When We Started
The first year we entered the league as 'Luton Tornadoes' we had 5 teams! Our initial intention was to enter just 2 teams, one run by Anne Yeomans (Red Tornadoes) and the other run by Julie Kightley (Supernovas). In order to raise funds for the club we held 'Returners to Netball Sessions', these allowed players who had been out of netball for sometime to improve their skills and confidence. This lead to participation of so many people keen to get back into netball, that we decided to support a further 3 teams in their enthusiasm to play netball in a league situation. The following year Returners to Netball Sessions were run by Bedfordshire, with the help of Julie and Anne. More time was given over by Anne and Julie to develop years 7 and 8 players and introduce year 6 players in the hope they would become future champions!
We have continued this ethos and now have regular training sessions for children in year 3 and upwards. We have many young players who have progessed through to regional and trialed at national level. In 2016, one of our senior players was selected to represent England Ladies in the World Indoor Netball Championship....who only went on to win Gold!!!!
In 2010, we joined Crawley Sports and Social Club and they have offered us a lot of support in a variety of ways, including access to their facilities and sponsorship. At which point we changed our name from Luton Tornadoes to Crawley Tornadoes. The club has since reverted back to it's former name of Luton Tornadoes Netball Club to start the 2015/2016 season.
We were voted Bedfordshire Netball Club of the Year in the 2011-2012 season which we are very proud of!!
We are regular members of the local Luton, Dunstable & District Netball League, which has been running every season since 1956. We constantly strive to improve our players skills and abilities, through coaching and competitions, with some guidance from the lead coaches. This has so far proved successful as we are constantly placed highly in all 3 divisions of the Luton, Dunstable & District Netball League.
70% of our players are under 18, therefore when they go to university the teams require a reshuffle, this allows our younger members to play at a higher level, giving them a varied level of experience. With us having several teams entered into the local league, this allows us as a club to place new members in teams where they can better themselves and others in a competitive situation.
We encourage our members to participate in other ways within the club and have a number of players and volunteers attending umpiring and coaching courses as well as helping out organising tournaments and social events.
In our second year we gained Bronze CAPS for our club. We have now held this for 4 years. This means that we adhere to the current netballing standards of coaching, safe guarding and youth development. We are the first club in Luton to achieve this standard, leading to us having the oppotunity to further develop as a netball club. In October 2011, after 6 years we have now attained Silver CAPS (the first netball club in Luton to achieve this), which means that the standards of our club are even higher!!