After the birth of my second daughter in 2012, I decided I needed to change my lifestyle, and for once, not only lose some weight but also become active. But what would I do? I am not a strong swimmer and the thought of extra hair washing and swimming costumes left me cold. I didn’t mind the gym too much but I was on maternity pay and so I didn’t want to commit to contracts that I might not use. Would I be able to find women in the same situation as me?  We all say we want to get fit, but fewer women play sport than men – would I end up as the only woman there?

I used to play netball at school – surely there must be something I could access locally to start again?

I came across Back to Netball and fortunately there were two sessions that ran in sports centres close to my house and at convenient times. I gave the session coach a call – Louise – she was so friendly and encouraged me to go along and try it out and reassured me that there would plenty of time to catch my breath – my fitness level was zero at that time. So, one Monday evening back in May 2013 I went along to the session and I can honestly say I’ve not looked back since!  I met some other Back to Netball first timers and we struck up firm friendships.  The sessions built up our netball skills and knowledge, as well as our fitness levels and competitiveness.

We had a great group of ladies who really enjoyed the sessions and so we formed the All Stars team and entered into a Back to Netball Christmas tournament. It was brilliant fun with everyone wanting to do their best and being in the Christmas spirit.

The core of that All Stars team remains today more than 4 years later, with us playing in two different leagues as All Stars, and most of us playing in at least one other local league with other teams. We go out for meals as a team, a lot of us enjoy quizzes and we’ve gone to watch England play quite a few times when they have played in Liverpool and travelled to Birmingham to watch the Netball Super League too. We all love our netball, and all of us agree that the best thing we’ve achieved is the strong friendships we’ve formed. When you exercise alone, you can always find an excuse why you can’t find the time to go, but when you’ve got team mates (who are also close friends) who need you to play, you make sure that you put your trainers on, head out the door, grab your bib, and get on that court.

As a woman returning to sport, especially fitting it in around childcare, can be daunting, but if you’re thinking of giving netball a try – do it!  A warm welcome, lots of fun, and a whole new set of friends awaits.

Information on how to how to improve your fitness can be found at www.fitforme.info

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