Too Old To Start Exercising? No Such Thing!

If you’re above a certain age and believe that there’s little point in starting to get more exercise now, whether that’s by going to the gym or going for some netball classes in Wandsworth, perhaps, it seems that this is not the case at all.

New research from the University of Birmingham has found that even those people who are completely unaccustomed to exercise and keeping fit can benefit from exercises like weight training.

The study looked at people in their 70s and 80s who were either lifelong exercisers and still able to compete at the top level in their chosen sport, as well as those of a similar age who had never taken part in structured exercise programmes.

Each individual was given an isotope tracer before doing some exercise and weight training on a machine. Muscle biopsies were then taken before and after the exercise, and examined to see how the muscles were responding.

The expectation was that the master athletes would have an increased ability to build muscle because of their levels of fitness over the years, but it was found that both groups displayed an equal capacity to build muscle through exercise.

Commenting on the findings, Dr Leigh Breen – lead researcher – said: “Obviously a long term commitment to good health and exercise is the best approach to achieve whole-body health, but even starting later on in life will help delay age-related frailty and muscle weakness.

“Current public health advice on strength training for older people is often quite vague. What’s needed is more specific guidance on how individuals can improve their muscle strength, even outside of a gym-setting through activities undertaken in their homes – activities such as gardening, walking up and down stairs, or lifting up a shopping bag can all help if undertaken as part of a regular exercise regime.”

If you are slightly older and want to start getting more exercise, remind yourself that it’s never too late to get fit. Walking is one of the best ways to start since you don’t need any special equipment and it won’t put too much stress and strain on your joints, unlike running.

Swimming is also something else you could consider, since this also helps to protect your body while you get some exercise. And then, once you’re feeling a bit more fit and active, what about joining us for a fun netball class to see what skills you have? Even if you aren’t especially good at the sport, there’s always room for improvement and you’ll make a lot of friends as you grow in confidence. Get in touch with us today to find out more.

Costs Forcing Children Out Of Sport

All children are encouraged to take part in physical activities. However, some are at a disadvantage due to the expensive cost of equipment, classes and sports apparel, according to a recent survey.

The Aspen Institute revealed many youngsters are being forced to drop their favourite hobby as they cannot afford to continue with it.

Sports reporter Mike Gunzelman told FOX Business Network’s ‘FBN:AM’: “The amount of kids playing sports is actually dramatically increasing, and especially with lower-income and middle-class income families, and the main reason why is, of course, the cost of it.”

The survey found that only 38 per cent of kids between six and 12 years old played team sports regularly last year. This is a significant drop from 45 per cent ten years ago in 2008.

According to the report: “Children from low-income families are half as likely to play sports as kids from upper-income homes.”

This could have a detrimental impact on children who want to pursue a career in sports even though their parents might not be able to afford to keep up with payments for classes, clubs, equipment and clothing.

That is why it is so important schools encourage fitness as well, giving children the opportunity to practice their skills for free and use equipment without having to buy it.

One school that is getting kids involved in sports is Manorbrook Primary in Thornbury, which recently introduced the Gymrun fitness scheme for pupils from Years 3 to 6, the Gazette recently reported.

While Gymrun allows children to complete different fitness challenges, some kids might prefer to hone their skills in organised sports classes instead.

For affordable netball lessons in Wandsworth, give us a call today.

Netball… It’s Not Just For Girls!

Sport for boys, sport for girls… there’s no such thing anymore, and men and women can take part in any kind of activity they like, whenever they like. Interestingly, netball has always been one of those sports traditionally viewed as a girl’s game but it seems that there’s a bit of a change in the air right now, with an increasing number of men keen to play.

According to a BBC Sport report, mixed netball leagues are now going great guns and there is now one well-known men’s team, launched in 2018, making a name for itself as we speak, despite the fact that there’s no England national seven-a-side team and the men’s game is not yet recognised by the International Netball Federation.

The Knights, the all-male team launched back in April last year, was founded by Lewis Keeling who was turned onto the sport by his sister. The team play regularly against some of the best women’s sides out there, gaining exposure from matches and now boasting around 50 players across three squads.

