Nia Brodie's Walking Netball Story

A retired Stockport schoolteacher says Walking Netball sessions have got her fit and firing after lockdown.

Nia Brodie, 67, discovered the accessible sessions after her husband, Alan, saw the group playing after his walking football training six years ago.

And she’s not looked back since, living and breathing netball and relishing her visits to the court every week.

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Any age or fitness level can take part in Walking Netball and Brodie said: “I think like a lot of women my age played netball at secondary school.

“Fast forward an adult lifetime, it’s a big part of my life. It’s absolutely wonderful. I’ve met some really great people.

“It’s a diverse range of people – we’re like that soap advert with women coming in all shapes and sizes! We’re a great bunch.

“Being part of a group is amazing. When I play, it feels lovely and fluid, and when you get a good run of play through and somebody scores, it’s a great feeling. To be part of a team is amazing too.

“It also scratches an itch of my competitive side as well. I think women of a certain age, we were always encouraged to be less competitive and more compliant and now it’s great to have that outlet.”

The retired primary school teacher plays for Stockport Sapphires, led by coach Eliza, who are based just outside of Manchester.

Brodie has been an integral part of the group as they stayed active in lockdown and added: “In summer 2020, half a dozen of us met in someone’s garden and said how we really wanted to get back to it. And I thought: ‘where can we find a hoop?’

“Luckily, we realised there was a local basketball court and we thought that young people would mainly be on in the afternoons, but we could do the mornings.

“We went twice a week. Everyone kept to a group of six and we split up to opposite ends.

“When it went down to two, we split into pairs and some people would go off to do drills. We really followed the rules. Everyone brought along their own ball and their own hand sanitiser. It just carried on like that for when we were allowed.

Since lockdown restrictions eased, Brodie and her team have been rehomed at their new venue and are looking forward to both future tournaments and social events away from the court.

She said: “I’m quite competitive so when we’re able to play tournaments, it’s great.

“Also having a laugh with people is so nice. We have small socials which are really fun.”

Click here to find a Walking Netball session near you.

First published July 2021

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