The courts have been seen as crucial to the continuation of the North London Netball League (NLNL) which has been based at Broomfield Park since 1950. There is no other north London netball facility of a similar size and popularity, with 80 teams and more than 1,000 players meeting every year. Previously, without the floodlighting, matches could not be played after mid-afternoon which was having an impact on the competitiveness of the league.The courts are also available to be booked by anyone for tennis. The floodlights allow for play to take place every day until 10pm. Tennis coaching is also available. More information is available on the Club Spark website.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Rick Jewell, said: “The renovation of these courts is more than just cosmetic. The courts are crucial to the survival of the netball league and to the growth of tennis in Enfield. Both these sports are fully inclusive that can help improve people’s health and wellbeing. We would also like to work with the NLNL to increase participation in netball across all age groups and abilities.
“In addition, the park – with its orchard, café and vibrant events schedule – is a key area for the local community. It’s a hub that brings people together and is a huge advantage to the local economy. The courts are a contributing factor to the ongoing success story of Broomfield Park.”
Elaine Smith-Modu, the Chair of the North London Netball League, said: “The North London Netball League is thoroughly enjoying playing netball on the refurbished courts. The surface is brilliant in all weather conditions. As the evenings have drawn in the floodlights have ensured the winter matches can be completed and the playing time extended. The lights are providing an opportunity to expand the league and encourage greater participation in a fantastic sport. As the North London Netball League celebrates its 70th year of netball in Broomfield Park the new courts will help to secure the sport and ensure netball continues in the park for many more years to come.”
Netball in the UK is mainly a winter sport; the new floodlights will open up further weeknight sporting opportunities such as the launch of Netball Now, evening back-to-netball sessions for mixed abilities.
The renovation received financial support from Sport England who offered Enfield Council £125,000 from its Community Asset Fund. A further £150,000 was allocated from the London Marathon Charitable Trust. Enfield Council worked with Historic England and other parties to ensure the playing area’s improvements were sympathetic to the historic landscape of Broomfield Park. The work on the courts is in line with Enfield Council’s Playing Pitch Strategy, which provides a robust action plan for sports facilities in the borough.