Naughty netballers on sale…

All for a good cause? Netball auction fails to impress…

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Last Friday, the Women’s Netball club boldly offered a number of their members for sale in a slave auction which promised scandal, humiliation and feminist outrage. The ‘it’s all for charity’ excuse was readily employed to deflect any criticism of the event, and the luxurious Kelsey’s function room was soon filled with expectant men ready to flex their financial might.

The event had been preceded on Facebook by cheeky snippets of some of the girls’ embarrassing secrets and, like the Rugby slave auction, came with the suggestive promise of ‘we will do anything!!’. Therefore, most of the audience would have been forgiven for expecting a signal of the netballer’s naughtiness to come through in the acts.

A snippet of one netballer’s dirtiest secret

They were sorely disappointed. Far from being an actually degrading or comic presentation of what the girls has to offer, the acts largely followed the same routine: a strange, semi-choreographed dance number intersected with drinking shots. There wasn’t much creativity in this respect.

One particular point of entertainment came from an unlikely source: with one girl becoming quite overwhelmed by the amount she was drinking and had to make an impromptu exit from the room. Admirably, she did manage to re-emerge for the bidding process.

There was another slightly disappointing element to the whole affair: the netballers seemed not to understand the concept of offering themselves up for slavery. The bidding was dominated by wild shrieks from the crowd of netball girls who were too cowardly to perform themselves. Quickly, the bids were driven up out of even the most determined potential slave-owner’s price range. I don’t have an official list of sales, but I’d hazard a guess that the majority of ‘slaves’ were bought by netball themselves.

Nevertheless, the amounts these girls were going for was impressive. Most breached the coveted £50 mark, while one trio: Sarah Bucknell, Rosie Vare and Alexia Shearman were personally sold to the Men’s Rugby captain Richard Newman for £110. Part-praiseworthy, part-creepy, Newman declined to comment in depth about the sale, but did remark (with a wink) that he regarded the purchase as a ‘long-term investment’.

Showing a variety that their rugby counterparts were unable to muster, netball added a ‘Take Me Out’ element to the proceedings. Three boys were forced into the Love Lift to attempt to secure a date with one of the slaves. Despite prop limitations hampering the attempt to recreate the amazing show, this worked relatively well.

The girls appeared to love nothing more than the idea of boys in a position to humiliate themselves, and I have never heard a more rousing version of ‘All by myself’ when one poor contestant faced a blackout.

It was a night which promised much, and so struggled to reach the heights expected by many in the audience. However, it’s difficult to argue against anything which raises money for a good cause- a thought which I’m sure will be in the minds of the slaves as they submit to their owners’ commands throughout the next few days.