There I was, back from the training runs I do so that I can keep up on the netball court, happily scrolling through some news articles when I came across this.
Let me tell you some of the truth about netball. Firstly, netball was the only thing that kept me active throughout my school life. It was the only sport that I enjoyed and I made life long friends from playing this game together for 7 years.
Netball is not only hugely energetic, as my husband will testify – he played once with me in a mixed game and vowed to never play again. Not because he was surrounded by ‘dainty flamingos’ but because it was not only tiring but also cerebral in a way that other sports are not. Netball exercises the body and the brain. It is technical and strategic.
At university in London, where it was notoriously hard to make friends (it was in my experience anyway), it was the netball club and the friends I made there who kept me at the university, I would have been a bit lost without them. Playing together, socialising and keeping fit are all good things, aren’t they?
Now, as a mother – despite breaking my ankle playing a few years ago – it is netball that gives me the ‘me time’ I so crave and need to be a good mother, do my job in a decent way and have a happy marriage. Playing as part of a team, being fit and healthy and maintaining a sense of self through sport is vital for me.
I understand the sentiment of your piece and perhaps you were picked last in PE lessons or something but hear this: netball is no sissy-basketball. Every single club in the country will be asking you to come and play a game now. Heaven help you if you accept an invitation from one of the fantastic Super League teams. Turn on Sky Sports and watch a match. Go down to your local club and see some of the thousands of women in the UK who are certainly not afraid to break a nail on the netball court.
Ps: you’re not actually allowed to have long nails playing netball … So …