‘How the Fast 5 Netball Tournament inspired me & lots of other young netballers’
On Saturday 13th October, I went to watch the British Fast 5 Netball at the Copper Box at the Olympic Park. In my opinion, Fast 5 Netball is a fast paced, inspiring sport when you don’t know what will happen next – one minute you could be losing 15-0 then the next you could be winning 30-15. It’s not a game where if your team is winning by a huge difference you can relax because you never know what will happen next and that is what makes it more exciting and different from other sports.
The atmosphere was fantastic but what stood out to me was not seeing lots of women playing netball, not that it was being filmed by Sky Sports (although both of these were amazing!); what stood out to me was seeing lots of girls supporting their teams – Wasps, Mavericks or Surrey Storm or any other team. They had come to support their team, just as people go to support their football or rugby teams.
Another brilliant thing at the Fast 5 was seeing the players playing their hearts out but then despite being probably very tired, they all took the time to sign autographs. They may not realise it but it means so much to girls my age (11) to meet our sport heroines. Who knows if watching and meeting these netballers might lead to the start of a new generation of female sports stars?
If you have not been to watch a netball match live yet, although you have started playing at school, I would recommend going along to one because it is really inspiring. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it” as the 20×20 campaign says.
It was honour to speak to Sharni Layton and to be allowed to touch Rachel Dunn’s Golden Ball Award for the Player of the Tournament (well done to her). Now all I want to do is to go out and practise lots of shooting!
On Saturday I took my 5 year old daughter to the Copper Box for the British Fast5 Netball Allstars. I was excited for her to go to a big arena and so with my sister and Mum we headed down to London on the train.
I felt this was a big deal – I was excited about how far the game had come with a huge showcase at The Copper Box, excited she could see some amazing players, be inspired by fantastic athletes and see some close competition. Annie was also very excited – Thunder Bear in hand –she was off to watch her favourite sport and support her team – but for her it was no biggie! She was going to the game – just like her brother does.
She wasn’t thinking about how great it was to see female athletes at a great venue, or that Sky Sports were showing the event, or how many seats were filled or that it was such a professional, well-organised event – (excellent job by Matchroom) – she was just going to watch Thunder – going to watch her team play.
That’s when I realised we were going in the right direction – making going to the game, normal.
Annie loved the whole day – when Josie Huckle sat next to us and chatted to her about the game – she was awe-struck, when Caroline O Hanlon had a photo with her – she couldn’t stop smiling, when she met Karen Greig and Sharni Leyton – she beamed that these players and coaches had spoken to her – she wanted to be a netballer. Through watching the awesome talent on display she was inspired by these great athletes and through how approachable they were she believed it was actually possible to be them one day.
Twitter erupted throughout the day – I mean did anyone mention Sharni Leyton was playing… Everyone was talking about the awesome talent on court in Sharni Leyton, Cat Tuivaiti, Ash Brazill, Anna Thompson, Stacey Francis, Shelby-Ricketts and the ridiculous shooting from Rachel Dunn and Karyn Bailey. Everyone was talking about what a brillant atmosphere there was and what a great event it was. We all showed up and it was great! We all came away thinking – we need to do this again!
On Monday, the #20×20 campaign from the Federation of Irish Sport was launched – it shows strong girls who love sport. They love playing and they love watching – but their role models are all men. Through the strong tagline – ‘If she can’t see it, she can’t be it’ – it makes us realise that as well as the media – we need to make sure our girls need to SEE elite women in their sports – so they can aspire to be them and believe it is possible.
Through the successful campaigning from pioneering sportswomen and organisations, there are now more opportunities to take our sons and daughters to the women’s game, to expose them to the joy and anguish of sport, the wins and the losses, the role models and the inspirations. Through the ShowUp campaign we know we need to turn up to the game and turn on the TV to show that we want to see these events – numbers are the key!
As we arrived back in Chester, Thunder ball under one arm and Thunder Bear in the other – I asked my daughter if she had fun – she looked up at me and said ‘Yes! Can we go and watch girl’s football next?’
