#wedNEWSday – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles.

With Breast Cancer Awareness month happening in October Netball South West are very grateful to Natasha for sharing her experience of breast cancer and the impact that playing netball had on her journey.

“In November 2020 I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in my right breast. Hearing the news I had breast cancer was the worst day of my life. All I could think of was my two girls and who would look out for them if I died. I had 18 chemotherapy sessions, lumpectomy, and lymph node clearance under my arm and then 15 sessions of radiotherapy. I finished all my treatment in September 2021 and was told that I was cancer free. I was very lucky that I caught my breast cancer early, if I had left it any longer it could have spread to other organs which would have made my diagnosis terminal. It was a relief when I finished my treatment and I realised just how strong a person I am. Hearing those words “it’s over” was the best feeling ever. I asked myself a lot of the time why me, why have I got cancer, I am too young, I am only 37. I will never be the old Tash again, but I will thrive to be the new me. 

Having played netball since I was 7 years old, the sport is an important part of my life and I have made so many great netball friends from it. When I was diagnosed, netball wasn’t going ahead but as soon as it was back on I was keen to play. Throughout my chemotherapy, I continued going to Sue Anderson’s (former Bristol NDCC) sessions at Merchants. I made myself play half the time as I was sometimes exhausted from my treatment. I played all the way up to surgery and went back to netball quite quickly after, I was so keen to get back to being me again.

Throughout my journey with breast cancer, netball has helped me emotionally, socially and physically. Just turning up, meeting new people, and playing a game that I love. Sue was checking in on me throughout the sessions making sure I was ok and not overdoing it. I am now playing in a league with my team Portishead Pirates and enjoying the sport that I love.

I would like to thank a few people who all have a big place in my heart and whom I couldn’t have got through this without: Sue Anderson for taking me to all my chemotherapy sessions and picking me up and for making me a lovely bag of hospital goodies to help me through them. Emma Dorrington for dropping and picking Rosealin up from school. And my netball team Portishead Pirates especially Lindy for raising money to help me look like me again and have some dignity back. Also for the constant check ins and calls and just caring for me, I will never forget that. 

Everyone deals with cancer differently I choose to be positive, actively play the sport I love and live life to the full.”

Our thoughts and best wishes go out to anyone who is going through or has been through cancer. For more support and information please follow the links below:

https://breastcancernow.org/

https://breastcancersupport.org.uk/

https://www.macmillan.org.uk/cancer-information-and-support/breast-cancer

https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/breast-cancer/living-with/resources-books

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to the South West Regional Coordinator (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk)

#wedNEWSday – #TimeTogether Campaign

Each week we bring you a good news story from across the South West as part of our wedNEWSday articles.

This week in line with Women In Sport’s #TimeTogether Campaign, which is encouraging mothers/mother figures and daughters to reconnect through sport, we spoke to England Netball’s very own Sarah Clark about her experience of sharing her passion for netball with her daughters.

“I can’t ever remember not playing netball and for many years it was a lifeline, a parallel universe away from challenging home and personal situations. At times I played for four different teams each week – not a chance of my body withstanding that now! I have worked across the UK and with each move, the first thing I did was join my local netball team. I did not start giving back to the netball community until my own three girls were in primary school. Following an ACL reconstruction and an enforced year out, I trained as a level 2 coach to stay in touch with the sport. After a few years coaching at my girls’ primary school, I started Axe Vale Netball Club with two of my netball friends. Coaching your own children is not always easy but all three of my girls fell in love with the sport instantly and they have never seemed to mind me always being around. I soon found that I had to buy a 7-seater car as one of the benefits of having your mum on the coaching team is that she can give a lift to all your friends who are also coming to the match! I have ended many a netball journey with my ears ringing from all the loud singing and shouting that seems to accompany six teenagers in a car. In my younger days, I spent many years just turning up for training and matches without any idea of the effort to make it all happen and I was keen that my girls would start giving back to the netball community as soon as possible. All my girls have helped coached, umpire and support netball events and whilst there is sometimes an incentive like Duke of Edinburgh Award or Pass on Your Passion hours, I know they are also doing it for enjoyment. I think this has also given them an insight into how many volunteering hours go into the netball community and why it is important to make a contribution from a young age. I have helped them learn to coach and umpire and they have taught me how to use social media to publicise events and successes! Netball certainly gives us a common language but importantly it gives us some cross over in diaries and I know that we will be spending at least two nights together. I now play in a netball team with my two older teenagers – the whole of the defence is the Clark family! The youngest Clark is busy playing with Team Bath at the moment, but I hope that one day I will play with all my girls in the same team. We still do the netball journeys in the 7-seater but this time it is my seventeen year olds who are complaining that the middle aged ladies are making too much noise!”

