Yasmin Parsons of the Vitality Roses and Surrey Storm.

Yasmin Parsons celebrates her 27th birthday today (13.07.2020) and although it will be celebrated in different circumstances, a touch of familiarity remains for the Vitality Rose.

Yasmin began getting into playing netball competitively at the age of 14 when she first joined her local club Weston Park Blades. Ever since, competitive netball has been a constant for her.

At this point in the year, the mid-courter would have been finishing another Vitality Netball Superleague season with Surrey Storm. The VNSL champion has also been involved in the Roses Full-Time Programme since 2019.

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Despite the lack of action due to the pandemic, Parsons has been maintaining her fitness and nutrition at home. The former Team Bath player has her own fitness Instagram which was set up when she first trialled for the Vitality Roses.

“I started my Instagram page about two years ago and it was a way for me to keep on track with my exercise and my nutrition,” she explained to Zara Buck on Netball Natter [part of England Netball’s Virtual Netball Club for members].

“I had a revelation to work hard in my exercise and nutrition because I knew I wanted to trial for the Roses. I got in touch with the nutritionist, worked really hard on that and decided to set up the Instagram to show aspiring netballers what my journey was.”

Yasmin’s public fitness journey might have began just two years ago but her netball journey had began more than a decade prior when she joined Weston Park Blades.

After a failed attempt at a jumping drill, Yasmin had serious doubts whether she was good enough to play for the club.

Her dad, however, worked with Yasmin over the summer on reactions and her fitness to make sure she felt positive when she returned after the summer break.

“I started getting into netball competitively at 14 – that’s when I first trialled for my home club Weston Park Blades and I just couldn’t do this jumping drill.

“We then broke up for the summer. I was really upset because I thought I wasn’t good enough for this club. He said ‘we’ll buy you a bike and go out for a cycle’. I’m quite privileged to live by the beach and he used to take me down.

“We’d get to the beach and he would kick a ball at me. I remember going back for trials in September and from then on my ability was better. My passing, catching and movement was better. That’s when I realised that doing that extra stuff off the court helps you on the court.”

After her quick improvement, her journey towards the player she is today truly began as she headed towards national trials and camps.

“I started my England career at about 15. I started off going to regional selection and from there went to national screening. I didn’t get selected for nationals and remember being told that I just needed another year of experience and to get stronger,” she said.

“I went away for a year, came back and then got through. I was then selected into the 12 for U17 Netball Europe. It was amazing because I actually got asked to be captain and then at the end of that tournament I also got Player of the Tournament as well. That was a phenomenal year for me.

“I then progressed through the stages with England U19s and U21s. I then got selected for the Netball World Youth Cup in Glasgow and that was just absolutely phenomenal. I then represented England A on a few occasions.”

Alongside her netball, Yasmin is a qualified teacher and works at a sixth-form college. During lockdown, she has been doing her marking and lesson plans at home.

After her appearances for England A, Yasmin decided she wanted to focus on her teaching full-time and took a short break away from international netball after discussions with Colette Thomson.

She achieved her teaching qualifications and then decided to put her name back in contention last year after her aforementioned fitness revelation.

Since then, she has been a key part of Jess Thirlby’s set-up and captained the senior side to Netball Europe Open gold in 2019.

“I’m so happy to be in this position right now and can say that I’m a full-time Roses player. Representing my country is so overwhelming. The sense of pride you get is amazing and it’s so emotional,” she said.

“For England U17s, it really hit me when we sang the national anthem because you’re doing it for your country. You look down and you’re wearing the dress with the symbol, and it’s just so incredible.

“I would love to be singing the national anthem at the Commonwealth Games. That’s my biggest dream to be selected for the Commonwealth team and, obviously, the year after that would be the Netball World Cup year. That would be the cherry on top of the cake for me.”

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