Couch To Court
The game of netball has been around for years. It was thought to have been invented in America in the 1800s, but back then was called Basketball. Over time the baskets were replaced with rings and nets and is now called Netball
In 1926 an inaugural meeting in London forms the All England Net Ball Association and in 1932 the first inter-county tournament was held, with Essex emerging as the first county champions. Over the years the sport has grown and is now played in countries all over the world, albeit predominately Commonwealth countries, including Australia, Jamaica, South Africa and New Zealand. The sport has yet to make it into the Olympics, mainly down to this fact. The International Olympic Committee first approved netball as an Olympic sport in 1995, but it has still not been played at any Olympic Games since then.
However, there are several reasons why it should be considered: it is played by 20 million people worldwide, it’s played in more than 80 countries across five continents and is easy to play at grassroots level and accessible as well as not requiring expensive equipment or facilities.
It’s a sport you may remember playing at school, however now there is a push to encourage women to recognise the benefits of playing, including losing weight, improving muscle tone and being part of a team, by getting Back to Netball.
Running across England since 2010, more than 60,000 women have taken part in Back to Netball. Sessions provide women, 16+, with a gentle re-introduction by enthusiastic coaches and incorporate the basics of the game including passing, footwork and shooting, all finished with a friendly game.
Couch to Court is another initiative all about taking some great first steps to get you feeling healthier, happier and more confident for 2020!
With physical inactivity having a detrimental effect on body and mind, sport can be the perfect antidote to help you feel on top of your game. The biggest challenges a new netballer might face is not knowing where or how to begin. Couch to Court will help, guide and encourage you to move from the couch to a netball court in a way that suits you, whether that’s trying a new netball session or going to a club.
If a netball session is for you, there is a four-week programme that will introduce you to netball, where you will meet like-minded women and get fit at the same time. If you think netball might be too energetic for you there’s even a walking version, so there really is no excuse not to get involved. To find a club near you that is offering Couch to Court visit: www.englandnetball.co.uk/couch-to-court/get-on-court
One such club which is offering these sessions is South Ribble Netball Club. It was co-founded in March 2017 by Leanne Leigh and Jill Shack. The club provides netball to all ages and abilities, with the aim of developing your skills and passion for the game, regardless of ability.
The club has a team of netball coaches and assistants, from UKCC Level 2 qualified to volunteer helpers, all of whom give their time up freely and enthusiastically.
In just two years the club has welcomed more than 200 ladies of all experiences and abilities and the club has gone from strength to strength starting with one adult team and increasing to five adult teams. It has trebled in size in all areas of the club. In April 2017, the club expanded into the junior netball strand. The sport for all has built confidence and esteem in children and young people to the extent the girls who attend, have immense self-belief in themselves and others. They all enthuse the team ethos which is fun, courage and passion and are amazing young people.
It also has a great opportunity for young volunteers and anyone wanting to get involved in its community club.
Why not give it a go and get back on the court?
To find out more about the club visit: www.southribblenetballclub.co.uk