My heart burst – I just need to make sure it’s a United game….
5 Reasons Why……You MUST NOT miss The British Fast5 Netball All-Stars – 13th October 2018
Fast5 Netball returns to London as The British Fast5 Netball All-Stars hits the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, October 13 2018 – it looks to be awesome! The best of British netball will again be showcased along with the announcement of some HUGE names from International netball!
Defending champions Loughborough Lightning will be challenged by Wasps Netball, Manchester Thunder, Team Bath, benecosMavericks, Severn Stars, Surrey Storm and UWS Sirens – and it is not just pride and on the line – winner takes £25,000 all the way to bank!
Fast5 will be exactly as the name suggests – FAST and just 5 players on court per team!
But why is the 2018 British Fast5 Netball All-Stars not to be missed…
1. International Superstar, All-Stars!
In July 2018, Sharni Leyton – the Australian Powerhouse who brought fierce, fun and honesty to the netball court as well as unbelievable talent retired from both domestic and international netball. The netball world were devastated that we would no longer be able to watch this unique talent take the court…..but Sharni wouldn’t leave before saying goodbye and Fast5’s will be the perfect showcase!
Sharni will take the court for Surrey Storm and you will likely hear her before you see her as she spurs on her team and enjoys her final netball run-out. Sharni will be joined by:
Cat Tuivaiti – Ex NZ International and Adelaide Thunderbirds – taking the court for UWS Sirens.
Ashleigh Brazill – Aussie Diamond, Magpies Netballer and AFL Player – will be donning the Severn Stars dress (so good Ash plays two sports!)
Kiwi Duo of Anna Thompson and Te Huinga Reo Shelby Rickit will be bring the Manchester Thunder to the tournament.
Super Netball Grand Finalist and England Superstar Stacey Francis will be swapping the Green for the Blue and Gold of TeamBath.
Do I need to list anymore??? The chance to see all of these players take to the court with our Super League favourites – go buy those tickets!
2. Five Players – No Wings!
If you are a team that’s fast on the break – this is a game for you! No wings means players are on the move more, create faster attacking plays and there is the opportunity for more flying interceptions. So basically its pretty spectacular to watch as this is not a possession game – it is a chance to showboat – and who doesn’t love a showboat!
3. The Fast and the Furious – Coaches are in total control!
We have all seen the ‘sprained finger’ that needs iced and sudden limp which requires substitution when a team are on a bad run in the third quarter – but there is no need for the Oscar worthy performances in Fast5. On October 13th – Roll on Subs! As many changes – whenever the coach wants! So there is no one getting tired, no drop in pace and if you don’t bring it, you are off!
4. The Long Bomb – All about the Shooters!
We have all heard the roar of the crowd when a 3-pointer lands in the last second of a basketball game – but what if you could score a 5 pointer? Well you can in Fast 5! You can score 1, 3 and 5 points – which means shooters mean business! We don’t want safe here – we want flair!!
5. Golden Buzzer – The fight for the buzzer!
So shooters can score 1,3,5 points – but did I mention they can be doubled in POWER PLAY?
Each team has the ability to double their points for a 2 minute period of play.
This must be used during the first 10 mins of play and can’t be used if the other team is in a period of power play. It is all about the tactics of the coach and the race to the buzzer (as long as they remember to press it…)
Get yourself to the Copper Box for an amazing event – but if you can’t make it – catch it on Sky Sports – 13th October 2018.
WIN COURTSIDE TICKETS
@Fast5allstars have given Sisters n Sport ‘Four Pairs of Courtside Tickets’ to give away. Head over to our Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to enter!
In honour of International Women’s Day 2018, the team at SistersnSport raided our favourite social media posts over the last couple of years to find our most inspiring quotes and stories from netballers all over the world.
With examples of amazing resilience, teamwork, self-esteem, determination, these Super Sporty Sisters are fantastic sports role models. To us, they are what netball and team sport are all about!
To all 16 of you, thank you for inspiring us! ❤
Happy #IWD2018 !
