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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)