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The sound of the bell after PE class was either music to your ears or the doomed caw of the crow. Classes were a nightmarish clash of the teens; between the aggressively sporty and the moaning hypochondriacs, as class 3B were forced into sweaty communal bibs and filed onto court, pitch or field. Whether the memory evokes nostalgia or violent shivers, it’s time to let go of the GCSE physical education memories and open your arms to catch the adult netball experience. England Netball’s “Back to Netball” scheme is part of a huge drive to get women over the age of 18 active and back into sports.
The sessions emanate a laid back and encouraging approach to sport, aimed towards women who have not played for a number of years and are hoping to improve their fitness in the process. If you were the Sports Captain in school, then the sessions perhaps lack the competitive edge that you might yearn for. But by no means a gentle pace, what with aggressively sprinting after the ball, jumping to score and constantly marking players, the sessions are a vigorous workout without the long hard slog that accompanies the treadmill or a spinning class.
Just turn up, there’s no need to bring anything with you, the dreaded bibs are provided along with balls, teammates and laughter. However, you are welcome to come with a friend or pack and you should arrive in comfortable clothes. Each session is led by an experienced netball club coach who will teach the skills and rules of the game with a hands-on approach. The hour-long sessions begin with some basic skills drills to improve passing, footwork and shooting, before you get to put your findings into practice with a friendly match.
The UK is overflowing with Back to Netball sessions, with over 100 venues in greater London alone. Classes are held every night of the week between the multitude of venues. Visit http://www.englandnetball.co.uk/my-game/back-to-netball to find a nearby venue. Sessions cost a meagre £2 to £4 and are an absolute blast. So there really is no need to dig up one of the old school excuses, after your first session you’ll be raring to go back.