This week is Loneliness Awareness Week, an annual campaign to raise awareness of loneliness and encourage people to speak about it openly.
When asked how often do you feel lonely in the Sport England Active Lives survey (Nov 2018/19), 6% of adults in England said ‘often/always’ and 19% said ‘some of the time’.
With the current climate of social distancing, loneliness is a particularly important topic.
Throughout the week, the Marmalade Trust are hosting a virtual campaign called ‘One Less Lonely Voice’, in which they’re taking the ‘one’ out of loneliness to signify one less lonely voice.
They are also sharing tips and advice on both aiming to tackle loneliness and how we can help others. These are available to view here.
The power of sport in bringing people together and helping to reduce isolation is clear to see.
In their Active Lives November 2018/19 survey, Sport England found that those who are active or fairly active are less likely to feel lonely than those who are inactive (less than 30 minutes a week).
Additionally, the results highlighted that adults who volunteer in sport and physical activity are less likely to feel lonely than those who don’t.
There are countless stories from netballers of all ages, abilities, motivations and locations about the benefits of the sport both mentally and socially in addition to physically.
68% of Back to Netballers surveyed in the fifth edition of England Netball’s Big Netball Conversation said that being involved in netball had made a positive difference to their mood and outlook.
One especially powerful story is Shaharun’s tale of her re-introduction to the sport and then how she set up her own Back to Netball session to engage women from all different backgrounds in her local community who she felt would really benefit.
The togetherness and team spirit of the Netball Family over the recent months has continued to shine through with Zoom calls aplenty for both training and social events.
Try to stay connected with your teammates, colleagues, fellow volunteers and others in the netball community as much as possible, and keep following the latest guidance.