Dear Sally Peck

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.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/mother-tongue/10851468/Obesity-crisis-How-playing-netball-is-making-your-daughter-fat.html

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?

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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 …

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6 Responses to Dear Sally Peck

  1. Sarah says:

    Brilliantly written! Exactly what every sane person who read the article feels about it. Eating too much food and engaging in “pathetic” exercise is the reason your “daughter is fat”… Or perhaps a poor example from her parents….

  2. Lauren says:

    Well done!! I was thinking of writing my own reply as I was so mad when I read this article! I’ve played netball for over 15 years and I am not a ‘sissy’ nor am I a ‘dainty flamingo’ I agree that children should be allowed to have the opportunity to try all sports, I was allowed and I chose netball. Discouraging anyone from playing any sport with this type of article is not going to help the generation of ‘fat children’. But if the article is about what they eat, don’t use the headline that was used!

  3. Vicky says:

    And breath….great to see this response, nice one!! I found Sally’s headline ridiculous and actually found the remainder of her article disappointing. I can only assume there is room for modernisation in PE (it’s been a while since I left school, although I had a cracking PE teacher who was encouraging and supportive and part of the reason I still play netball – her lessons were always good, anyway I digress) and advocate any sport that will get people active but this point got lost in the attack of netball and the derogatory comments. Netball has evolved in the time I have been playing and dainty flamingos and breaking a nail are not terms I would associate to netball. It’s sad that netball has come along way but Sally’s article shows that’s there’s still more to do to promote netball positively. Sally needs to talk with AENA, the super league or even a local club and get her facts straight

  4. Leslee says:

    Thank you – this is not dissimilar (although better written) to the rant I posted on FB after I read the article.
    With well over 30 years on court the sport has taken its toll on the old ankles and knees but where there’s a will (and some good supports!) there’s a way… I just could not imagine not being able to play.
    Having moved a couple of times in the last decade netball has been my constant and I have been blessed with meeting some of the best new friends I could wish for.
    I sincerely hope that Sally Peck does take up an offer of going to a local club. Better still, by watching the Commonwealth Games (with England ranked #3) she appreciates some of the world’s best female athletes and eats her words!

  5. Natalie Mulcahy-Vince says:

    It was infuriated to read that article, so I thank all the people that have taken the time to write so passionately about a sport that has kept many people sane over the years. I would love to see Ms Peck play a match. Maybe we could get a tv crew to video it. I think we all deserve a giggle!!!

  6. Cortney says:

    I read this article fully regarding the comparison of most recent and preceding technologies, it’s amazing article.

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