1.Helen Housby, England & NSW Swifts
2.Caitlin Bassett, Australia & Sunshine Coast Lightning
On being tall:
“Being the tallest girl in the school was tough.….just because I’m tall doesn’t mean I can’t hear. At that age you just want to fit in. But being unique is a strength and I want to use my strength to inspire others.”
“You only get belief from actually doing the work beforehand. Then you’ll have confidence in yourself. But you cannot have that belief in something if you’re not putting in the work. It gives you that drive to succeed.”
“I missed out on a lot of teams when I was younger. I sat on the bench for 5 years. I didn’t believe in myself. Didn’t think I was good enough to be there. But I was like you know what — cut it out and focus. So, I did extra sessions at the gym and on court work. It just gave me confidence that if I applied myself I could achieve what I wanted to. And then it went to “now I’m playing and now I want to be the best.”
“I look at myself in the mirror in the eye before a game and say “you got this” and whoever you are playing today “has not got this.”
“DREAMS DO COME TRUE If you had of asked me 3 years ago if this dream was achievable I would’ve had my doubts. I’m so proud of my persistence, hard work and the unwavering support of those closest to me. We did it. COMM GAMES BABY!! “
“If you’re really passionate about the game, you’ll always put your best foot forward. Whatever position you’re put in, that’s the passion you have to get the turnovers, to get the shots in, and pass the ball to your team-mates.
That’s the passion you need to have for the game, and the drive you need to succeed. If you’ve got that passion then you’ll always be there at training and you’ll be a real team player.”
“Netball has been fantastic for life skills: It’s given me confidence — I’m able to work in a team, I’m able to sometimes lead — discipline and the determination to hit goals and targets that we’ve set.”
“I made a promise to myself at 18 years of age that whenever anything came across the table I would always say yes to it before I’d think about it because 9 times out of 10 it would push me outside my comfort zone & those experiences are the best.”
On staying active in sport:
12.Fiona Moore-McGrath, ex-Scotland & Sirens
On netball role models:
“For me and the rest of the girls to be able to provide a little bit of inspiration to these kids (at Sirens home games) is just fantastic. Hopefully it makes them think well if she can do it, why can’t I? There’s no reason why they can’t follow in our footsteps and do it even better than us and I hope they realise that.”
“Enjoy yourself and your time learning a new sport and making new friends. Don’t put any pressure or expectations on yourself. You can want to get better, but do this by giving your all at every training session and game and everything else will look after itself. Remember to be you and let your personality shine whilst playing!”
5 tips to help your daughter bounce back when she doesn’t make the netball team
The beginning of a new school year means the school sports teams are gearing up for a whole new year of training and matches against other schools. Dates for the trials are announced and discussions reach excited levels of chatter. Girls imagine representing their school, playing in the team with their friends, travelling on the coach to play at other schools and maybe even tournaments, having their names and results announced in assembly to the whole school……..
But there’s a limited number of places — only 7 on a netball team, 14 if there’s a B team. So, sadly there will be a fair number of girls who aren’t chosen this time round. It’s especially hard to take when it’s a sport the girls really enjoy and one they have done well at. Not to mention when some of their friends and peers have been chosen for the team.
Disappointment happens a lot in sport and life in general, when the outcome of a situation doesn’t turn out the way you were hoping or planning for. It’s hard to handle as an adult and even harder as a child who feels rejected.
So, here are five tips to help your daughter cope with disappointment and learn to bounce back:
Firstly, listen to her. Let her explain how she feels about not being on the team. Give her the chance to share her disappointment, pain or vent her anger. Be supportive, not critical. Reassure her that you’re happy she did her best. Your words at this vulnerable point are critical in determining whether your daughter just gives up on the sport or is able to learn to handle the situation and look for the chances to try again next time. Reassure her that there will probably be more trials during the year when there will be more opportunities to try out for the teams if she’d still like to.