Feel inspired to get involved in netball? Then click here to find a session close to you and start your #TimeTogether today.

If you have a good news story that you would like to share please send your story and a picture to the South West Regional Coordinator (southwest@englandnetball.co.uk)

#wedNEWSday – Start your netball journey today

Here in the South West we strive to better the delivery of our netball programmes across the region, however, in order to succeed in inspiring others to take part in netball we need YOU to become part of it too.

Over the upcoming months we have several Walking Netball Host Training and Bee Netball workshops on offer.

What is Walking Netball?

Women the length of the country have been playing Walking Netball for fun, laughter and the camaraderie the sessions bring, as much as the health benefits on offer. It can give those who feel isolated an outlet, provide an activity for those who don’t deem themselves fit enough to run anymore and offer a stepping stone for those looking for a pathway back into netball. Unlike most of the other courses England Netball offer, no prior qualifications or skills are required to attend the Host Training workshop – in fact the very best way is to start as a participant yourself!

NSW asked current Walking Netball Host, Karen Perryman, why she enjoys being a host:

I think being a Walking Netball host makes you feel that you are making a difference by re-engaging people in your community to exercise many of whom have not been active for years. It does not matter how good or fit you are, Walking Netball really is for everyone to enjoy and the satisfaction it gives me as a host is huge. Seeing them laugh and having fun whilst improving their health whilst making great friends along the way. We are a family and have supported and helped each other during good times and bad.”What is Bee Netball?

Bee Netball is a framework for primary school children to get a great start in life through learning valuable skills including social, emotional and teamwork, all through netball. Bees themselves exemplify many of the values that netball instils; they’re active, hardworking, have a real sense of belonging and that’s exactly what we hope all our very own Bees (the young players!) develop as they are introduced to our great sport! Aimed at teachers and coaches, this workshop will be all you need to deliver this great programme in your setting.

Experienced Bee Netball Workshop Tutor, Lisa Birks, comments:

“The Bee Netball workshops are a good blend of practical and theorical aspects of this brilliant progressive and interactive grassroots programme. Whether you are looking for tips on how to deliver the skills, reward the values or simply network with fellow coaches in your area, you will hopefully go away more informed and raring to deliver the ethos of Bee Netball into your clubs and schools.” 

Don’t miss your chance to book onto one of these workshops here.

Walking Netball Host Training

Date: Sunday 17th October 2021

Time: 10am – 4pm 

Location: Bucklers Mead Leisure Centre, 1 St John’s Road, Yeovil, Somerset, BA21 4NH

** booking for this workshop closes today (06/10/2021) **

 

Date: Sunday 5th December 2021

Time: 11am – 5pm

Location: Falmouth School, Trescobeas Road, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4LH

 

Date: Sunday 9th January 2022

Time: 11am – 5pm 

Location: Rednock School, Kingshill Road, Durlsey, GL11 4BY

 

Date: Sunday 16th January 2022

Time: 11am – 5pm

Location: Paignton Academy, Waterleat Road, Paignton, TQ3 3WA

 

Date: Sunday 20th February 2022

Time: 11am – 5pm 

Location: Warminster School, Church Street, Warminster, BA12 8PJ

 

Bee Netball Workshops:

Dates: Monday 8th November 2021

Times: 5pm – 8pm

Location: Stoke Damerel Community College, Somerset Place, Stoke, Plymouth PL3 4BD

 

Date: Wednesday 19th January 2022

Time: 5.30pm – 8.30pm

Location: Cheltenham Ladies College, Bayshill Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 3EP