NETBALL players from across the south east Wales region came together to remember two of their friends and teammates.

The Catherine Roberts Memorial Tournament and Louise Thomas Memorial Plate were held at Rougemont School on Saturday, with 30 teams from across the region competing in one of the first competitive days of netball in more than a year.

The Catherine Roberts Memorial Tournament has been held annually in memory of the former Wales international who died three years ago.

Miss Roberts, from Blackwood, died just three months after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.



She played netball for Wales and the Celtic Dragons and was travelling with her fiancée Bryony Powell in New Zealand when she was told she had an aggressive type of tumour.

She was well enough to travel back to Wales, but died on May 23, 2018.

Louise Thomas, who played for Ystrad Mynach Netball Club and was a Welsh Ambulance Service call handler based in Cwmbran, died in April aged 28.

She suffered from dyskeratosis congenita – a rare genetic form of bone marrow failure in which the marrow in unable to produce sufficient blood cells.

Welsh Netball paid tribute to Ms Thomas in April. The tribute read: “[Louise] had a wonderfully kind personality and always put a smile on the faces of her family, friends and club-mates.

“She always gave her all on court and remained committed to playing despite her illness.”

The day raised money for both the Catherine Roberts Fund – which supports the Brain Tumour Charity – and Teenage Cancer Trust, the charity supported by Ms Thomas’ family.

Rougemont School donated their courts for the day, and Customise R Us and XL Graphics designed bespoke banners for the event and donated them.

One of the event’s organisers, Vicki Randall, said the event had raised “a fantastic amount of money” for the two causes.

“It’s great to see everyone back playing competitively while together as a netball family in memory of two great netball players who are forever in our heart,” she said.

“This was the first time we were allowed to have all our clubs together.

“Both Louise and Catherine’s families came along, and it was lovely to see everyone back playing netball in memory of their girls.

“Louise’s family put a team in too.

“It was nice to remember those girls. They were both young netball players taken too early.”

Ystrad Mynach Netball Club won the Catherine Roberts Memorial Tournament, while Llanyravon Netball Club won the Louise Thomas Memorial Plate.