2. Don’t be angry or bitter with the PE teacher for not selecting your daughter. Bite your tongue and keep your views to yourself, otherwise there’s a danger your daughter might repeat your opinion to others, which undermines the team and teacher, not to mention causes more problems.
3. Make an action plan — doing something about a tricky situation always helps you feel more positive. If she even registers a tiny bit of interest in making the team later in the year,encourage her to stay positive and try her absolute best when playing netball in her PE lessons, so she stays on the radar of the PE teacher. Suggest finding out about non-team netball at school (if there is a lunchtime/after school club), so she can keep learning new skills. If there isn’t one, then maybe she could suggest having one? She won’t be the only one in this situation. She might feel like giving up and never playing again for a few days, so don’t force the issue if she doesn’t want to.
4. Netball can still be fun outside of the school teams! There are many local netball clubs which take girls from year 5 onwards or even younger, like SistersnSport who offer fun, non-competitive skills schools at the weekends. There are also some excellent netball skills drills on the internet your daughter can try out, both on her own or with a small group of friends in the garden or park. (Try the Foundation Skills series on Netball Australia, Crazy Catch, Ball work with SistersnSport, Trish’s Top Tips on Welsh Netball).
5. Encourage her to try different sports out too. She may not have found “her sport” yet. It’s great fun for children to experiment with different sports to find one that they really enjoy. If she sticks to just one sport, or worse, gives up on all sport after not making the team, then she’ll never have the chance to find her sports passion.
Everyone who tries their best to succeed in a sport will face challenges, competition and setbacks at some point. It’s not easy to do, but if you can help your daughters to handle disappointment with grace and dignity from an early age, you are teaching them something even more valuable than how to play netball — the life skill of resilience!
And if they need that extra inspiration, check out this inspiring video of the irrepressible Sharni Layton, captain of the Australian netball team, who “sat on the bench for five years and missed out on a lot of teams when she was younger.” Now regarded as one of the best players in the world!
Short girl problems: How to succeed at netball when you’re the smallest player on the court
Quite a few of us have been there. You arrive at your netball match and you’re the shortest girl on the court. It happened to me at school, at my office’s netball league and Back to Netball. Don’t despair — netball isn’t just for tall girls.
Australia’s Madi Robinson 168 cm (5 ft 6 in) and Sasha Corbin (1 cm taller) have bossed the netball mid-courts all over the world. (OK, these two are still 6/7 inches taller than me, but they’re playing against even taller netballers, so it’s all relative!)
So, what can you learn from them? Here are 12 tactics you can use to more than make up for your lack of stature:
1. Speed — Smaller players are often quicker around the court and harder for the taller players to keep tabs on. Quick, darting moves are your best friends on court. Here’s a couple of useful drills to practise in between games from Sisters n Sport.
2. Balance — Turn that lower centre of gravity to your advantage: Throw in some nifty footwork and you’ll be able to turn and change direction that bit quicker than your taller opponents and so shake them off your tail. Try these change of direction skills from the NSW Swifts.
3. Agility and reflexes — Being that bit closer to the ground and action, your reactions HAVE to be quicker otherwise you risk getting hit in the face or being at perfect elbow height for your taller opponent. So, your reflexes and alertness are often better developed from a self-preservation viewpoint! Check out Sasha Corbin’s agility tips here.
4. Work ethic — Being that bit smaller means you have to work a bit harder to cover the ground (literally!). But build on your stamina and turn it into a positive for your team. BE the dynamic engine that drives your team!
5. Using space — “Here when you need” — the cry of the Wing Attack. Very appropriate for a shorter player often ending up as a WA or WD. There’s no point your teammates lobbing the ball up to you as if you were Megan Craig, so you’ll need to dart into space if you want to receive the ball. Again, you can turn this to your advantage by being there for a quick one-two, especially around the circle.
6. Hustle — You won’t have the luxury of waiting for the ball to be passed above other people’s heads into your hands so you’ll probably have to do a bit of hustling in the mid-court to get involved. But every great team needs a battler with a big heart to get the team going, so why can’t it be you?!
