I am sure the very mention of the word netball conjures up memories of cold, rainy PE lessons for some girls, but netball is so much more than that; it is also a fantastic way to exercise whilst making friends. There is a real sense of camaraderie in a netball team; there needs to be a connection as you rely on each other so much. It is a sport which requires strength, stamina, patience and teamwork – valuable skills in many situations.
Netball is having a revival moment, following incredible whitewash wins against Australia and Jamaica in the test series earlier this year. These 3-0 wins were history in the making as, before the tests, England had only beaten world champions Australia twice before, in 1981 and 2010.
This amazing performance by the England Netball girls has led to an increase in media attention for the sport. The tests were shown on Sky Sports, an achievement in itself as it was a first for the test series, and this has led to an increase in participation. It’s not just women donning the GA bib again though; now, men are starting to realise what they’ve been missing out on.
There are a number of mixed leagues across London – the best of which is the social sports company, Go Mammoth (gomammoth.co.uk) in my opinion. OK, I might be a little biased as I umpire for the Go Mammoth mixed league in Clapham (definitely the best, come and join us!). The men can be surprised at how fast and skilful a game can be, but they are often more competitive than the women. Having men as part of the team brings a new element to the game – it definitely puts my skills to the test and keeps me on my toes.
Here at PLBR Advertising we have bandied around the idea of putting a team together a few times. We are an office which enjoys sports. We regularly compete in fun runs (up next, Beat the Banana!), and we like an opportunity to show off our sporting prowess (or lack of, but it’s fun either way!). We would love to get enough people together to hold an inter-agency competition.
Can’t get the image of shivering on a gravel court wearing a pleated skirt out of your head? Still not convinced that netball isn’t just for girls? Watch this video of England Netball beating Australia in the final test to see how netball should be played (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nv7p87e3zcc).
Hopefully the video will inspire you to put on your netball skirt and PE knickers again and join me. If you are interested, send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org