Being a mum of a seven-month-old girl, 3am is a time that I’ve seen quite a lot of, of late. It also happens to be the time when my brain kicks into overdrive and I start thinking of all of the things that I need/could/would like to/or plan to do. It was during one such early morning rumination that I decided I’d quite like to start playing netball again. I say ‘again’, in fact the reality is the last time I played netball was back in high school, which is more years ago than I care to remember. Yet the desire to get back into a team sport, and one that I could feasibly do with my daughter in tow (not something really possible with my old university team sport of water polo!) had taken hold.
I had expected this whim to have passed by morning, but when that next day one of my favourite fitness podcasts featured the Corbin sisters talking about playing for the England netball team, followed by the discovery later in the week that my nieces had been given tickets for the 2019 netball world cup in Liverpool, I felt that the signs were pointing me back towards a Wing Attack bib!
So I started Googling potential teams to join.
The only problem was that all of the teams I could find had their games in the evenings after work. This would have been great for the pre-baby me – the me who, incidentally, wasn’t looking to join a netball team – but now with a baby’s bath and bedtime to contend with, an evening session just didn’t seem feasible.
While any sane (London Marathon training) new mum would perhaps put the netball idea to the back of their minds in the face of such news, it only served to make me more determined. So I emailed England netball coach Yvonne Rhoden, who was running the ‘Back to Netball’ sessions at my local gym, Clissold Leisure Centre, and asked her if she felt mum and (courtside) baby netball might be a goer. And to my immense surprise she said yes!
After a meeting over coffee and some negotiating with the local gym for a space on their schedule, on Friday, 1 March at 11am we had our first mum and baby netball session.
And it was so much fun!
I’d forgotten how much fun playing a team sport can be, especially free of all of the teenage hang-ups about being picked for the team, gym pants and the scary PE teacher! It also felt like a really good workout – running around playing ‘tag’ to practice changing direction and pace, doing passing drills and mini passing competitions and playing a shooting game (something that I never got to have a go at in school as I was never tall enough to be a shooter).
My NCT girls turned out in force to support me and although I know at least one of them was there under duress and the promise of a coffee (which I still owe her!), she actually really enjoyed it and will be returning for the next session. That has to be a win!
And the babies? They took it in turn to be our ‘cheerleaders’ and we took it in turns to entertain them while the others played.
So now I just need to build the momentum to keep the session going. We were only a small crew on Friday and I hope to gather a few more players for this week. So if you are a mum in London and fancy meeting new people, playing, laughing and discovering a fun way to workout please come and join us!
Sessions are 11am on Fridays in the Sports Hall at Clissold Leisure Centre and cost £5. You are welcome to come with or without a baby.
For further details please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM me on Instagram @MotherRunningVegan