And this year, the Northern Titans were formed by Declan Kohl, made up of male players from between Leeds and Manchester.

While the Netball World Cup has come to an end, there’s still indoor netball (known as NETS), which is a faster version of the game – and England will be taking a mixed side to South Africa for the World Cup in August, as well as a women’s team.

Speaking to the news source, Mr Kohl explained that a change is needed in schools to encourage more men to play. The game itself is a mixed game until the age of 11, with Mr Kohl saying: “That’s where you lose men’s netball. At 11, boys are told it’s a girl’s sport. We’ve definitely had things on Instagram and Twitter where people say, ‘it’s a girl’s sport’ – we’re trying to change that bias.

“Attitudes in big cities have changed a lot in recent years. In Leeds and Manchester, you do have that intercity, cosmopolitan feeling.”

Taking the game as a whole, netball itself is fast becoming one of the most popular activities, with record numbers now signing up to play.

According to the BBC, there has been a 44 per cent rise in participation at grass roots level in the last 12 months – and there are now nearly 30,000 players taking part across England.

This is down in large part to initiatives from England Netball, which have attracted women of different abilities and ages back to the game. These include walking netball, which is the sport’s fastest growing programme – the same as netball but at a slower pace so anyone can play, regardless of how fit or how old they are.

Looking for Kingston netball lessons? Get in touch with us today.

England Take Bronze In Netball World Cup

The English Roses have put in some incredible performances in the Netball World Cup this month, just narrowly missing out on a place in the final when they lost to New Zealand.

It may be some consolation to the English team that New Zealand went on to win the competition, beating long-time rivals Australia by a single goal in a thrilling final match that finished 52-51.

However, England’s Roses can walk away with their heads held high after an incredible run, capped by victory over South Africa in the bronze medal playoff.

The Roses triumphed 58-42 in a convincing win to finish their World Cup on home soil. Coach Tracey Neville is now set to step down from her role to allow her to concentrate on starting a family.

Speaking to the BBC, England captain Serena Guthrie said that they tried to give her the best possible send off.

“We almost feel like we won a gold medal because of how we have changed the game. These 12 athletes have been up against it from the beginning and I’m so proud of everyone,” she said.

For New Zealand, victory in this World Cup ended a 16 year wait for the trophy. Coach Noeline Taurua paid tribute to her veteran players, several of whom are expected to end their international careers following the win, noting that they played a vital role in the tournament.

With so many exciting games being played in the Netball World Cup, you might have been inspired to get back on the court. Sign up for Wandsworth netball classes if you want to return to netball or try the sport for the first time.

With success comes huge expectation….

As I entered the M&S Bank Arena yesterday, I knew that the England Roses were in form and this World Cup was something special.  I was ready to watch them take on the Silver Ferns, for Geva and Eboni to win the ball, for Jade, Serena, Nat and Chelsea to boss the mid-court and for Helen and Jo to be dominating the circle and the shooting percentages and then head to the Final.  But I was so nervous!  It wasn’t that old feeling of ‘we were going against the mighty Ferns, hope they aren’t on their A game so we don’t lose by 25’.  This time the nerves were because England could win and on paper for this game should win and I desperately didn’t want England to lose.  I didn’t want for THEM not to bring their A game and let NZ have a chance of taking the game. So much had changed since THAT Gold Medal.

For years I have watched England take on the Aussies and the Kiwi’s with little expectation – just hope that they get close (and not a white-wash).  I was in awe of the Diamonds and Silver Ferns.  Their athleticism, their power, tactics and skill and the fact they could have a career playing netball.  The England Roses invoke that feeling now and with that comes the expectation and pressure.  Now when the Roses take on these teams – they are expected to win by their fans and anything less will be disappointing – WE NOW BELIEVE.  When they play now – I get the feeling I get when Utd take on City – I am desperate for England to win and I know they can and yesterday I believe they should have (despite the Ferns playing a near perfect game).  England had been on form and firing – with the entire crowd behind them (remind anyone of the Diamonds at the Commonwealth Games in 2018….) but it just didn’t happen.

