THE first ever Cumbria Walking Netball Festival proved to be a huge success as five teams from across the county took part in the event at Kirkby Lonsdale's Lunesdale Sports Centre.

WI players from Nateby & Wharton, Hawkshead and Cockermouth were joined by community players from across the south of the county, with the Ulverston Sunflowers team emerging triumphant after a competitive but friendly competition.

Walking netball is a slower version of the usual game, great for people who are recovering from injury, have reduced mobility or enjoy the game at a more relaxed pace.

And England Netball Cumbria development officer Ellen Pearce said the tournament's success was a sign of the game's growing popularity as the Netball World Cup in Liverpool this summer looms closer.

"New groups have been springing up all over Cumbria in the last few months and its popularity has been growing," she said.

"It's a great way to meet like minded people, stay fit and active and be part of the wider netball family.

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