The new name was unveiled following the establishment of a partnership agreement between the University of Strathclyde and the national governing body and team owner, Netball Scotland. The sport is one of the fastest growing in the country, helped by the arrival of the arrival of the Sirens on the netball scene two years ago.
The partnership will help The Strathclyde Sirens continue to grow as one of the leading female sports brands in Scotland, develop their talent pool and build on their significant success in accelerating the development of netball and women’s sport in Scotland as well as creating inspirational role models and increasing female participation in sport.
Scotland’s only-semi professional team, The Strathclyde Sirens were created to boost the development of netball in Scotland by providing an elite, world class training and competition programme for players, coaches and officials. The new partnership with the university will allow the scope of The Strathclyde Sirens impact to grow and to attract a new generation of players and supporters.
The strategic alignment will create a unique opportunity to attract, engage and educate students, enhancing the University’s commitment to delivering an outstanding student experience, as demonstrated through Strathclyde’s new £31m sports centre.
It also supports Strathclyde’s promotion of sport, health and wellbeing for all regardless of age, gender or ability. There will be an anticipated increase in membership of Strathclyde’s own netball teams and we expect to see The Sirens engage across academic disciplines and postgraduate research opportunities.
Together the University and Netball Scotland will develop and deliver a high-performance pathway programme which prepares athletes and coaches to perform in both the Vitality Netball Superleague and on the international stage.
The Strathclyde Sirens will continue play their home games at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow where they have been attracting large crowds since 2016. The team will also use Strathclyde University’s newly-opened state-of-the-art sports centre for training.
Currently, two Strathclyde students, Bethan Goodwin and Niamh McCall, play for the Strathclyde Sirens.
They will be joined in the team by six other Scots as they prepare to compete at next summer’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool, as well as two overseas signings who have joined the Sirens.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Our exciting new partnership with Netball Scotland and our support for The Strathclyde Sirens underline the University’s ongoing commitment to sport, health and wellbeing for our staff and students on our campus as well for a large cross-section of participants from across Scotland.
It also enables us to provide direct and inclusive support to grassroots sport and encourage participation in netball specifically.”
Claire Nelson, Chief Executive Officer of Netball Scotland who own the Strathclyde Sirens, said: “We are delighted to be able to finally announce our exciting new three-year partnership with the University of Strathclyde.
“Through this partnership we will be able to access, and utilise, industry leading academic research, technology, innovation and state-of-the-art facilities in order to enhance and accelerate the development of our sport and our athletes.
“By bringing together the expertise and ambition of both the University and the Governing Body, we hope to create a pioneering new approach to the advancement of women’s professional sport in Scotland, and the Strathclyde Sirens will be at the forefront of that mission.”
Neil Brown, Head of Sport at the University of Strathclyde, said: “By anchoring the Sirens franchise within the University, Strathclyde will proudly be at the centre of the creation of the Performance Pathway for Netball Scotland alongside providing a truly world-class training environment for Scotland’s elite netball athletes.
“The innovative partnership will allow Strathclyde to realise its strategic ambitions of working with key partners to evolve and grow services that impact on: performance, wellbeing, education and participation. There is great excitement around the opportunities this partnership will afford both the University and Netball Scotland we cannot wait to get started.”