In 1891, two days after the first ever men’s basketball match, a revised version of the sport was adopted by women. This version was renamed ‘netball’ in 1895.
Netball’s popularity spread around the world, and it is now played in almost 80 countries by over 20 million women and men. Although male players are comparatively rare, numbers are steadily growing. Last year the England Men’s and Mixed Netball Association was founded and held its first national tournament. On 26th August this year, the first ever England Mixed Netball squad will compete in the national tournament.
Walking Netball was introduced in 2017 and is arguably the second-fastest growing walking sport after Walking Football. The game is played to Netball Association rules and led by a qualified coach. Its overall aims are to improve personal fitness levels, provide the social and mental benefits of playing a team sport and, above all, to be fun.
Loose, comfortable clothing and a pair of trainers are all that’s needed to play.
Each session involves gentle warm-up exercises, a short 24-minute game with breaks at 6-minute intervals, followed by an opportunity to swap stories with fellow players over a relaxing cup of tea or coffee.
Rotherham u3a and Rotherham United Community Sports Trust are certainly keeping their eyes on the ball. Together they’re bringing Walking Netball to Rotherham. The venue is St Thomas’ Community Hall, Kimberworth. The activity is open to all, irrespective of gender, fitness level or previous playing experience. Weekly subs are £2.50.
Would-be players are invited to contact Andy Glossop (RUCST) on 07508 495883 or email@example.com, or call the switchboard on 01709 827767.
For more information on this and other Ru3a activities, visit www.u3asites.org.uk/rotherham.