15 women from across Leeds came together to re-ignite a passion or try their hand at Netball on Thursday 28th September at Middleton Leisure Centre.
The event was run in partnership with Leeds Girls Can. Leeds Girls Can are part of the ‘This Girl Can’ government project hoping to get women and girls back in to sport and physical activity. They teamed up with Women’s Lives Leeds because at WLL, we also firmly believe in the importance of physical activity and how it supports our mental health and overall wellbeing.
The session was planned by our community development worker, Victoria, and Dani the Sports Coordinator from Leeds Girls Can; both keen netballers and equally keen to start a league for women and girls in Leeds who weren’t experienced netballers as Victoria and Dani both agreed that the existing leagues in Leeds didn’t accommodate women who had an interest in netball but not much experience other than at school.
It was important that when organising the event, women who had no experience felt comfortable and confident playing again. Victoria and Dani agreed to run the event as a ‘back to netball’ session with support from England Netball qualified coaches and umpires.
“I really hope they make this event a regular thing as I’d love to commit to something where I can play at a relaxed level. Everything was designed to suit someone of all levels.” Sophie, Roundhay
The session started with some warm ups and fun games, rejigging participants’ memories at basic skills such as footwork and passing varieties.
Nathan and Julie, the qualified coach and umpire, went through different fun and in some cases, competitive skills and games. The whole session was incredibly relaxed with constant laughter between coaches, organisers and participants.
The event received some good attention and had enough women for everyone to play in full teams and get at least half an hour of match play.
“Loved it. Everyone was such a good laugh and looking forward to the next one” Lucy, Chapeltown
At the end of the session, each team was asked to name a ‘woman of the match’ for her own team and the two lucky nominated women left with Leeds Girls Can tshirts and mini trophies. The rest of the teams were given Leeds Girls Can wrist bands and everyone went away snacking on the free refreshments and talking about how much they enjoyed the evening and were keen to sign up to the next event, (which will hopefully be in January 2018 in time for a back to netball league starting in March 2018).
Women’s Lives Leeds are proud to be hosting a ‘Physical Activity Forum’ as one of our forum events, giving women and girls from across the city the opportunity to discuss how access to physical activity could better benefit them. The first Physical Activity Forum will be taking place in October so please get in touch if you would like to get involved!