Black History Month: Cherron Inko-Tariah

Throughout October, we will be sharing video messages and written stories from a range of Black members of the Netball Family, to celebrate what Black History Month means to them and their work within netball.

Cherron Inko-Tariah, who is the CEO of The Power of Staff Networks, played netball throughout primary and secondary school before discovering Back to Netball as an adult.

Here she shares what Black History Month means to her, why it’s important that England Netball recognises Black History Month and her love of being involved in netball.

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“Black History Month means so many things. It’s a phenomenal opportunity for us to learn more about some of those unsung heroes, to celebrate our Black presence in the United Kingdom and our Black contribution and our innovation and our talent and our excellence.

“It’s an opportunity to do a whole smorgasbord of things relating to us as Black people from the African diaspora.

“Whether you’re from the Caribbean islands or one of the African countries or wherever you associate yourself from, Black history is an opportunity to celebrate British history and to show our contribution throughout the centuries.

“I think it’s important for England Netball to recognise Black History Month because since its inception, netball as a game, as an institution, we’ve had contributions from people from the continent of Africa, from the Caribbean, from all over the globe and if you think about who’s in the top 25 of the world in terms of netball teams, a lot of those are from countries in the Caribbean.

“And so I think it’s important that we look through the history of netball and look at where we are today and think about the contribution made by people from the African diaspora to help make the game what it is today. Their contribution and their input and their ideas have really helped to shape netball alongside others as well.

“But I think lots of people, lots of little girls up and down the country from all backgrounds love playing netball – I was one of them. And I think it’s really important for me to feel that I’m part of an institution that celebrates me and people who look like me and our history. So I’m really delighted that England Netball wants to do something like this and I pray it continues.

“Netball has had a huge impact on me. I started playing netball when I was about 9. I was taller than a lot of my classmates and I think my PE teacher at the time thought ‘Aha! I could use her – she’d either be a great goal keeper or a goal shooter’ and I became a goal keeper for a number of years and I played throughout my primary school and secondary school. And I even tried to play when I started work but of course with life, it kind of you know, life gets in the way.

“But I’ve always enjoyed the sport. I like who I am when I play netball. I like encouraging other people and I like other people encouraging me and I love the team spirit. So it’s had a great impact on me. I wish I’d kept it up; I think I’d probably be a lot fitter.

“You cannot imagine my delight when I discovered that there was this thing called Back to Netball. It had been years since I’d played and I walked into the gym and the coach there, Yvonne Rhoden, was so welcoming and everybody was just so all like in a similar position where we’d not played for ages but we enjoyed the game and it’s had a great impact on me.

“A lot of my friends are from netball and you know, I get confident when I feel fit and in playing netball. And the camaraderie and friendships that build from that is just great.

“I really enjoy it – never ask me to play centre please! But I really do enjoy playing the game of netball and I really hope that those girls and boys, but mainly girls, up and down the country who aren’t as confident maybe can gain that confidence back by playing with others who can encourage them and support them, and learn about team, you know teamwork, and leadership and managing disappointment and celebrating their successes.

“You can learn a lot of life skills from netball and I had a fantastic netball coach when I was growing up and she really helped mould the team so it had a great impact on me from when I was 9 through to my teenage years to me even now as a proper grown up. I love netball so yeah, thanks for asking me.”

If you’re interested in finding out more about the range of clubs, programmes and sessions available, please click here. You can also get involved with netball in a variety of other ways, which you can read about more here.

Keep an eye out on our social media channels to see and hear more from a range of Black members of the Netball Family over the coming weeks.

Read the previous Black History Month articles featuring reflections from youth netballer Ebiso Whyte and Vitality Rose Jodie Gibson, as well as Walking Netball Host Jenny Thomas, Vice Chair of the London and South East region Marlene Wander and Roses Future Halimat Adio.

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