I am gutted that the Roses won’t be in the final as the atmosphere and battle with the Diamonds would have been immense.  But this is sport and when you step up and win a Gold medal, when your players become household names and when you keep getting great results – you need to expect the pressure .  When you are expected to win, then you can expect huge disappointment when it doesn’t happen.  The England players gave everything – their heart and their effort was all there – but unfortunately so were the errors and that is what makes it hurt.  New Zealand were unbelievable – they were back – strong, accurate and EVERYWHERE!

Though it doesn’t make any of us feel better right now, netball has come a long way since that Gold medal.   We are talking about netball and the Roses, it is on the TV, in the papers and trending all over social media.  As we walk around Liverpool bumping into old teammates, coaches, friends and netball fans from the other side of the world –  we are analysing games, talking about players and working out which combinations we would have played and which players are on their game.  This is something I have watched my Dad do with football for years- a go-to conversation with friends and family – something I didn’t expect to happen to netball.

Though this feeling of disappointment hurts and I can’t bring myself to watch the game again yet – it is how sport should feel.  I would rather this than the old feeling of ‘oh well- they did really well to only lose by 15’ with a shrug of my shoulders and on with my day.  This is why we love sport – it makes us feel, it is unpredictable and that is why the highs are spectacular and the lows can ache.

World Netball is at its most competitive – every competition and ‘friendly’ is now going to attract more viewers, more attention, more pressure (and hopefully more sponsors and money) for the players as on the day – it is anyones and that is exciting and for the fans nerve-wracking!

7 NETBALL WORLD CUP – Signature Moves

With all of the World’s Best Netballers heading to Liverpool and all of the games available on Sky, BBC and streamed on Youtube-  it is the perfect opportunity to see all of their best moves!

1 – Geva Mentor – Geva Roll – The perfect way to get around your shooter cleanly and get the intercept.

SAMSUNG NETBALL HACKS – THE GEVA ROLL

THE 'GEVA' ROLLChange things up in defence or attack – watch Sunshine Coast Lightning's Geva Mentor show how 'The Roll' can give you an advantage at either end of the court.Good Luck

Posted by Netball Australia on Sunday, June 24, 2018

2 – Gretel Tippett – Tippett Lay Up – with a basketball background Tippett brings some flair to the court

3 – Shamera Sterling – The Flyer – Great reading of the game means Sterling can time her move perfectly for a spectacular intercept.

4  – Bailey Mes – The Rebound – it doesn’t matter who you put in the circle- if there is a rebound Mes is coming away with the ball.

5 –  Laura Langman – The Feed

Laura Langman works tirelessly through the court picking endless interceptions – and is still able to able to put in an amazing feed.

Laura Langman earns 150th Test cap

Join us in congratulating Silver Fern #133 Laura Langman who has created history as the first ever Kiwi player to earn 150 Test caps! 👏🌿🖤Footage thanks to TVNZ Sport and SKY Sport NZ

Posted by Silver Ferns on Saturday, January 19, 2019

6  – Karla Pretorius – The Read and Fly

Karla Pretorius is an interception machine-she reads the game throughout the court and is poised to pounce.

Karla Pretorius 100 Intercepts

Our very own Karla Pretorius just amassed a league milestone – first player in the Suncorp Super Netball to surpass 100 Intercepts! What a champ! ⚡️🙌😍

Posted by Sunshine Coast Lightning on Tuesday, May 14, 2019

7 – Maria Folau – The Long Bomb – you try to force shooters to shoot as far away as possible – but that is exactly where Folau is at home.

 

7 NETBALL PODCASTS

Want more netball action?? Want to hear expert opinions and predictions?  Want more interviews with your favourite netball stars?  Check out these fab podcasts

1 – The Netball Show – https://www.thenetballshow.co.uk/podcasts/

Andy Lamb brings you fantastic interviews with the world’s best players and showcases what all the things that netball has to offer- check out his daily updates over the Netball World Cup.

2 – Netball Nation – https://www.mynetballnation.com/

If you love netball, banter and honestly-this is the podcast for you. Sara Bayman, Maggie Birkenshaw and Emma Jones look at all aspects of netball and their weekly score predictions are hilarious.

