Calling all netball fanatics in South Ayrshire!

Kilmarnock FC will be swapping footballs for netballs this June when they play host to a unique, on-pitch netball tournament called “Play on the Pitch” on Saturday 4th June 2016, organised by Bonnet Braves from Stewarton Ladies Netball club.

The Bonnet Braves tournament is the inaugural event in an 18 month long fundraising campaign in aid of three nominated charities - the Ayrshire Hospice, Scottish Disability Sport and Scottish Autism. “Play on the Pitch” invites 32 netball teams from across the UK to register and play in the open air netball tournament on six specially marked out courts, on the Rugby Park pitch. The tournament will then be followed by an evening Gala Dinner, glittering awards ceremony, raffle and grand auction in the Park Hotel, Kilmarnock

One of the event organisers Sharon Kearney explains “Play on the Pitch marks the start of an exciting 2016-17 fundraising campaign by Bonnet Braves, with the ambitious team staging a number of exciting fundraising events over the 18 months, culminating in a demanding overseas cycling challenge in 2017. We are so thrilled to have the support of Kilmarnock Football Club for our inaugural event and look forward to staging what is sure to be a pretty unique and fun tournament, on the pitch at Rugby Park. Registration is open now, on a first come, first served basis!”

Registration costs £20 per player with a maximum of twelve players registering per team. Teams will be randomly put into sections of four and play each other within their section. In the afternoon, session the top two teams within their section will go into the “winners group” and the bottom two into the “plate group”, with trophies to be won in both groups. Each team will play a minimum of six x 15 minute games. Gala dinner tickets are £40 each which includes a pre-dinner cocktail, three course meal, awards ceremony and evening entertainment.

Gary Locke, Manager at Kilmarnock Football Club said “We are absolutely delighted to support Stewarton Ladies Netball by offering Rugby Park as a venue for their unique “Play on the Pitch” netball tournament in June. As a club, we are keen to encourage participation in all kinds of sport and look forward to seeing another competitive sport being played on the pitch at Rugby Park! We wish the ladies every success with their fundraising efforts.”

Registration forms are available to download from www.ayrshirehospice.org/how-you-can-help/fundraising/events/play-on-the-pitch/ or from Sharon Kearney – email: sharongkearney@gmail.com mobile 07971 508623 or Vicki Smith – email: vickismith11@btinternet.com mobile 07881543485. Further event information is available at: www.facebook.com search for “Stewarton ladies netball” or “Play on the Pitch”

Other fundraising plans include a week long netball tag tour across Scotland with Bonnet Braves playing a netball game in each of the 33 regions and a race night. By Sept 2017 the netball team hope to have raised a grand total of £30k to be shared equally across the three charities.