CATS have clawed their way back to success after standing on the brink of extinction.
The Wearside Wildcats netball team had a dismal start to the year after losing its sponsor.
However after finding new backing, and raising more than £1,100 at a fund-raising night, the girls are roaring once more.
Wildcat’s first-team captain, Jade English, said the money was invaluable.
“It’s been hard,” she said. “At the start of the year I didn’t think we would be able to carry on.
“But, with this fund-raiser and the support we have had from family, friends and people who aren’t even involved in the club, things are going from strength to strength.” The fund-raising evening at the Roker Hotel last month was attended by more than 100 people and raised over £1,000.
The money, collected from ticket sales and raffles, will be used to subsidise team members’ expenses, and about £300 is also set to be donated to St Benedict’s Hospice, in Monkwearmouth.
“A lot of our members are students and school pupils,” said Jade.
“And it seems unfair that they have to ask for money for kit, and lifts to get to and from games all the time, so this money will be used to help pay for transport and kit.
“One netball dress pays costs about £40 or £50, so even if we can give one person £5 towards that, it will help.
“And, we wanted charity to benefit from the money we made, so we are pleased to give some money to the new St Benedict’s Hospice.”
The Wildcats club, which trains at Whitburn Academy, is made up of about 100 players from the age of 11 up. Since the beginning of the year, and the start of a new sponsorship deal with Club Zest Ladies Leisure, Sea Road, the club has seen an influx of new members. “Considering I didn’t think we’d even have a team by the summer, it’s great, things are just getting better,” said Jade.