A walking netball group held at a CV Life venue is increasing in popularity.
Nearly twenty keen participants come to Moat House Leisure and Community Centre every week to take part in gentle yet competitive activities.
The weekly session is proving so popular, a second will be set up soon with a host of staff already receiving training to coach it.
Held on a Wednesday morning between 9.30am and 10.30am, the sessions are held in conjunction between Coventry Moves and Netball England. They are suitable for all abilities, with participants ages ranging from players in their 40s to some in their 80s.
The session will soon be run solely within Coventry Moves, which will free up Netball England to hold a second session at an alternative CV Life elsewhere in the city.
Jade Woodward, community programme coordinator for CV Life, spoke of the benefits of walking netball.
“The walking netball sessions are incredibly popular with women from all over the city coming to play,” Jade said. “It gives an opportunity for people to get out and enjoy some competitive yet friendly activity.
“But the social element is also hugely positive. The sessions are fun and friendly with the players often stopping to have a cup of tea and a catch up in the cafe afterwards – they’ve been known to stay there for over an hour after netball is finished!”
The sessions consist of a warmup and some netball-themed games followed by a match played in good spirits with lots of laughter and just the right amount of competitive spirit. It ends with a warm down to prevent injuries and achy muscles.
Amy, one of Netball England’s community coaches who run the sessions, said: “The people who come might be a bit older or they might be coming back from an injury. They might not have that mobility to move around quickly or run.
“But while walking netball gets the older generation out and moving and gets them active, it is also very social. They have a chat each week and interact with one another which stops people getting lonely or isolated.
“We pride ourselves on creating a good, positive atmosphere as well as a sense of community.
“But don’t be fooled by the word ‘walking’. These ladies can move fast and some of them have so much skill and talent – it’s honestly great to watch them. They come and have a laugh, they all play with a smile on their face and generally have fun while keeping active.”
Anne has been playing walking netball for about four years, having not played since she was a girl.
She said: “I was a hockey player and hadn’t played netball since school. It’s been great, it’s a fantastic group of people and I’ve made some good friends.
“It’s for all abilities – we have some good players, but also some that are not as strong, but everyone makes allowances. We have great fun and a lot of laughs.”
Amanda has also been playing for around four years. She said: “There is always a lot of laughing. These sessions are a chance to do a bit of exercise but also have a lot of fun, have a chat, a cup of coffee and keep warm.
“We are competitive, but to enjoy it and have fun is more important than winning.”
Walking Netball is held every Wednesday from 9.30am at Moat House Leisure and Community Centre. Keep your eyes peeled for a second session which will be announced soon.
Article written by Danny Thompson.