Bolsover District Village Games Officer, Laura Stephen said: “We know it's the time of year that people set their New Year’s Resolutions in the hope of making a positive change but we also know how difficult it is to get started and then keep it up. Back to Netball is the ideal way to tackle those resolutions because not only is it a great way to get active, it is also fun, friendly and sociable meaning you have a whole bunch of ladies around you all trying to do the same thing and keeping each other motivated. The fact that although you are being active it's easy to forget that is the often dreaded exercise. Ladies come along to meet new people have a laugh and in the meantime they are becoming fitter, happier and healthier... it's win, win, win!”
Stacey Hardy, 29, attends the Clowne sessions and said: “I had only ever played netball at school and at the time I wasn't a big fan of school so never really got the chance to enjoy playing netball either. I started going to the sessions as it sounded like fun, I wanted a new way to help my weight loss and fitness and just attending the gym didn't always work, I needed something more to encourage me. I really enjoy the friendly (and sometimes competitive) feel to the sessions, the skills I've learnt are great and through the club I became part of a team, so I can now put the skills to good use!”
The Creswell resident is urging other women to get involved and said: “It's not as scary as you might think; I attended on my own for the first time and now I know most people who attend the sessions. We're forming lovely friendship groups with a shared interest of netball! It's also great for fitness.”
Kirsty Cox, 33, lives in Bolsover and attends the Clowne netball sessions. She said: “When I joined the session I hadn't played for a number of years and had just moved into the area. I wanted to get back into playing netball and the fact that it was a Back To club appealed to me as it wasn't as daunting as trialling for a local league team etc. The session was friendly and didn't leave me feeling like my ability level was in question. The coach and other players were encouraging and the sessions were informative and fun. Back to Netball clubs are the best way to either get back into the sport or to take up a new one. Since joining the session I have progressed to playing competitively in a couple of local leagues, captaining one of the teams. I have also qualified as a netball coach and undertake umpiring duties when needed. If someone had suggested I would be doing all of this before I joined the session I would never have believed them! It has all been possible and achievable thanks to joining that session!”
Over the last year, Village Games officers across Derbyshire have been working closely with England Netball Derbyshire Netball Development Officer, Julian Taylor, to organise and promote sessions across the county.
Julian said: “Our latest New Year's Resolution campaign Renew You is aimed at providing women of all ages with a gentle reintroduction to the sport through our Back to Netball programmes across Derbyshire. Running across England since 2010, over 23,000 women have taken part in Back to Netball and realised the benefits of getting involved. From losing weight, developing the body’s cardiovascular system and improving muscle tone, taking part in Back to Netball is great for you in so many ways. The Village Games officers have been instrumental in supporting the delivery of Back to Netball sessions in some of the most rural areas of the county. They have been really successful in helping women to not just play netball again, but meet new friends and get fit & active at the same time.”
Clowne Back to Netball sessions take place at Clowne Sports Centre on Mondays 7.30 - 8.30pm. The first week is FREE then it's £2.50 per week.
Laura is also planning to re-launch the Pinxton Back to Netball session, when the nights become lighter in the Spring.