3 – BBC Netball Show – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p077z4mz

Claire Carter and Jess Thirlby talk all things from the world of netball. Ranging from international star players to local clubs and incredible stories from the sport.

4 – The Goal Circle – https://www.facebook.com/thegoalcircle/

The Goal Circle is a weekly show that zones in on the trials and tribulations of the Suncorp Super Netball competition. With the help of some special guests!  They are covering the World Cup too!

5 – The Inner Circle – https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/inner-circle-sharelle-mcmahon-bianca-chatfield-17th/id1463718048?i=1000444630570

Australian netball champions Sharelle McMahon & Bianca Chatfield take an in-depth weekly look at the Australian Super Netball Series. You’ll hear the most thorough reviews, comprehensive previews and in-depth analysis from 2 former Australian representatives on the game they know and love! Plus plenty of great interviews with the modern-day superstars of the competition as well as plenty of fun along the way.  The will be World Cup episodes too – looking at performances and stats!

6 – Centre Pass Podcast – https://www.facebook.com/centrepasspod/

Tune in weekly for the latest Suncorp Super Netball News with Steph Smarrelli, Sophie Taylor, Jarrad Gardner and Taylah Melki.  They also have special guests including Sue Gaudion.

7 – NetBallers – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07c8rfv

Your weekly dose of fierce netball chat hosted by England netballers Sasha and Kadeen Corbin and Betty Glover. Why can’t you run with the ball? Isn’t it a non-contact sport? And isn’t it just for girls?  Great interviews with netball stars too.

7 NETBALL WORLD CUP – Veterans

Whilst for many English fans this will be their first time to a Netball World Cup – here are some players for who this isn’t their first Rodeo…..or even their second or third!

1. Geva Mentor CBE – England

Arguably the best defender in the world – Geva made her debut for the England team at just 16 years old and she has never looked back.
Mentor was one of the first English players to make the move to Australia to play and she is now one of the legends of the game.  Her timing is unbelievable and she has the ability to shut down any shooter you put next to her with her movement, court coverage and how she reads the game.  Her presence within the circle makes the shooter question her space and the WA/C’s question where they are to put the ball.  Mentor is probably also seen as one of the cleanest defenders on the court – great discipline and court presence – you won’t see Geva arguing with the umpires!  This is Mentor’s 5th World Cup and she has also competed in 5 Commonwealth games (with the Gold Medal in 2018 of course!)

2. Laura Langman – New Zealand

Langman is the most capped Silver Fern – over taking Irene van Dyk’s record of 145 in October 2018 – and she is still racking up the caps!  Langman is a phenomenal C – she covers so much court, with the ability to cover man to man, work with the famous NZ zone, make show-stopping interceptions and still have the ability to feed a killer ball into the circle.  This is Laura’s 4th World Cup – and along with Casey Kopua – she is back to put the Silver Ferns back where they belong after their worst Commonwealth games to date.  Her energy on court will lift her team and drive them to be better – her example and court craft is priceless and she is a threat to all teams throughout the court.

3 – Casey Kopua – New Zealand

Casey Kopua debuted for NZ in 2005 and has over 100 caps for her country.  A legend in NZ – Kopua has always led by example and been a leader with the team.  Kopua is the Queen of the Comeback – in 2015 she suffered what appeared to be a career ending injury and was out for 9 months – having to work hard to re-gain full movement in her knee before she could even contemplate getting back on the court.  It is testament to her determination and character that she returned to the court in the ANZ.  Casey then took some time out from netball to have her daughter – and she is back!  NZ are a better team when she is on court – she brings a wealth of experience,  leadership and she sets the on-court standards for the younger players – she will want to put the Silver Ferns back on top in her final Netball World Cup.

4 – Erin Burger – South Africa

Erin Burger debuted for South Africa in 2007 against England.  Burger was the MVP of the World Cup in Singapore in 2011 – she is a work horse throughout the court and never seems to tire which means she is still strong in the final quarter.  Joining the Queensland Firebirds in the Suncorp this season – Burger is enjoying her netball and she is just getting better and better.  Her consistency means that she is difficult to leave out of the Proteas and her defiant defence means the intercepts will come through lots of hustle.  After suffering an inflamed heart muscle it was questionable as to if Erin would return to the court but with the resurgence of South Africa with Norma Plummer at the helm – she was determined to get back in on the action – and from their start at this year’s Netball World Cup you can see why!

