The University of Salford’s Women’s Netball first team defeated the Men’s Rugby Union squad last night in a charity match to raise money to combat homelessness in Salford.

Over 60 people came to the university’s gymnasium to support the effort to help end homelessness, with participants contributing a minimum of one pound to play.

The proceeds from the match, which saw the netball first team win 10-1, will be sent to the Salford branch of Street Support Network.

Netballer and Salford student Montanna Rollins was excited to see a good turnout on Thursday night:

“Anyone who can walk, run or crawl is here to play, it can be your flatmates, or your friends.

“We have Rugby Union who think they’re going to be able to win netball, but basically we are raising money for the homeless in Manchester. It’s a pound minimum to play, and they win sweets if they win.”

Rugby Union player James Moore believed that despite not being a team of the sport they were playing, the rugby men had a real chance to win in netball.

“I think charity is amazing and I want to batter the netball [players], I’m not going to lie, I believe we can show them how it’s done.”

Despite it being a match for charity, Nathan Hamilton was hoping to see a good performance from the men.

“We have come really prepared for this, we are all experienced athletes, so I can only expect the best from Rugby Union. I am excited to see what the other sports can bring to us.

“As a club we love supporting other charities, especially charities that other sports at our university are also trying to help out with, so we just want to do our bit for the university and the charity as well.”

When asked if the format of the charity match was a good idea, Hamilton was in full support of the event’s format.

“Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s a good novelty to see other teams try out other sports, I would definitely want to come watch and see rugby players play netball.”

With temperatures beginning to reach freezing levels in the northwest of the country, it has become essential to help get rough sleepers off the street for the winter.

Greater Together Manchester have found that Salford have 1,088 of the 5,556 homeless people in Greater Manchester.

Despite the staggering number of people on the street, studies have shown that the number of homeless people in Greater Manchester have fallen for the second year in a row. The two year decrease comes after seven straight years of steady increases that began in 2010.

Street Support Network, the organisation that will receive the netball match’s proceeds, are an organisation that connects and supports local people in the fight to end homelessness.

The organization is active in over 20 cities across England, and have been funded by donations from local philanthropists, small donations from people and partnerships with larger businesses.

In Manchester alone Street Support Network have six people based in the city to coordinate their efforts, with two of the six having experienced homelessness themselves in the past.

If you’d like to help Street Support Network in the battle against homelessnes visit their website HERE.

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