Mother's Day: Mum and daughter stories from the Netball Family

During October, Women in Sport are inviting inviting mums/mother-figures and daughters to set aside time to develop their relationship with each other, and with exercise as part of their #TimeTogether campaign.

Spending time being active together provides a valuable opportunity for daughters and their mum/mother-figure to discover the joy, fun and wellbeing benefits of exercise.

As part of the campaign, we spoke to four sets of mums and teenage daughters about playing together for their team Phoenix and the positive impact netball has had on themselves and their relationships…

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Tell us about how your team started and what you’ve done / you do socially away from court together.

We previously played in adult (mums) and junior (daughters) teams then started our own netball team ‘Phoenix’.

When playing as Phoenix, we found we had gaps in our team, either due to injury or maternity leave, so our daughters filled in.

We soon became a team that almost always had at least two mum/daughter pairings in each game. It hasn’t been uncommon to have three pairings playing in a game.

Pre-Covid, we held training sessions that our daughters led, and we’ve had meals/social events that we’ve enjoyed attending together.

For each mum and daughter(s) set, what’s it like being involved in netball together and what impact has it had on your relationship?

Melissa (48) and Maisy (18): It’s been really important for us to play netball together because it’s given us time to do something away from the pressures of work and school. It’s also meant that we have something to do together, we have a large family and netball has been something Maisy and I have been able to share.

Rachel (54) and Molly (18): It’s great playing together. It gives us a shared activity and we enjoy talking about the game after the match. It gives us one-to-one time together.

Gill (51), Lizzie (19) and Hattie (18):  Netball gave me (Gill) the opportunity to play sport with both my daughters as they grew up and progressed through their later teenage lives. It was a time away from the day to day, and probably made us closer as a result.

Alex (45) and Megan (17):  My (Alex) mum played netball and it’s a shame we never got the opportunity to play together. But she inspired me to play and it’s a privilege to now play with my daughter in the same team. I love that we have a shared interest which will hopefully continue as we both get older.

What are the benefits of netball (e.g. joy, wellbeing) and why does netball inspire you to be active?

Rachel and Molly: The benefits are being active, getting fitter and having fun. Because it’s a fun game and we have a great team – we all encourage each other and enjoy playing together – it’s no hardship to go out and play even on wet, cold nights.

Melissa and Maisy: Playing netball together has allowed us to spend time together having fun and being active. We have a very inclusive team that’s been full of laughter and encouragement.

Alex and Megan: We enjoy the team spirit, camaraderie and competitive nature of a team sport. Our daughters have also definitely grown in confidence as a result of us playing together and that’s fantastic to see. In netball, there is a team for everyone, regardless of age, ability or fitness.

Why is netball a great sport for teenagers and mums to do together?

Melissa and Maisy: Netball is accessible – age doesn’t need to be a barrier. We’ve both enjoyed it immensely and it made me very proud to be able to say ‘my daughter’s the GA (goal attack)’ as she scored an impressive goal.

Alex and Megan: Playing netball together has given us some great memories and we’ve had lots of fun along the way.

Rachel and Molly: It’s a game that can be played by all ages even if us mums are not quite as fit and energetic as our daughters! We both encourage each other and have a shared interest.

Gill, Lizzie and Hattie: The games were always great fun and full of camaraderie because there were so many mums and daughters. It was a special time.

For mums and daughters interested in taking part in netball, Back to Netball is a fun and friendly (re-)introduction to the sport.

More than 110,000 women and girls of all ages and levels of experience have already (re-)discovered their love for the game and realised the many benefits of getting involved.

England Netball will be sharing stories from members of the Netball Family during the month so make sure you’re following on Facebook, and Twitter. You can read Caitlyn-Jaye and Carey’s story here and Izzy, Eliza, Amelia and Anita’s story here.

You can also watch an interview with Montana Brown and her mum Sarah in which they share their love of netball, including playing in the garden together, and offer their advice to mums and teenage girls about being active.

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