7. Great technique — Netball is all about the technique — once the ball is in your hands, your height is less of an issue: Fake passes, one-twos, mixing up the type of passes are all in your armoury just as for any other team member. If you’ve got great vision for passing, your height will be no obstacle.There’s some brilliant passes on this Netball Squad article to inspire you.
8. Keep moving — You know when you have to mark someone that doesn’t stand still and how HARD it is? Well, be that person! Even if you’re half a foot smaller, they still have to mark you. Especially annoying for them if you’re behind them and they have to chase to keep up with you. If Madi Robinson of Australia can do it, so can you!*
9. Jumping and stretching — Add inches to your height! Just because you’re shorter doesn’t mean you can’t time those leaps or stretches for the ball perfectly and nick the ball back for your team!
10. Get close to your opponent — You may be several inches shorter, but your sheer presence and persistence will help put her off her stride. Put the player under pressure to make her earn every ball. Again, your stamina can take you far. Don’t give up! Check out this brilliant Netball Australia Guide to Defending for tips.
11. Reading the play — Get better at reading where the ball is going to end up: use this plus your speed to get there ahead of your opponent when the ball does rebound.
And most importantly, no. 12 — Self Belief
You might have been on the end of thoughtless comments from others at school or on the court about your height and your ability, but don’t let what other people say put you off a fantastic team game.
Take a leaf out of legendary basketballer Nate Robinson’s book. He certainly never let his 1.75 m stature put him off playing and became the NBA’s first three-time slam dunk champion. When questioned about his height, he simply replied “I’d rather have heart than height.”
Source: The Saturday Paper 21/2/15 Interview with Madi Robinson
17 Reasons Mums Hated Sport With A Passion. But Now They’re Encouraging Their Own Daughters To Take It Up. Why?
PE at school for girls in the 1980s or 90s seems a bit of a marmite topic — you either loved it or hated it. We asked some of our Mum friends about their memories of their schooldays. The replies came back thick and fast, not altogether positive, but often accompanied with good excuses to get out of PE!*
Why did you dislike PE at school?
Being picked last for a team
Petrified of being injured
The ordeal of the freezing showers
The lack of showers
Hated coming last
Hated the pain from doing sport — blisters, sore muscles, stitches
Hated the cold
Lack of self-esteem
Being too tall
Being too small
Military style PE teachers
13. PE teachers only friendly with the sporty girls
17. Being forced to do sports you didn’t like — no choice
Things have thankfully moved on since then but these comments backed up our thoughts when we set up Sisters n Sport (or Skills n Sport as it was) three years ago. Which is why we pride ourselves on being fun and friendly (and of course, fabulous) before everything else at our term-time weekend netball skills schools and holiday netball camps.
Yes, that’s right. Having fun and learning come above competitiveness and winning. We’ve had sweets as target practices, benchball, giggly passing the balls over our heads or through our legs, dressing up netballers and balls, 30 second Crazy Catch and shooting challenges, Mums & Dads taking on our coaches in the odd game…..
We love boosting individuals’ confidence by gently encouraging the girls to try something new or tricky. And of course, making new friends and having a good laugh while keeping fit.
Oh yes. Keeping fit and healthy.
That’s where our Mums come back in. They know how little exercise kids get these days. They know the mental and physical benefits of playing team sports. They know they want sports coached in a more nurturing, positive way in a safe, friendly environment. They know that being fit when you’re young is essential to long-term health.
As one of the Mums said to us: “I just want my daughter to play sport, to be fit and healthy and have fun along the way.”
· Not all was lost for these Mums sports-wise. The majority overcame their school PE terrors in later life and “found their fit selves” by taking up yoga, tennis, pilates, running and gym classes. Some even admitted to enjoying sport and some have even taken up netball courtesy of the @England_Netball“Back to Netball” campaign!
Sisters n Sport run term-time weekend Netball Skills Schools from School Year 2 upwards in Putney, Kingston, Reigate, Cobham and Surbiton plus Netball Camps during the school holidays.