How do I start…netball?
We all donned the pleated skirts and bright yellow bibs in our school days, and now more and more of us are getting back into netball in our twenties and thirties too. ‘Because it’s a mental as well as a physical game, netball is a great way to get perspective on a bad day,’ says Casey Jess, operations manager at One Netball UK. Joining a local netball team is also a good way to meet new people while getting fit at the same time.
Who can do it?
‘Anyone can play netball,’ says Jess. ‘Most social leagues require you to be over 18, but there are no other restrictions. All shapes and sizes are welcome, and you don’t have to be super-fit, because unless you’re playing in the centre position, you’ll be restricted as to where you’re allowed on the court.’
Any fitness gains?
‘Netball involves a lot of short, sharp bursts of activity, so it’s a great way to get some high-intensity training into your regime,’ says Jess. ‘As well as the fitness benefits, netball is a great stress-buster. It’s great for mental fitness and focus – you’re working out tactical shots and you have to concentrate to keep up with the pace because it’s a pretty fast-moving game.’
Where do I start?
Look for a local team that trains in your area – visiting England Netball’s website is a good place to start. A lot of teams only play in the spring and summer but Jess says, ‘At One Netball UK, we organise games all year round, so there are no seasonal restrictions.’
What kit do I need?
‘Most clubs provide bibs and a shirt, but you need to get your own shorts or skirt, and –essential- a decent pair of trainers,’ says Jess. Club costs vary, but you can expect to pay £5-£10 ‘subs’ per game depending where you live and what level you are playing at.