To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we have spoken to five incredible members of the Netball Family who all #ChooseToChallenge.
Displaying resilience and determination, all these women either thrive working in a role or field some may perceive to be gender biased, continue to break down barriers or successfully challenge age stereotypes.
In this article, we are delighted to feature Lucy who, aged 14, has had a particularly tough time through the pandemic – Lucy’s mum works as a paramedic and her stepdad as a police officer. With both parents out on the front line, home life has been particularly stressful, not to mention balancing school.
We spoke to Lucy about life in lockdown, being resilient, and more.
On life in lockdown
“Overall I have found it okay, but it’s been hard at times where I have missed sport and seeing my friends. During the first lockdown, I was still going to school and there were about 14 people there from year 7 to 11 – school was enjoyable as it wasn’t ‘normal school’. This lockdown I stayed at home and it’s been a lot different as I am not seeing people every day, my parents are out at work and at times it can be upsetting.
“The challenges have been keeping up with some of my school work and making sure I am on every live lesson. Another challenge has been staying motivated – I tend to find days a lot easier when I am training with my teammates rather than doing things alone.”
On her parents working on the front line
“At the start in the first lockdown, it was weird seeing my parents remove all clothing at the door and that they wouldn’t greet us until they had showered. My mum also got COVID-19 last April and was really ill with it, which was scary to see. As this has been going on a long time, unfortunately I am used to them being in contact with people with COVID-19 regularly and it does scare me a bit that they might get ill again.”
On this year making her a stronger person
“It has, because I’ve had to deal with feeling lonely and sad at times when I’ve been missing netball and my family and friends.”
On returning to court
“It will feel great to be back on court. I am very excited to be back, not only playing the sport I love but back with my West Pennine teammates. I hope I still have the skills I did last year – I am ready to work hard as I have trials coming up for Leeds Rhinos.”
On staying motivated and active in lockdown
“To keep motivated I have joined a handful of Zoom calls and followed along with others. I have also watched YouTube videos of fitness and sport and followed along with them – I feel like I am doing it with someone else which also motivates me.”
We spoke to Lucy’s mum and dad to find out how she has impressed them this year. Here’s what her mum said…
“I can’t emphasise how strong and brave I feel Lucy has been. I really wish I could have put myself in her shoes. I have always thought Lucy to be a strong young lady, but only last week I found her upset as she was missing her friends – as a mother, this was the raw emotion I don’t want to see in her and it hurt me.
“So I reflected on the past year – this 14 year old has had, like many, her ‘normal’ world turned upside down. She lives for her family, friends and netball and has had all that taken away suddenly. She has seen so many of her friends talking about having their parents at home and jokingly moaning about it; she has seen us both constantly out in potentially serious, dangerous situations and she has always remained level headed, calm and very resilient.
“She has been a brilliant big sister to her three-year–old sister Emily, helping us out even more so than usual. Overall, although this year of COVID-19 has really taken its toll on people, I feel in the long run it has made Lucy a stronger, more independent woman and one who I am extremely proud to be able to call my first born.”
Find out more about all the individuals whose stories we’ll be sharing over the course of the week here.