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'Major sports events have a unique power to inspire people': meet Lindsay Impett, event director of the Netball World Cup 2019

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Liverpool will host the 2019 Netball World Cup next month, and we had the chance to speak to the event director and find out what it takes to organise such a huge event.

Lindsay Impett is the face behind the 2019 Vitality Netball World Cup, to be held at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool. We asked Lindsay what her role entails and how she got there.

After first graduating from Loughborough University in 2001, studying Physical Education, Sports Science and Recreation Management, Lindsay went back to university in 2012 and again in 2015 when she studied Business Event Management at Edinburgh Napier.

"I wanted to increase my knowledge of the business side of events," she says. "Whilst I had experience of operations, I learnt a great deal about financial management, leadership, and marketing, which has helped me a great deal in my current role. It was also very useful to have the opportunity to learn with people from a variety of industries and gather knowledge from a different perspective."

Image courtesy of Conker Communications

Lindsay has vast experience within the events industry and has worked on events such as London 2012 and England Rugby at Twickenham, as well as in Sydney and for Wembley Stadium. The biggest event Lindsay has worked on is something she can't quite decide: "It's a tough call between London 2012 and the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019," she says. "At London 2012, I was responsible for a venue on the biggest sporting stage in the world, but for the Netball World Cup, I have oversight of the entire event. From a profile perspective, London 2012 was bigger but also part of the wider event network, whereas the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 stands alone. The profile of this event has increased massively over the last 12 months so it really is difficult to say. I am proud to have worked across all these events with some great people, providing fantastic experiences and memories for all those involved."

Netball has become a popular sport among students and has grown rapidly over the last few years, especially in the UK. With the Netball World Cup being hosted on home soil, Lindsay is hopeful the event will raise the profile of netball even further.

"We fully expect that hosting the Vitality Netball World Cup in this country will have an equally big impact, and England Netball are delivering a legacy programme to make sure that the impact of hosting the tournament is long-lasting for the sport," she says.

"Major events have a unique power to inspire people. We have already seen the huge impact that England's Commonwealth Games gold medal has had on the profile of netball in this country, with more media interest than ever before."

 

The 2015 Netball World Cup was held in Sydney, Australia, which saw the host country pick up their 11th World Cup title. For this year's event, Lindsay mentions the four 'pillars' that underpin the ethos of the competition. She says: "We strive to inspire women and girls to be the best they can be, inviting the whole world to one incredible destination to watch elite athletes compete to be crowned the best team in the world.

"By living by these values, we will bring our own feel to the event. Our host city of Liverpool is going to provide a fantastic experience for our teams and spectators, with the venue located on the beautiful waterfront of the River Mersey and at the heart of many of the exciting attractions the city has to offer."

England finished third in Sydney in 2015 - but they'll be up against strong competition this year, as they battle to better their finish. Lindsay says: "As reigning Commonwealth Games champions, England certainly have the pedigree to make the final, and even lift the trophy. However, the competition will be fierce from defending champions Australia as well as New Zealand, Jamaica, South Africa and all the other nations who will be striving to perform to the best of their abilities. This is probably the least predictable World Cup of all time, so it's set up to be an intriguing competition."

There have been over 95,000 tickets sold for the tournament so far with at least 100,000 people expected into the arena over the ten days the tournament runs for. Lindsay says: "We have supporters coming from all over the world to support our 16 teams, and we expect the atmosphere to be electric."

One component that is vital to ensure the competition runs smoothly is the work done by the volunteers, known as Pivoteers. "The Pivoteers is our volunteer network and was so named not only because the pivot is a well-known netball skill, but because we see our volunteers as absolutely pivotal to the success of the event," Lindsay says. "The Pivoteers will be the face of the tournament, welcoming spectators, supporting the teams and officials and taking on fundamental roles to support the event across a variety of functions."

We spoke to two Pivoteers, Carlie and Lois, who will be helping out at the event. You can read that interview here

The Netball World Cup 2019 runs from 12th - 21st July in Liverpool. For more information visit https://www.nwc2019.co.uk. 

Lead image courtesy of Conker Communications.




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