Axe Vale Netball Community (AVNC), the hugely popular netball club based in Axminster, has achieved another success: four of their young players have won places on the England Netball Performance Pathway.

Gracie Dixon, Rosie Dare, Freya Williamson and Rosa Taylor-Jones will now train in Weymouth with other performance players from the region in the Dorset U13 netball academy. 

“I didn’t think I was ever going to get in, but I’m so excited I did and I love pushing myself in training to become a better netballer,” said Rosa Taylor-Jones, age 11. 

It’s the latest in a run of successes for AVNC and its alumni: Chenoa Veal has secured a place to train at the Team Bath Athlete Development Centre; Alice Clark plays for Team Bath U19s and Lauren Taylor, Iris Higgins and Grace Lambert play for their universities.  

AVNC has come a long way from 2015, when three friends, Trish Warwick, Sarah Clark and Teresa Youens tentatively put up notices around Axminster to see if there would be any interest in a local club. 

The answer, they discovered, was a resounding ‘yes’. At a time when there was a dearth of female sport in the local area, girls and women voted with their feet and joined the club in droves. Today, AVNC coaches almost 200 girls and women every week, ranging in age from 5 to 80 years old! 

The club’s success is firmly rooted in its community-focused ethos. Head Coach Trish Warwick says: “My love of netball comes second to seeing meaningful relationships being fostered and community formed.” 

It’s a theme fellow coach Sarah Clark agrees with: “Our club helps to build friendships. For our teens, it’s such an important hour away from their phones. We show the girls how enjoyable face-to-face time with friends can be.” 

AVNC currently trains from a single court at Axminster Leisure Centre but their dream is to secure funding for a double indoor netball court and they are actively looking for sponsorship to realise this dream.  If you have are able to sponsor the club or help with ideas for securing grants, please contact