5 – Caitlin Bassett – Australia

Bassett is one of the biggest names in netball and when she shot 92% in last year’s Suncorp competition you can see why!  With height and accuracy on her side – it is difficult to stop her – especially with all the Aussie Diamonds feeds firing in.  Making her debut in 2008, Cailtin headed to Singapore with the Diamonds in 2011 – Bassett only missed 4 shots the whole World Cup campaign – with 151/155 – she definitely made her mark!
As Captain Fantastic for the Netball World Cup in Liverpool – Bassett will be wanting to lead her Diamonds to victory and put they back on top after that nail-biting defeat to the Roses at home in the Commonwealth games.  Always leading by example – Bassett is a professional and will lead and guide the young players in the squad throughout this campaign.

 

6 – Jade Clarke – England

As the highest capped England player – Jade will be playing her 5th Netball World Cup.  After coming through the ranks of England Netball – she debuted in 2003 against New Zealand.  In 2011, Clarke was named England Captain and her performances always drive her team to want more.  Playing in NZ, Australia and now back in the UK – she is able to adapt to new teammates, styles of play and also her opponents – making her a very valuable player indeed.  Clarke is a versatile player – although her strongest position is WD for her relentless man to man defending and intercepts, she is a strong C and thanks to her vision, speed and accurate feeds she is more than comfortable at WA.  This could be her last Netball World Cup and so she will only want it to end with a Gold!

7 – Rhonda John-Davis – Trinidad & Tobago – RECORD 6th NETBALL WORLD CUP!

With her first Netball World Cup in 1999 – Rhonda John-Davis is best placed to reflect on how far the game has come.  With more and more competitions, nations are playing more netball and so she is excited about this year’s competition as the best nations come together to compete.  Her experience, skill and coaching experience will lift her team and her point perfect feeds to Suncorp superstar Sam Wallace will keep adding to the scoreboard.

 

7 NETBALL WORLD CUP – Rookies

It is here!!!  The Netball World Cup – Liverpool 2019.  With tickets in hand – we are off to see the world’s best netballers compete for the ultimate title – World Champions.  As Netball continues to grow the standard the this years competition is fierce!

1. Shamera Sterling – Jamaica

After helping Jamaica win bronze in the Commonwealth games after a nail-biting semi-final with England – Sterling was snapped up by Loughborough Lightning for the VNSL.  After just one season – the world could see her potential and she jumped on a flights to Australia to start for the Adelaide Thunderbirds this season.  Her flair and unbelievable interceptions have made her a player to watch – becoming a crowd favourite

Her netball debut is sure to be full of tips, flying interceptions and hustle in the circle – she will get the crowd on their feet and lift her team.

 

2. Shaunagh Craig – Northern Ireland

After playing for TEAM Bath in the VNSL and coming through the English Performance PAthway at U17, U19 and U21 – Shaunagh had taken a break from netball for a couple of years to travel in New Zealand – but when the opportunity came to play at this year’s World Cup – Shaunagh was an obvious choice for Dan Ryan given her experience and understanding of the game.  At 6ft 2 – Craig dominates the circle – using her height and strength to create and protect space.  Both of Shaunagh’s parents played basketball for Northern Ireland and so she will be bringing a bit of basketball style and flair to her role in the circle.

3. Sarah Klau – Australia

Not many players get their International debut at the World Cup – but Klau’s season with the Swifts put her firmly on the World Cup list as her dominance in Suncorp could not be ignored.  Klau has the ability to shut down shooters and take them out of the game – her relentlessness in the circle wears them down and she is one of the best rebounders to take to the court.  Considering her age – she reads the game so well and can change up her game to close down a variety of shooting styles – she looks so comfortable on the court.

