A Pendle netball star has been rewarded for her superb talents on the court, as she is crowned Sky Sports Superleague Netball Player of the Season.

Former Nelson and Colne College student Natalie Haythornthwaite, of Barrowford was nominated by netball experts; and went on to win the prestigious award which was voted for by the public.

Sport has always played a key role in Natalie’s life; she studied A level PE at Nelson and Colne College and was also a part of their netball academy for two years.  Formally a sports ambassador at Fisher More Humanities College, she continued this role at college, taking time out to visit local primary schools alongside the further education sports co-ordinator Alan Stanworth, to promote the Olympic ethos.

“Everyone at Nelson and Colne College is delighted to hear the news about Natalie.  She thoroughly deserves the award, and it is testament to her hard work and commitment to the sport” said Catherine Stanworth, Curriculum Leader at Nelson and Colne College.

“We knew Natalie was a high level performer when she joined the netball academy; her exceptional skills meant she was awarded with the maximum mark in her A Level studies.  It was an absolute privilege to help to nurture her talent and have her represent the college.  We wish her all the luck in the future!”

The netball academy at Nelson and Colne College is open to any full time learner, and next year the college hope to create participation netball, which is an enrichment activity for those wanting to play netball for fun.

Amongst other achievements whilst studying at college, Natalie helped the academy team win the British Colleges League for three consecutive years.

Natalie said, “I’m absolutely overwhelmed to be named netball player of the season.  It’s an incredible achievement; I’d like to say special thanks to everyone who has helped me to develop my love of the sport, including Nelson and Colne College.”