Knees Up for Netball!
This May and June, a number of Walking Netball sessions have been running in Broomhouse, at The Grove and at Napier University, through the GO LIVE! Get Active programme funded by sportscotland.
This pilot programme is supported by Netball Scotland and has been developed by Jayne Smith (based at the Forrester/St Augustine Sports Hub) in partnership with the Broomhouse Health Partnership Group and Napier University.
‘Many women never forget playing the sport as a child and these memories and love of the game never leave them’
Walking Netball is a great way to get more physically active and no prior knowledge of the game is required. It is just like regular netball but played a little slower!
Terri Unwin, one of the participants at Broomhouse says:
‘I started playing walking netball, not holding out much hope that I would actually be able to play. After two knee replacements and considerable weight gain, my fitness level was at the bottom of the scale! But from day one I have felt welcomed and included, and over the weeks have noticed an improvement in my fitness. The game is easy to play, even for people who have never played netball before. We have so much fun, I’d certainly recommend it to anyone.’
Terri is a true inspiration to other adults and the adapted game is the perfect way to get started. She is pictured below, far left with the pink GK bib!
Feedback from the sessions has been that it is great fun and a very sociable way to improve your fitness. It has been as much about the camaraderie and social aspect of being involved, as it is about the health benefits of taking part.
As Jayne Smith, Lifelong Learning Development Officer for Sport and Physical Activity with a remit for developing sports hubs explains, ‘I guess the success of this initiative shouldn't surprise us. Many women never forget playing the sport as a child and these memories and love of the game never leave them’.
The pilot is still being evaluated but so far 50% of the adults strongly agreed or agreed they were more aware of their physical activity, more active, felt less isolated and more connected to their community. They felt more positive about their community and for four participants they said their mental and emotional health was better.
These findings are backed up by Jackie Hall, Community Development Worker for the Broomhouse Health Partnership Group. As Jackie comments, ‘the sessions have boosted confidence, built social connections and everyone looks forward to each session. We have made new friends and tried new things, learned new skills, played some short fun games, and surprised ourselves by how much exercise we had and all the fun we had'
A plan is in place to start a regular walking netball group after the summer at Napier University, for both groups to attend. Hopefully, the group will grow from strength to strength!