What a week for English Netball! It was a fairy-tale ending to their Commonwealth Games winning Gold against the home nation, Australia. Both the semi-final and final matches were won on a final goal in the dying seconds of the game, Hollywood couldn’t have done any better! The excitement, the drama, the nail biting! I can just imagine all the Netball fans across England holding their breath and willing the team on to victory. It was an incredible display of grit and determination to beat Australia – the reigning champions and long term leading force in the sport. England were always 3rd, always behind the Southern hemisphere teams, but not this time, now they are Commonwealth Champions and proud owners of England Netball’s first Gold medals!
This is the perfect time to get inspired and play the sport you love. I often hear women say “I haven’t played Netball since school, but I loved it!” Whatever your reason for stopping, usually family commitments, work or leaving school, there are so many options to start again. There is even ‘Walking Neball’, all the fun of the sport without the pressure to sprint about. There are ‘pay-and-play’ options, where you turn up, pick a bib and play for fun. There are also clubs you can join where you play competitively and usually have training sessions and matches on a Saturday. These clubs have teams of all levels and you play in the local league. Team sport has been proven to have loads of benefits, obviously for fitness but also for mental health and building friendship networks especially if you’ve moved house or even countries.
I returned to Netball in January after a decade out of the game. I had moved abroad and taken up Rock Climbing. Now I am home in Birmingham, with a toddler and commitments that means playing Netball with my old club B.A.I. (Birmingham Athletic Institute) was the perfect option for me to exercise, have time for myself where my mind is busy on Netball and all my worries disappear for a few hours a week. There are also the friendships and comradery that are second to none. When you’re part of a team, you go to training, no excuses even if it’s late, dark and cold outside in the winter, you go training not to let the team down!
The beauty of the game is the inclusion, women of all ages playing at really high levels. In a recent match I played, I was side-by-side with Gina who was my very first coach 30 years ago. I think that is incredible! My other motivation is my Mom, aged 62 and still playing competitive Netball. No excuses ladies, whatever sport you loved at school, Netball, Hockey, Football, Rugby, Volleyball, Tennis, there are opportunities out there for you! Go do it!
Find out more about getting back into Netball here –