Team sports give that extra motivation to stay active whatever the weather

I'm a big fan of team sports - both playing and watching. There's nothing better than watching a great team in action, well actually there is one thing and that's being part of a great team.

Netball has always been my sport. Right back in Junior school when I was chosen for the school team and to play with the girls in the year above me. At Senior school when I was taller than everyone else I played Goal Shooter, by the time I left school and everyone else had caught me up in the height department I was more often found out on the court.

A year or so after leaving school I carried on playing netball, joining both a local team who welcomed my youth and promptly gave me the Centre bib and my company's team, where I managed to regularly play my favourite position of Wing Attack.

Centre has always been my least favourite position, but strangely it seems others didn't agree and it was as Centre that I made it into the Surrey Under 21 County Team.  

ON TOUR IN MALTA... WHERE I PLAYED CENTRE!

ON TOUR IN MALTA... WHERE I PLAYED CENTRE!

SCHOOL NETBALL: PLAYING GOAL ATTACK IN 1982

SCHOOL NETBALL: PLAYING GOAL ATTACK IN 1982

Netball is a year-round sport, although its main season takes place between September and April, much like the football season. That means training and playing matches in the cold and sometimes the wet. As long as the court is safe, we played. I know that doesn't sound much fun, but it really is (ok maybe not so much in pouring rain). The camaraderie and sense of achievement and purpose that comes from being part of a team and not wanting to let your team mates down surpasses inclement weather.  

If it's chilly out you can wear more layers and more importantly keep moving! That's good for warmth but also for your fitness levels, so it's really a win-win situation. Legal & General have recently published an article on ways to stay active whatever the weather, so if netball isn't your thing, take a look and pick up some tips.
LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS!

LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS!

For me the reward of playing through the winter was the more social and relaxed summer leagues and tournaments as it's a great time to try out a new position and mix the teams up a bit. Netball has been good to me, it's brought me friends, the opportunity to travel and  fitness.

How do you stay active throughout the year?

 

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post, but all words and opinions are my own.

 

Some things don't change...

So as usual I left later than I planned to, hit traffic along the way but managed to arrive at the away venue in Shirley twenty five minutes before the game was due to start. There's six courts there, all of them being used so that's lots of netballers. It also means a busy car park! Finding a spot I set off to find my team...

...I found two others, the two that like me no longer play regularly. Three of the other players were travelling together, the final one was being brought by her mum and our umpire. We found our opposition easier than finding the rest of our team. So, the non-regular players managed to get their way before the regular players, hmmmnn...

The younger player and umpire arrived just before the grace period after which the opposition can claim the points. Unfortunately though we need five players to start, so we were still one short. The grace period expired and we were pointless, but the opposition were still keen to play so they loaned us a player and off we went...

We'd agreed to play shorter 'quarters' and during the first ten minute quarter our remaining three players arrived. Two filled the vacant positions and we were up to seven. In the break, after thanking the loaned player, switching bibs to ours (the opposition also loaned us those) and switched to our expected positions. Phew! I'd started as Centre, when in all reality being on the team sheet as WA (Wing Attack) was causing some concern. 
Going into the last quarter we were one goal down, having pulled it back from four down at half-time. All we needed to do was maintain our momentum and we would have it in the bag (well a bag without any points). We managed that and won the game 23-20.

Quite a feat really, as three of us no longer play regularly. One of those hadn't even met two do the players before and we had our "versatility" first quarter. I did end up red in the face and a bit out of puff, I think I'll feel it tomorrow, but I had a great time!

After a carton of Apple juice and a finger of Twix, I was off last seen heading towards Ikea...

An old-style Saturday

Today I'm having a retro-Saturday. For many, many years my Saturdays included netball - I played regularly (so pretty much every Saturday between September and March) since I was nineteen. I stopped playing last season, apart from the odd game here and there, mostly because I was no longer enjoying it - I suspect now that this was down to my misbehaving T3 and T4 levels. 

Anyway, my old team which I still have links to were short of players this week and asked could I help out. Apparently being out of practice and unfit didn't matter so down my name went on the teamsheet!  When that came out I discovered another two of my old-time netballing buddies had also been "coerced" although one will be umpiring while her teenage daughter takes to the court! So we have a retro team out today too! 

I've still to unpack my sports kit, but thankfully I know where it all is. This is another of those timely reminders that I should get out and do more, although I expect this one to leave me short of puff and red in the face! I love netball, it's a great team game but I've a feeling I won't necessarily be loving every minute of the sixty minutes of today's match!  Wish me luck!
To add to the retro-ness of the day, after a cup of tea (hopefully) or orange squash (more likely) and a catch up with everyone, reflections on the game I'll then be dashing off to do some shopping (yes still in netball kit) in Ikea and food shopping on the way home! No doubt that will be followed obviously by a shower, but also a quick collapse on the sofa. MOH wanting to "do something", me wanting another cup of tea and something to eat. Somehow on netball days, eating is hard to fit in - the start time for today's match is 11:45am, so you'll see what I mean. A sixty minute match, takes at least seventy-five minutes to play, sometimes ninety, taking us through to 1:15pm. I normally manage something though!