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Wasps Netball: Tamsin Greenway shares her sadness about situation and hopes for quick reaction to help players and staff

Tamsin Greenway was Wasps' first director of netball and pivotal to their development and success; the now Scotland head coach is shocked and saddened by the current situation and hopes quick steps can be made by the sport to help players and staff moving forwards

Tamsin Greenway
Image: Tamsin Greenway led Wasps to great success on court during her time

Tamsin Greenway has spoken to Sky Sports about her sadness at the situation at Wasps, she hopes netball reacts quickly to help the players and staff and the sport can also take lessons going forwards.

Greenway was instrumental in the inception of Wasps Netball and as both a coach, leader and athlete.

The now Scotland head coach was Wasps' first director of netball in 2016 and led the team on and off court to back-to-back titles in their first two seasons being part of the Netball Super League.

On Monday, Wasps Holdings Limited, the holding company for Wasps men's and women's rugby teams, and Wasps Netball ceased trading. The administrators FRP said 167 employees had been made redundant, including all members of the playing squads and coaching staff.

Greenway's former team-mate and someone she has played netball with since she was 16, Rachel Dunn, said the current netballers at Wasps are not sure where they stand.

"We're being supported by the Netball Players Association, England Netball and Wasps representatives that we used to work with," Dunn said. "It's not even a day on from the events unfolding and there are a lot of things going on in the background and hopefully at some point, it will become clear what our options are.

"With it being still so fresh and new, we're not sure where any of us stand at the moment."

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Dunn: We're not sure where any of us stand at Wasps Netball
Dunn: We're not sure where any of us stand at Wasps Netball

Domestic and international stalwart Rachel Dunn speaks to Sky Sports about the situation at Wasps, the sadness felt by all and the uncertainty surrounding netball.

Dunn added that many of Wasps' netballers remain in shock following the news and Greenway also feels that way.

"Genuinely, (I feel) just absolutely gutted. I was as shocked as everybody else," she said. "Gutted for all the staff involved who have lost their jobs, it is insane to think about the amount of people that had to hear that news.

"It's a special club. We started the club in 2016 and we played in the 2017 season. We won the title and went on to win it in the following year as well.

"It wasn't an add-on for Wasps, we were very much integrated into the whole ethos, culture and brand. It got people to stand up and take note about where you can take our sport as well.

"I have totally fond memories and everyone we worked with there were ultimate professionals and loved netball. That's what is the saddest part for me, and the fans as well, because they watched us do some of these special things.

"It's a really tough time for past players and for more importantly, those who are there now."

The Netball Super League is in pre-season ahead of the 2023 campaign, with the player signing window having closed on October 14.

Wasps had announced their squad for the 2023 season and were due to work under a new head coach, after Cat Tuivaiti was appointed in June. Tuivaiti was preparing for her first role as a head coach.

England Netball released a statement on Monday outlining their current position regarding the Super League, stating they are working with all relevant parties to 'explore solutions to protect netball opportunities at community, pathway and elite level'.

Greenway also highlighted that work is going on and spoke further about a couple of scenarios which could be being discussed.

"It's so unprecedented, no-one was expecting this, and the reality is the Netball Players' Association and England Netball are on this, working behind the scenes tirelessly to try and get some kind of solution," Greenway said.

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Wasps' Rachel Dunn and Scotland coach Tamsin Greenway discuss the situation at Wasps

"You have to remember there are players who are looking towards next year's World Cup, who are part of England's age-group teams, where do they play next season? It's not just the senior players, it's pathway players in that area. West Midlands hadn't had a team since about 2006 until we went back there in 2016, this is the whole pathway and community fan base.

"England Netball will have to look at some scenarios over the next few weeks. It could be working with the region to help the team still stay there under a different banner or working with the other clubs knowing that there's a salary cap and a squad size at the moment, but can some of those rules be tweaked to make sure some of these key players can still play a season."

The two-time champions continue to fix their sights on play-off netball (Image Credit - Ben Lumley)
Image: Wasps had been part of netball's Super League since the 2017 season (Image Credit: Ben Lumley)

The development of Wasps Netball marked a key move for a netball club, as the team came into existence under a wider sporting brand.

Saracens Mavericks and Leeds Rhinos Netball remain in the Netball Super League having also developed in the same way and Greenway remains of the opinion that the support this type of structure can provide to the sport is important.

"I still believe that joint franchises and learned workings is the way forwards in terms of fan base, performance cultures, centres and facilities, all the things netball needs but they don't own," she said.

"You've seen it with women's football, women's rugby, women's cricket with those links and pathways to some of the other clubs and male parts. I don't think we need to totally jump ship on that idea (within netball), no-one saw this coming.

"We've still got Saracens Mavericks in the league and Leeds Rhinos working with that side and I think there are still avenues like that to be explored.

"Right now, we need to look at some of the learnings in the future but first at what we can do immediately to help this group of players and staff."

Wasps showed great belief to find a way to overcome  Saracens Mavericks on Monday (Image Credit - Ben Lumley)
Image: Wasps Netball established themselves as a key part of Netball's Super League (Image Credit: Ben Lumley)

In July 2018, Greenway left Wasps Netball and highlighted that during her time with the club, which was pre-pandemic, there weren't signs of what was to come financially.

"Wasps has always been an ambitious club and in terms of what they were trying to build and being commercially driven and that was something I really liked about them as well.

"There wasn't (any sign). It's so hard and Covid hadn't hit, I don't know the ins and outs behind the scenes and I'm not going to speculate on that.

"The reality is Wasps were trying to build something special, they've always been a forward-thinking brand like that and the people I was working with there were always very committed to that cause. They'll be equally as gutted as to what's gone on."

 during the Vitality Netball Superleague match between Wasps Netball and Surrey Storm at Ricoh Arena on February 10, 2018 in Coventry, England.

When the Netball Super League announced its dates for the 2023 season it also shared that they would not be partnering with their headline partner for the next season and instead, was going to market to see further investment.

Netball's ambition remains strong but Greenway knows that support will be needed, if it is to continue on its growth trajectory and that lessons must be learned now.

"Women's sport as a whole financially needs to have support from other areas to make sure it can thrive, survive but also push on, she said.

"Netball will have to look at this across the board and see again what things are in place to make sure that if we ever have a situation like this, and hopefully we won't, that it can react to it.

"Also, moving forwards how can netball protect some clubs and rugby will have to do exactly the same.

"The reality there has to be lessons learned, you don't have a crystal ball, sport is an ever-evolving piece and hopefully netball will be able to react quickly to this but more importantly learn going forward."

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