Skip to main content

Sir Chris Hoy Surprises Netball Winners of National Lottery Award

16th Tachwedd 2012

A group of Manchester women were shocked when Sir Chris Hoy strode on to their netball court to present them with a National Lottery Awards trophy.

The women at the Ken Ward Sports Centre in Hyde were taking part in a Back to Netball session, a programme of activity run by England Netball, which has been voted the UK’s Best Sport Project in The National Lottery Awards 2012 – in association with Best magazine.

National Lottery funding allowed England Netball to put on netball sessions for 9,000 women last year, with one third taking place in deprived areas in England.

National Lottery funding has been an instrumental part of Sir Chris Hoy’s success, allowing him to train full time at superb facilities and benefit from the best coaching and medical support.

Sir Chris Hoy said: “The support that The National Lottery has given me and British Cycling over the years has been crucial to our success. It’s been great for facilities, for the team and it allowed me to train full time after I left university. Lottery funding has had a big impact at every level of sport in this country. Back to Netball has helped thousands of women get fitter, make new friends and have fun.”

Katy Ritchie, National Development Manager at Back to Netball, was overjoyed to receive the Award: “I couldn’t believe my eyes to see Sir Chris Hoy standing in front of us with the trophy. Winning this Award is a wonderful tribute to the popularity of the project and the hard work of the whole team at England Netball.”

Congratulating Back to Netball, Jackie O’Sullivan from The National Lottery Awards, said: “The National Lottery Awards recognise the life-changing difference that Lottery-funded projects make to communities and Back to Netball is a shining example of this. Winning this award is an amazing achievement and everyone involved should be very proud.”

The work of Back to Netball will be celebrated at a star-studded awards ceremony in London on 8 December, which will be shown on BBC One. Back to Netball received more public votes than Wheels for Wellbeing, a disability cycling scheme in London, and Longridge Activity Centre in Marlow, to scoop the award.

Nodiadau i olygyddion

  • Back to Netball has received over £1.1 million in Lottery funding from Sport England.
  • The National Lottery has been changing lives for 18 years. Since it began in 1994, £29 billion has been raised for Good Causes by Lottery players and over 390,000 grants have been made across the UK. For more information go to
  • In addition to the Lottery funding that it has already received, the winning project in each of the seven categories received a £2,000 cash prize to spend on its project
  • All voting was independently adjudicated and verified by Electoral Reform Services