The final instalment of “Back to Netball after 30 years”


I’m sorry I’ve left all you blog readers hanging for so long. Now I’m in a position to be able to write it again, but unfortunately this will be the last.

I’m not looking for a response to this blog. I’m not touting for sympathy and nor am I throwing my toys out of the pram.

Right, enough waffle, let’s tell you what has happened since I last blogged.

In my previous post I told you that the Fleckney Rogues were hanging by a thread. Since the “Just” scheme finished we had no coach and no matter how we tried we found it too hard to coach ourselves. Numbers dwindled until there were just three of us regularly turning out.

We really enjoyed it actually, made sure we did some drills and practice and some shooting work, but I think in our hearts we knew we couldn’t sustain it.

So when our money ran out, one of our number approached someone in the village who is a netball coach and asked her if she would be interested in starting a new group.

I’m glad to say she absolutely ran with the idea and starting advertising in the village and through Facebook.

Hence on Tuesday night there were 14 of us (including the three ex-rogues) ready to start again.

I was really looking forward to it, but on the way to the session I managed to hurt my foot somehow and I was hobbling. Still, I wasn’t going to let this stop me.

I noticed that the group was largely much younger than me and much fitter-looking, which I suppose should have set the alarm bells ringing.

We started with a warm up and then did some passing drills which were fine. I was still limping but just about managing to keep up.  The coaches were lovely and helpful.

However, it emerged that although some of the attendees hadn’t played netball since they’d left school, there were a number who played every week in other teams and leagues.

It soon became clear that they played at a different level and pace and I was left behind. Ok, so it’s probably just the way I think and I shouldn’t be so sensitive, but I felt old, short, slow and fat.

We played a game for the last half hour and I played in my favourite goalkeeping position. I was pretty awful, but I tried hard even though I was limping.

However, when my defensive “partner” suggested someone take over from me when we were trying different positions, I felt humiliated. I limped up the other end to play shooter (and you all know how good I am at that).

By the time we had finished I knew I wouldn’t be returning to this group. I felt very out of place. It’s no-one’s fault and I hope the group is great success, but I know I’m not going to be part of it.

It sounds like I’m whining, but I’m really not and I’m not bitter. I suffered too much humiliation at school PE go through it again as an adult and so I leave on my own terms. I know I’m not ready for walking netball yet, but I don’t think there’s anywhere else I fit in at the moment. Perhaps if I do get fitter this will change (can’t do anything about being short and old).

I’m carrying on with sport, though. I’m going to return to playing badminton with my husband and going to the gym. I know I’m pretty good at badminton (he’s never beaten me yet) and we play at our own pace. The gym is something I can do on my own, again at my own pace.

I will also keep writing about netball; the Super League, internationals, and some of you may have been reading the history of netball that I have been writing for WiSP Sports (final part to come next week!). I still love the game and I’m glad I had such fun while it lasted. I also hope to keep in touch with the Rogues as they feel like firm friends.

Here endeth the blog!


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