In the UK one million women and girls play netball every week in the winter. It is one of the most popular female team games in the world and the only female sport to be given weekly TV coverage by sky sports.
If you have not played before, or need a refresher, full rules and a short video about how 7-a-side netball is played can be found on the England netball site http://www.englandnetball.co.uk/my-game/traditional-netball
REASONS TO REDISCOVER NETBALL
Calorie burn: an hour of netball uses anywhere between 394 and 520 calories, ‘shooting hoops’ has been found to burn as many as 292 cal/hr and umpiring up to 450 cal/hr.
Fitness: Netball is a very fast game and all the running around gives a fantastic cardiovascular workout. It also helps tone your arms (biceps and triceps beneift from throwing and shooting), legs (running) and core (dodging).
Make new friends: netball is a perfect way to expand your social network or spend more time with existing friends and research shows that you are much more likely to stick to a healthy lifestyle if this can be combined with social activities.
BACK TO NETBALL
Back to Netball is a current England Netball initiative encouraging women to return to the sport and is proving to be a great success. There is no need for any commitment as you can just drop in to sessions. Local sessions are run at:-
Steyning Leisure Centre, Steyning, BN44 3AA, Monday Evenings 6:30 – 7:30pm. Contact: Tom Carter, Cost: £25 Ten week course, or £3 drop in. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hove, Kingsway Netball Courts, Thursday evenings 7:00 – 8:00pm. Contact: 01273 290290. Cost: Pay and play price £4.50 per session or Monday evenings 6.30-7.30pm. Email email@example.com
Hassocks Sports Centre, Sunday Mornings 11am – 12:00noon. Contact: 01273 841348 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: £5 per session
Crawley. K2 Leisure Centre, Tuesday evenings 6:30 – 7:30pm. Contact: Dave Downey. Email: email@example.com (K2): 01293 585300. Cost: £3.60 per week or £31 ten week course
Find out more about back to netball, and find other sessions near you: www.englandnetball.co.uk/my-game/back-to-netball
Details of all the local netball clubs and leagues are on www.sussexnetball.com/
WHAT YOU NEED
Shoes – Trainers with good grips are important, worn out or unsupportive trainers can result in an injury. Netball is a fast moving game where you land and twist round your landing foot. Poor trainers will not give the protection you need. It is also vital to wear socks, and many professional players wear two pairs to both cushion the foot and prevent blisters with the twisting and turning involved in play. Some players also wear ankle supports.
Clothes – If you start playing competitively, most teams have a set kit which is generally a skort or netball dress. When you are starting out it might be of benefit to wear leg skins to keep the muscles warm.
Food and drink – as with all sport it is important to keep hydrated whilst playing. For winter sports this is particularly important as it can be harder to gauge how much fluid you are loosing.