England Netball

A fabulous Back to Netball story sent in by Netball South West. 

Back in early 2016 whilst sat at my computer at work in Redruth, working my way through e-mails I came across a “send to all” entitled “Back to Netball”. I had played netball many years before when at school and a bit at university but due to demands of my degree was unable to commit to any teams.

I tried to keep up my fitness as a member of a gym but there was no real challenge or commitment needed which meant when something more interesting popped up I tended to opt for that rather than head to gym class!

When this e-mail came through I just had a moment and thought  “I could give that a go.”  I of course had the mind maze of “what if I’m no good,” “what if I have forgotten everything,” “what if I can’t keep up!” but told myself to go for it. And I am so glad I did!

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I found the nearest session to me and went along. I was thrilled to see a range of ages and abilities. The sessions I attended were coached by the brilliant Tash Howard and some other fab coaches from around Cornwall on days when Tash was away. The sessions covered skills, drills and match play.

Tash’s passion for the game was infectious and her encouragement unwavering. As a group we were encouraged to enter local back to netball tournaments, one of which we won!

There was real sense of sadness when the sessions were drawing to a close, but a few of us were determined to carry on! We talked to Tash about finding clubs and teams to join to continue on our netball journey.

Through Facebook we found some Netball Now sessions over the summer to tie us over until clubs came back together in the autumn and start of season. Heading to our first session we were warmly welcomed by Fern but then for me disaster struck!

An awkward tumble during one of the games played at that Netball Now session resulted in a popping sound and pain coming from my left ankle and a rapid swelling so that my left ankle now resembled a large grapefruit! Just when I was excited at the prospect of joining a club, I was on crutches for 3 weeks with physio and rehab to get me “match fit” again.

The friends I had made through Back to Netball continued with their netball journey and met some members of the St Agnes Netball Club at a Netball Now session.

They were encouraged to attend their training sessions and potentially join the club. When my recovery was complete and I asked my physio’s permission to get back into netball, the Back to Netball girls encouraged me to come along to a St Agnes training session, where I met the brilliant Vics Welch and Ruth Benney who could not have been more welcoming!

Within minutes I was hooked again and affiliated that very week! My love of the game grew along with my confidence. I had a new drive and commitment to improve my fitness level and attend training sessions. No more cancelling gym classes!

With this new found determination and desire for fitness, as well as some “gentle” encouragement from my fiancé, I entered my first marathon! And in April this year completed the Rome Marathon – something I never thought I would have been able to achieve!

Since joining Aggie I have been able to volunteer within the club and take on administrative roles. I am always amazed at the willingness of volunteers that make the clubs and netball across Cornwall what is it!

Without Back to Netball I don’t think I would have had the opportunities to get involved in the netball community and to achieve what I have in terms of my own fitness and confidence.

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