THE Seven Stars Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) franchise will continue after the University of Worcester were given the green like to take sole ownership of the club.

Stars were co-owned by the University of Worcester and the University of Gloucestershire, but the latter confirmed earlier this year they would be pulling out of the partnership at the end of the 2022 season.

The VNSL board accepted the request from the university to take sole ownership and therefore keep the franchise alive.

A statement from the university read: "Severn Stars is delighted to announce that it will continue as a Vitality Netball Superleague (VNSL) franchise under the sole ownership of the University of Worcester.

"The University of Worcester is committed to the future of the VNSL squad and to its wider netball performance Pathway and community outreach work in the region.

"Beyond implementing England Netball changes aimed at strengthening the age group talent Pathway, the current Severn Stars delivery operation will remain largely unchanged.

"All home games for the 2023 VNSL season will play from the University of Worcester Arena, offering enhanced capacity to welcome 2,000 fans per match."

Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: "We are proud to be continuing the Severn Stars franchise, which offers young women and students opportunities to be involved at the highest levels of the sport.

"Netball is the largest female participation sport in the UK and interest continues to grow in the sport across the country.

"Since its launch, Severn Stars has played its part in giving women's sport the recognition it deserves and inspiring many thousands of women and girls in our region to participate in as well as follow netball. We are deeply committed to building on this progress as we move forward with the franchise.”

Mick Donovan, Head of the School of Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Worcester, supports the Vice Chancellor’s comments: "We are delighted that the VNSL Board has endorsed the change of control of the franchise and we are determined to drive Severn Stars forward to further success.

"In its first five years, Severn Stars has made great strides, both as a professional topflight netball club and working across the region to provide opportunities for talented netballers at a range of levels, including our students.

"We aim to build on that and further strengthen the academy and talent Pathway programme in the region, which we know is so important to so many people.

"Our discussions with England Netball and the league were very positive and we thank them for their support."