I’ve been playing netball since I was eight years old. It tends to favour, although not exclusively, tall ladies, so at 5ft 1 & 1/2 how has it kept me hooked all these years?
I started thinking about this, since it’s women in sport week this week. I realised it’s certainly served me well – acting as crutch, social tool, calorie burner, and hobby I realized it’s really enriched my life.
From helping a home bird like me with the struggle of moving away for the first time for the University of Leicester, to helping me realize the value of working together, Netball has helped make me who I am.
I can’t begin to list every benefit or reason to love netball down, so I’ve tried to distill to the top four reasons. If you are thinking about taking it up, read on to find out why you should…
4. Fresh Air
Some people like gardening, others rambling and if you are one of those people don’t write netball off after reading this number 4 reason in my countdown. After all, since when did anyone say they’ve had too much fresh air?
There is nothing better than being outside with your mates working together in the sunshine blowing off steam. It almost takes you back to childhood and after schools activities with your friends.
Netball gives you the structure and routine to make time for this. Look at the beautiful picture taken at this week’s home match… Perfect!
Its great to get the heart rate up and be out in the fresh air on summers evenings
3. Clearing the mind
Not many people realize how technical and tactical Netball is. There are a lot of rules and about eight times as many set plays as football (soccer if you are American). So with all that to concentrate on, you can zone out all the other stresses or concerns in your life. It also keeps your mind sharp with the focus that’s required. And finally, like all exercise, it releases endorphins which helps stay happy and de-stressed.
I love netball as it helps clear my mind, I look forward to it after work
2. Calories burned
The news every woman wants to hear! Their hobby burns calories!
According to my favourite nutrition plan – Weight Watchers, an hour of netball burns 4 points. Which is a large glass of wine! Hurrah!
According to Nutracheck playing for an hour burns 580 calories based on a woman weighing 65kg. Around a quarter of your daily allowance when maintaining you weight.
1. Social side
I will admit I struggled immensely at University to adjust to living away from home with no one I knew.
I moved into Halls of Residence and tried to make my way. The single most stabilizing influence for me was Netball.
No woman’s an island, netball brings ladies together
At the freshers fair I signed up for the trials and happily was chosen for the squad. After the team building night out (dressed as gangsters!) we were all firm friends. It gave me a new social outlet outside of classes and halls, as well as a sense of belonging.
The bond was something others would not understand. It was my crutch when I was struggling. It gave me training and matches to look forward to regularly, so three nights out of the week I was releasing the endorphins.
This theme has continued with my post grad teams. Another group you can rely on.
On my wedding day with the Wrecking Netballers
We have been together through thick and thin. They of course attended my hen do, and I had them involved in the formal photos at my wedding!
They brought the netball with them as a welcome surprise! Their table at the wedding breakfast also seemed to be having the most fun. When it came time for the bouquet toss they didn’t let me down. Becca, our Wing Attack showed everyone you can’t mess with a netballer when she made one hell of a running leap to intercept the bouquet which was heading for my friend Nicola, catching her completely unawares!
Our bond has been built over several years pulling together through thick and thin, I couldn’t contemplate playing for anyone else.
We have participated in tournaments/tours winning and
The Wrecking netballers combat the opposition and the elements to take gold at the Railsport Games 2014
losing and are consistently competing in our local indoor and outdoor leagues. The team picture is from a tournament we won last year and it rained all day, yet our spirits couldn’t be dampened.
Most recently we have started participating in team building obstacle courses having signed up for Total Warrior
and Tough Mudder.
Most of us have been together nearly 15 years which just goes to show how Netball gets you hooked!
Are you a dedicated member of a sports team? Did you struggle to adjust to University life? Do you still love your childhood sport? Let me know in the comments below.
*This post is not sponsored, all views my own*