Gemma* is 24 years old and has an 18-month-old son, Jack**. She returned to work when Jack was six months old but she struggled to adjust to working full-time and being a mum.
As a young single parent there were three things that were key to her getting her life back on track: joining a Back to Netball group which gave her a sense of belonging, getting fitter which helped her spend more quality time with her son, and feeling confident which gave her a sense of purpose.
“Before Back to Netball, I felt like nothing more than a mum. Every day I’d get up, get Jack ready, and take him to the park or around the shops.
“I wouldn’t have many friends to meet as they all worked full-time. I’d tried to go back to work six months after having Jack, but I really struggled leaving him so gave it all up when I was 23 to be a stay at home mum.
“I wouldn’t go out much, my confidence was rock bottom, and I didn’t do anything for myself.
“My friend told me about Back to Netball and how much she’d enjoyed it, so after a bit of convincing I decided to give it a go. At first, I was a bit scared to leave Jack, but I realised it was only for an hour a week and went along.
“Back to Netball has changed my life! I feel like I’m stepping out on my own, not as a mum, but as Gemma, and I’ve met so many friends who I know I can rely on.
“It’s only an hour a week, but I’ve realised I can do something for myself and I’ve started to realise that Jack doesn’t need me 24/7.
“I’ve lost weight, nearly all my baby weight now, so I feel much more confident and everyone’s commented on how much happier I look!
“Back to Netball’s completely changed my life in so many ways I didn’t expect. I’m now eating healthier which I know will help Jack in the future as he’ll hopefully pick up my habits.
“Before going to Back to Netball, I might go to the gym once a week and do a load of random exercises. Now I’m focusing my workouts to benefit my netball: it’s given me a real sense of purpose and a clearer focus.
“It’s paying off too; a couple of weeks ago the coach came over to me and asked if I wanted to go and train with their team. She really thinks I’m good enough to play for them and I can’t wait to start training with them!
“Without Back to Netball I’d still just be a mum: it’s completely changed my life!”
2018 marks 10 terrific years of Back to Netball – find out more about our celebrations here.
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*name changed and photo not linked to case study