Jessica* turned 40 in 2015. She used to play netball regularly but stopped participating in sport completely five years ago, citing work and family commitments as factors contributing to this decision.
She started attending B2N a year ago and is now enjoying a new lease of life.
“Five years ago I gave everything up.
“I was a midwife and with all the shift work I was hurting a lot more, and I just thought ‘I can’t do it anymore’.
“But then, I turned 40 in September and something changed in me.
“I saw a TV programme about an amputee who was doing all this exercise and I thought it was ridiculous that I had given everything up because of a few aches and pains!
“Also, I’d been suffering from really high blood pressure and was bordering on having to have medication, so something really needed to change.
“I saw Back to Netball advertised and remembered how much I used to enjoy it.
“It’s been a massive part of my life since I was at school, and through some difficult times in my life it’s always been a constant.
“I feel like its part of my identity and it’s really helped me psychologically to fight off really traumatic times like depression, stress, anxiety, dealing with bereavements and my divorce.
“The body and mind is willing, it’s just finding the opportunity to carry on!
“It was really good, really friendly, I did have some confidence because I used to be quite a good netballer and I was glad to see I hadn’t lost those skills.
“I scored a couple of goals and I thought ‘wow, I’m 40 and I can still do it!’, and people were saying things like ‘it’s hard trying to keep up with you!’
“There was a really nice mix, a variety of different shapes and sizes: older people, younger people, people who had just had babies and so it was a really nice group.
“Now I feel like a completely different person – I’m a lot fitter, more confident and I enjoy my days a lot more.
“Plus, my blood pressure is now normal so I don’t need that medication! I’ve got a much more positive attitude about things and I enjoy each day.
“Throughout my life I’ve always found that no matter what I’ve gone through, once I’ve been on that court and had a game I’ve come away thinking ‘you know what, things aren’t as bad’.
“This time last year I couldn’t play tennis and I couldn’t run to the end of the road.
“Now I’ve started Parkrun, I did my first 5K recently, and my husband and I have started tennis again. I used to say ‘I can’t’, but now I say ‘I’m going to try anyway!'”
2018 marks 10 terrific years of Back to Netball – find out more about our month-long birthday celebrations here.
Interested in getting back into our fantastic sport? Find your nearest session now.
*name changed and photo not linked to case study
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