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.
Halimat Adio started playing netball in Year 9 / 10 when she was around 14 years old. At 22, she has worked her way up through the ranks to play in the Vitality Netball Superleague and has already represented her country at senior level with the Vitality Roses.
Following the terrible death of George Floyd and the resulting global protests, netballers took to social media to share thoughts and feelings and support the Black Lives Matter movement. One of the first to do so was Halimat.
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT ❗️ pic.twitter.com/bpNagNLlAl
— Halimat Adio #EndSARS (@HalimatShadia_x) May 31, 2020
The Roses Future athlete said: “The fact that some people still don’t understand why there is a #blacklivesmatter movement is mind blowing to me.”
England Netball held Here to Listen Forums with our membership to explore the experiences of Black and Ethnic Minority communities in our sport. Click here to find out more.
Here Halimat 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.
“Black History Month to me is a time where I can really reflect on the history but not only that, it’s a time where I can celebrate the culture, the successes, the achievement and the contributions of Black people, not just in the UK but all around the world.
“I think it’s really important that England Netball and the Netball Family recognise Black History Month.
“Firstly, netball is such a diverse and inclusive sport and Black History Month is meant to be a time where we learn more about our history, and I also think it’s important that we celebrate the past, present and future Black athletes of the sport as well.
“Netball has had such a positive impact on me. I think it’s allowed me to gain traits necessary for me to succeed in life – for example, I’ve become such a confident person, my communication skills, just me being able to work in a large team, being a leader, being independent. It’s just basically allowed me to be a better me, a better Halimat.
“Netball means a lot to me, like I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I’m really passionate about the sport.
“It’s made me such a confident and bubbly person. I’ve met the majority of my close friends from the sport and just being able to connect with different people from different areas within the sport is amazing. Imagine a sport – literally just netball – doing that!”
“And lastly, I just want to wish everybody a wonderful Black History Month. I hope we continue to celebrate those who need to be celebrated all year through and hopefully we continue to learn about our history and Black history.”
Read more about Halimat’s netball journey to date here. You can also find out more about the current Vitality Roses and Futures by taking a look at the England section of our website.
Visit the Our Netball History website to browse through photos, memories and stories from various aspects of the sport from the start of the All England Netball Association in 1926 to the present day.
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 and Vice Chair of the London and South East region Marlene Wander.