 

4. Karin Berger – New Zealand

Karin is a strong and versatile player – with the ability to cover all defensive positions.  She has the ability to find an interception just when herr team needs it.  England Roses fans may recognise her from the Quad Series when she was sent off against England – her strong and relentless defending can sometimes get her a lot of whistle from the umpires – but she makes up for it in intercepts.  As well as working to limit the attackers – Berger is strong coming through the court with great distribution.

 

5. Fran Williams – England

Fran has been in the England Performance Pathway since a youngster – captaining the U21 Squad.  It has been her fantastic performances for Wasps which have cemented her place in the England Roses.  Fran is able to win ball and also bring it through the court with a relentless work rate.  Working well with an experienced Hannah Knight – Fran has been able to own the GD bib – working hard to earn her place in the World Cup Roses Squad.

6. Sigi Burger – South Africa

Sigi has been playing in the VNSL for the past two season for Surrey Storm – a fan favourite for both her fun persona and her regularly shooting over 90% throughout the season.  Sigi was not initially included in the Wold Cup 2019 squad for the Proteas – but due to an injury she has now joined the squad.  Her unorthodox style makes it difficult for defenders to contain her and know what she is going to do next – and her shooting accuracy speaks for itself.  After her best season so far with Storm – she is ready to shine as a Protea.

7. The Zimbabwe National Netball 

The Zimbabwe team made history qualifiying for the VNWC Finals for the first time.  They will bring speed, athleticism and agility to the court – with their fast paced style.  With the rise of the African nations over the past few years with Malawi and Uganda and players enjoying the opportunities to play in the UK and Australia – this is the chance for them to showcase their talent and how far they have come.  Severn Stars defenderAdelaide Muskwe will using her experience as she and her team take on the best nations in with World.  They will also be bringing their amazing fans who really brought the stadium to life in their first match!

School Boosts Fitness With Gymrun

Children are fortunate enough to enjoy a range of team sports at school these days. However, not everyone engages with these kinds of PE lessons. That is why one school in Gloucestershire has revolutionised their timetable by introducing fitness sessions instead – which has proved very popular among its young students, and has even helped improve their fitness levels.

Manorbrook Primary in Thornbury has launched the Gymrun fitness scheme in its school for those in Years 3 to 6, reported the Gazette.

Instead of a football, hockey or netball class, Gymrun gets children to complete five fitness challenges. These are designed to measure their speed, stability, strength, stamina and power.

Through bodyweight training and sprints, pupils will be able to boost their fitness, as well as their overall health and wellbeing.

It is particularly beneficial to those youngsters who might not have the greatest athletic ability, and therefore, may not get picked for sports teams. Instead of feeling discouraged and losing motivation to maintain physical activities, these classes encourage kids to “achieve everything you can out of the ability you have”.

“The graded badge scheme enables you to set personal goals and targets. You have to put in the hard work and the end results will come. This is what makes it engaging. There aren’t many things that do this,” Gymrun ambassador and Bristol Rovers player Stuart Sinclair has said.

The challenges include running, jumping, and doing sit-ups, encouraging everyone who takes part to reach five basic fitness outcomes by the time they leave primary school.

A teacher from Manorbrook Primary’s Year 6 class told the news provider: “There has been a clear improvement in children’s general fitness as well as how they approach a task they find tricky because they see how their hard work can lead to progress.”

Indeed, getting involved in physical activity as a child has many far-reaching benefits. As well as reducing the risk of obesity, encouraging a positive relationship with exercise in adulthood, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it has also been linked with child development.

UNICEF’s recent Getting into the Game: Understanding the Evidence for Child-Focused Sport for Development report, which it produced together with the Barca Foundation, determined that fitness has a “powerful impact on their overall education and life skills development”.

The study concluded that those who regularly participate in sport have a high self-esteem, feel empowered, and are more likely to go on to become trusted leaders.

At Sisters n Sport, we actively promote the benefits of getting into fitness at a young age. Our classes are available for those as young as four years old, and even though children in the Reception year might not have the talents of older children, this is where they learn to develop important gross motor skills.

Indeed, in our Netball Tots session, we teach throwing, catching, footwork, teamwork, and target practice, all through enjoyable games.

If you want to get more information about netball classes in Redhill or other areas of the UK for your youngster, give us a call today.