not rested on their laurels.

The Dagenham club were represented at the third event in Jamaica and the fourth in New Zealand where England achieved their best finish of second place under Watson.

Both Watson and Hipsey were at the fifth edition in Trinidad & Tobago and the latter was present at the sixth tournament played in Singapore. Hipsey went on to book her spot in England’s Hall of Fame for being the first netball player to achieve 100 caps.

Watson has also coached the England under-21s and been named England Dextroxel Coach of the Year and Barking & Dagenham Sportsperson of the Year in the past.

A statement from Cambell said: “We continue to have club players representing the borough at the London Youth Games, Essex County, East Region, London South East Region and England at all age groups, along with the National Vitality Super League teams.

“As a senior and youth club, we play in the Essex Met League and have eight teams in Division One down to Division Nine.

“We have a thriving junior section where five teams of varying age groups from six years of age up to 15, play in the Essex Thurrock League on Sundays with our under-15 and under-16 teams representing us in Saturday’s Essex Met League at Redbridge Sports Centre.

“The club could not survive without the support of its committee and most of all by Tracey Daly, our club secretary, junior treasurer and junior coach.”

Cambell’s junior section train on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm to 9pm, outdoors at Dagenham Park Church of England School.

The senior group train on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 10pm, indoors at the same venue, and the club is always looking for new players.

As previously stated, Cambell will have eight teams involved in the Essex Met League and two of them taking part in Division One, where the Greens and Blues will play each other on the opening day of the campaign on Saturday.

In the Division below, the Whites start against Kelmscott A, while there is another battle between two Cambell teams in Division Three as the Reds and Silvers face off in another derby in this weekend’s opener.

The Purples play Sapphire in Division Six, while Oranges take on Dolly Mixtures in Division Seven and Yellows take on Romford in Division Nine.

“We had the final trials last week for the senior teams and we have got eight teams in the Essex Met,” said Watson.

“The trials went well and it was busy, but we’re looking forward to the season starting.

“We’ve got two sides in Division One of the Essex Met and they are generally in third, second or first. We did win it 10 years in a row, but thought we’d like to give somebody else a go.

“The Greens and Blues are playing each other this weekend, which isn’t very good. I don’t like that and you can only hope they just play in a friendly spirit. I won’t be watching it because I won’t know who to cheer on the day!”

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