Since I can remember I have been very anti sports, avoiding most sports, in particular team sports. PE or sport classes in school proved somewhat difficult to get out of as they were compulsory. My male PE teacher, despite being terrified of and pretty obliging to the “but sir, it’s that time of the month” excuse, did not let us get away with it every week; even he knew that was not possible. The classes I did take part in at school involved my running away from or ducking from the ball more often than not, and I was pretty much always one of the last ones picked for a team; you get the picture.
When I told my mum that I had joined a netball team she literally laughed for five minutes; talk about being supportive! But to be honest I still find it quite funny myself, as I’m sure do most people who know me and my lack of sportiness. Saying that it’s not like I don’t do any exercise at all, I’ve been swimming a few times a week since I was 18 and I’ve recently started frequenting the gym about four times a week, as well as swimming once a week, so I’m not a completely hopeless case!
Going back to my mum, once she stopped laughing over the phone she proceeded to ask me what netball was. Funnily enough I had no idea what netball was either until about two months ago. When a friend and I sat down at the end of the season to put together a list of summer activities we wanted to do, starting a Thredbo netball team was top of the list. At the time I too had to ask her what netball was. I still haven’t figured out whether it’s not a sport we play in Ireland or if it was just the school and Uni I went to that didn’t have netball.
Over the next few weeks we managed to get together a team of about 12 girls willing to play, we’re a mesh up of people who can play well, those who have played before and a couple, like myself, who have never played before. We went for Thredbo White Magic as our team name and we signed up to compete in the 2013/2014 B Grade competition, which will see us playing in Jindabyne every Tuesday evening until mid April.
I found the first few practices slightly baffling, I had a netball court drawn up for me with all the positions, and then we played half a game changing positions to see who was best suited for each one. I ended up being selected to play either Wing Defense or Goal Defense. It took me a while to get somewhat comfortable with my position and what I was supposed to do, although I’m still far from competent.
Our first match was last Tuesday evening. As we drove up the the courts I started to panic, there were a lot more people there than I expected and I guess I suddenly realised I had to play a match for real and I was still pretty clueless. We registered, got our finger nails and jewelry checked before donning our bibs and getting out on the court. As the game progressed I, and I think everyone else on our team got more comfortable in our positions and therefore increasingly confident. We kicked the other teams asses – they were a bunch of 14 year old students and we are all in our 20ties and 30ties – but still! The umpire, much to our disgust, was the other teams coach and the ref was someone from their school, talk about being biased, but we still won.
I have to say it felt pretty good to win and I think everyone was both surprised and pretty pleased. However, that was only the first match of the competition, we still have a lot of games to go and I”m really hoping we don’t have to play the girls who were playing in the other courts; they were pretty big and rough looking. I guess time will tell whether I get any better and how we get on. I’ll keep you posted!