A 10-year-old pupil from the prep school of St Alban’s High School for Girls has won the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 Design Our Mascot competition, beating over 120 other entries.
Orla Burner’s creation, Jude the Liver Bird, was revealed at a special assembly at school with the help of Jade Clarke, Vitality Netball World Cup 2019 ambassador. Jude was inspired by the song Hey Jude by The Beatles.
Orla said: “I thought about all the things that Liverpool and netball are known for and used those to inspire my mascot creation. When I think about seeing Jude at the World Cup and watching England play their first game, I feel so excited I could scream!”
Orla is a netball fan and plays the sport every week, representing her school as part of its under-10 squad and watching her local Vitality Netball Superleague team Saracens Mavericks regularly.
As Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena welcomes 16 international teams and thousands of spectators this July, the role of the mascot will be to welcome people and bring the event to life.
Orla will attend the World Cup’s opening ceremony session on 12 July, where she will be introduced with Jude and see her creation in action, before watching England begin their World Cup campaign against Uganda.
Clarke said: “It’s great to see so many young people like Orla getting excited about netball, and I’m sure that Jude the Liver Bird will really help bring excitement to the event and prove a popular part of the Vitality Netball World Cup. It’s clear how excited Orla is, and it’s a fantastic opportunity for any young netball fan to be part of a piece of sporting history.”
The Vitality Netball World Cup takes place from 12–21 July 2019.