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Get Back to Netball with Netball England

You know sometimes something happens that makes you feel as if your hard work has paid off? For me that something happened last weekend when I was invited to a London press event to meet *drum roll* the England Netball Team at the St Paul's Grange Hotel. A far cry from a regular Thursday evening. 

I know for a lot of people, the ladies who play for the England Netball Team could walk past them in Tesco and it wouldn't cause any second glances. But if you've been hanging about mo'adore for a while you'll know I'm a big netball fan and I would recognise the England Netball Team in Tesco. I've been invited to London press events a plenty over the years but most of them are ones that wouldn't warrant the plane ticket down. But when the chance to meet some of the England Netball Team at an event for Movelat popped up I was loading up the EasyJet booking website before I had the chance to reply to the e-mail. 

Like a lot of girls I played netball at school. But unlike a lot of girls, I'm one of the few that continued to play in adulthood. In fact, according to research carried out by Movelat 88% of English women played netball at school. I can remember when I hit Primary 6 all the girls in the year were sent a letter home welcoming them to play netball after school on a Wednesday. It was an exciting day for me as I had had already been engrossed by my mum's tales of high school netball and clearly it was exciting for the rest of the year as I think maybe only three or five girls in the year decided to skip it. 

Whilst we have a range of reasons to stop a sport we loved as children and teenagers - from not enough time to moving to another city - one of the most common reasons is an injury of some kind. That's why the England Netball Team chose Movelat as their sponsor for their Get Back to Netball Scheme which encourages women up and down England who enjoyed netball at school to get back into it as adults.  

Obviously, this is England Netball we're talking about so holla to my English readers (and I know there's quite a few of you!) as I tell you a bit more about how you can get back into Netball. Whether you're in Bristol or partying it up in Newcastle, the England Back to Netball Initiative covers the length of the country. England Netball is split up into nine regions each having their own Regional Office: East, East Midlands, London & South East, North East, North West, South, South West, West Midlands and Yorkshire. And if your knowledge of the rules or the different types of netball are bit rusty (and they may well be if you haven't played since school) there's an entire section of the Netball England website dedicated to recapping your beautiful self. You can also search for your nearest Back to Netball event with their handy map

(And whilst this is an England Netball initiative I'll give a quick heads up to the Scottish equivalent scheme Bounce Back to Netball). 

And believe me, I only play netball casually. Despite my passion for the sport and it being the only sport I follow professionally (a guy turned up at the event and people began taking photos with him and I was all "Should I know him?", turns out later it's a Jamaican cricketer) I'm not exactly lining up to play for Scotland. Netball is a great social sport as it involves a team and is a great way to meet new people, so it makes it the perfect sport to play on a casual basis. 

Just remember these tips for avoiding injury from England Netball player Sasha Corbin so you don't have to give it up again: 

1. To stop your muscles from seizing up make sure that you warm up 15 minutes before exercise and cool down 15 minutes after. This can be done via simple drills via the website
2. If you have weak ligaments, speak to your healthcare professional who may recommend muscle tape or straps to help support your muscles and joints
3. Trust your body. If you feel a part of your body begin to hurt then stop immediately and seek medical advice, if you continue through the pain you could do serious damage
4. Make sure you wear the right footwear and wear it correctly. Make sure your shoelaces are tied properly, if your trainers are too loose it can affect your balance. If you are playing on a smooth or wet surface, ensure your trainers have plenty of grip
5. Try not to exercise when you are feeling tired. Your reactions will be slower and your muscles will have less energy, causing you to over exert yourself and could result in injury

Happy Netball! 

P.S. Thank you to England Netball, Movelat and Pegasus PR for having me, and to the staff at St Grange Paul's in the City of London. And remember to stop by my blog next Saturday to find out what else I got up to in London. 
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