Loughborough Lightning was launched in 2006, for the first season of the Netball Superleague.
Loughborough University has always had a proud history of helping to produce talented netballers, boasting many prolific netballing alumni such as England regulars Olivia Murphy, Karen Atkinson, Ama Agbeze and Jade Clark. With
this in mind, and reflecting the University’s position at the heart of sport in the UK, it was a great opportunity to enter a Loughborough based team in the new Superleague.
The franchise is a partnership between Loughborough University and East Midlands Netball, and geographically covers the counties of Leicestershire, Notts, Derbyshire, Northants, and West Mids.
The 2006/7 team were prolific in the Superleague, led by Olivia Murphy they finished top four, and missed out narrowly on reaching the grand final.
LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING 2006/7
2007/8 once again featured captain Murphy, Beccy James, Ama Agbeze, and Jade Clark, and once again finished top 4. The Lightning Talent team was launched allowing young Lightning players access to the Netball Talent League, and acting as a development pathway through to the Lightning 1st team.
The 2008/9 squad featured students Jo Harten, Sarah-Jane O’Sullivan, Katy Rose, as well as the Lightning regulars, and reached the grand final, but lost out to Mavericks 43-39 in a spectacular match at the K2 arena.
LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING 2008/9
With a squad stripped of the backbone of the team, the 2009/10 season was tough! Jo Harten became captain at age of just 20 in her 3rd season on the squad. The young team battled hard but ultimately struggled to hit the heights of 2008/9.