Karen started playing netball at school and has continued to stay involved in the sport throughout her life, taking up roles within coaching, umpiring and Walking Netball! Karen shares with us her journey so far, how she became involved in Walking Netball, and how it helps to keep both her brain fit and body active!
I have always played netball – I started at Junior school, played when throughout my working life and carried on after I retired. To keep me occupied in retirement I took a Coaching and Umpiring qualification and started to coach, play or umpire almost every day. However, a recurring knee problem that seemed to get worse last winter, made me think my playing days were over.
It was then that I heard about walking netball. I went along to help a friend with her new venture and, if I’m honest, I wasn’t sure about it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. I love it.
I have met up with old friends and made lots of new one. We stay for a cuppa after playing, meet for lunch and to quench our thirst for competition, take part in locally held matches and tournaments! I enjoy it so much that I am now a Walking Netball ‘Host’ and have supported the Women’s Institute initiative as well as run my own walking netball sessions. I’m currently covering a Walking Netball Group who are an active sports initiative between England Netball and Active Communities at Perdiswell Leisure Centre, Worcester. We were recently nominated, and won, an award from Worcester City Sports for Community Sports. We were, as you can imagine, thrilled to bits. However, even better is the feedback from a number of ladies for who the weekly event is about fitness, fun and hugely important, social inclusion. One lady who joined us last week said she hadn’t had so much fun in ages and thought we were all wonderful. We certainly went home on a high.
Before I joined a Bank I wanted to be a PE teacher and now feel that I am living the dream being involved in running my own Community club as well as supporting two local high schools with their after school netball. I persuaded a number of the Mum’s to join my Back to Netball sessions and they are now playing in a local fun league.. The messages on What’sApp prove how much they love it. My knee is so much better now that when they are really stuck, I go on and play and agree with all their messages!
But it’s not just about the netball, it’s about keeping your brain active and your body fit and strong. It is great for your well-being as I have fun with all the clubs I’m involved in. We’re competitive, have lovely friendship groups and the parents of the girls at my community netball are hugely supportive.
As I say to all the girls at club – Netball is a way of life. It helps you make new friends wherever you go. When you move on to University, work or a new home in a new part of the country, Netball is always available nearby and always welcoming of new players. I never thought when I left school and joined a Bank that Netball would continue to be as big a part of my life as it has. I’m delighted it has and I love every minute of it!
Thank you to Karen for sharing her coaching story with us! We love hearing about your coaching journey’s from up and down the country 🙂