Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Netball for All

In association with England Netball, Pete Yardley Health & Fitness recently organised and hosted a very successful and well received mixed gender charity netball tournament in Wolverhampton, raising over £500 on the day.

With an aim to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support whilst breaking down gender-related barriers in sport, everyone involved had a fantastic day and one hell of a workout!

It was a grey and drizzly summer's morning in the West Midlands. Myself and a small team of fellow organisers climbed out of bed early, loaded our cars full of kit and made our way to the venue. The first job was to set about erecting a gazebo and additional last minute make-shift shelter from some tarpaulin found in the back of my garage. Thankfully, and a little frustratingly, as soon as it was up and the first few teams began to filter in, the rain began to subside and the sun tried its hardest to make an appearance.

Eleven teams battled it out on the day. We had a lovely mix of participants, from complete beginners to some very skilled and experienced netballers. Whilst most came in full teams, lots of people turned up on their own and were put into teams on the day. What a wonderful way to make new friends!

With only sugary treats from the cake sale to fuel them, our netballers slugged it out with healthy competitiveness for 3 hours, with the winning team, Dixy's Midnight Runners, claiming a free 6 week Pete Yardley Health & Fitness Boot Camp course for each team member.

Events such as this one highlight just how powerful sport is in bringing people together. A large proportion of the attendees last weekend were completely new to netball but all competed in high spirits and with smiles on their faces. Here at Pete Yardley Health & Fitness we like to encourage participation in all sports and challenge barriers that stand in the way of inclusion.

Traditionally netball has been a sport exclusively for females. Girls would be taught netball at school for a few years before, in all likelihood, forgetting all about it in the years to follow. England Netball has been instrumental in getting more women back involved in this incredible sport through their Back to Netball initiative. Since 2010 Back to Netball has provided a gentle re-introduction to netball to over 60,000 women, giving them the chance to improve their skills and fitness in a fun and friendly setting.

The more we challenge and question the preconceptions in sport, the more likely we are to find physical activities that call to us. Whether you're male or female, old or young, talented or plain useless, sport is something we can all share and enjoy together.

For more information about the Back to Netball initiative, take a look at their website and find a weekly training session in your area.

A special thanks to all of the local businesses who provided prizes for our epic raffle:

If you'd like to donate to Macmillan via our JustGiving Page, every penny counts.

Check our some of our photos from the day...


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