Walk The Court With Netball
by Sasha Kanal
Do you have fond memories of playing netball? If you’d like to try the sport again, but at a gentler pace, Sasha Kanal may just have the game for you.
Netball is thriving across the UK with record numbers of participants playing the game according to England Netball. The British national team is now ranked as one of the top two teams in the world, which has of course helped the sport’s popularity no end. Mainly a sport for women, men too are now taking up the mantel with their version of the game called ‘nets’, also fast gaining recognition.
Many of you lovely Sussex Living readers will remember playing netball at school with those all too familiar positions of goal defence and goal attack and not forgetting the excitement and pace of a really satisfying match.
So what about those who are older, less fit and have a medical condition or perhaps some sort of physical impediment that stops them from running around a netball court with ease? Step in walking netball! Having evolved from a growing demand and trend for walking sports here in the UK, walking netball is now being offered across Sussex at sports clubs and leisure centres.
WHAT IS IT EXACTLY?
Walking netball is a slower version of a normal netball game. Netball literally done at a walking pace, designed to be open to all, regardless of fitness levels or age. The rules are clear and so are the health benefits!
Walking netball uses a regular netball court as well as the official seven aside netball positions. A player must never have both feet o the ground at once, meaning no running or jumping allowed! Once a player receives the ball, they can only take one or two steps with the ball in their hands before they pass to their teammate or shoot for a goal. Similarly, a player may only keep the ball in their possession for up to 4 seconds before they must pass it on or shoot again.
As well as being a stepping-stone back into the regular game of netball after a long hiatus, the health benefits are not to be overlooked despite it being a slower pursuit. Although you only ‘walk’, it’s the pace of the walk that really reaps rewards and stacks up movement on your activity counter. Continually moving and stretching your limbs, as well as the mental agility and tactics required to try and win make it a great all rounder. Many players, especially those who wouldn’t normally partake in a team sport due to its perceived faster pace, and the social aspect the most beneficial thing about it. Walking through the door to greet your team, a good warm up and then playing a game and communicating to each other, not to mention the rush of endorphins and you have a ‘match’ made in heaven!