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.

Parents ‘Struggling’ To Get Kids Away From Screens

We all know the benefits of getting out and about and being more physically active, whether that’s by signing up for Kingston netball lessons, kicking a ball about or simply just going for a long walk around your local area – but it seems that there are many parents out there still struggling to convince their children to step away from their computer and phone screens, and start being more active instead.

Chief executive of Sport England Tim Hollingsworth has come out and said that helping parents encourage their children to be more physically active is one of his key challenges, with a new study due to be released that will examine the levels of activity among young people, the BBC reports.

Mr Hollingsworth explained to BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek programme that he too faces the same struggles as other mums and dads, as the father of two teenage boys… and he’s now going to try to make sport more accessible for all.

“How do you make sport more accessible? Can we make booking a sporting facility or going and finding out what’s available to you as easy as TripAdvisor makes it for hotels and restaurants?

“We do have to think differently about what activity is, what exercise can be, because it’s not right to suggest that everyone has the time, the space, the opportunity, the finances to do sport in a purely traditional way,” he went on to say.

It seems that an increasing number of people are becoming more interested in leading an active lifestyle and getting off the sofa to move around more. Recent Sport England research shows that nearly 300,000 more people are now enjoying 150 minutes of physical activity each week and 116,400 fewer people are now considered inactive (which means doing over 30 minutes of activity every week).

If you’re keen to start moving about more or encouraging your kids to do the same, starting netball classes could be a really fun way to go about it. Not only your health and fitness improve, but you could make lots of new friends into the bargain.

Here at Sisters n Sport, we run a series of different programmes aimed at people of all ages so everyone can take part. If you have very little ones at home, why don’t you look into your Netball Tots class, which is the perfect way to introduce your kids to this particular sport.

We’ll teach them all the key skills involved, from throwing and catching to speed, footwork and agility through lots of fun games, as well as encouraging them to learn about teamwork and collaboration. Parent participation is also required for our preschool classes so you and your brood will have a fantastic time, learning and playing together.