Looking back over my life, there hasn’t ever been a time when I haven’t been involved with netball.
I played at school, taught my daughter’s junior school how to play, then ran the team round to other schools for games.
Forty years ago, I was playing in Eston with my team, who were known as Chivtones, when I realised that the level of netball there was not for me or my team as we were just seven girls wanting to play netball for enjoyment and fun. It was then I decided to leave the league and start up my own at Macmillan Leisure Centre with teams that just wanted to ‘have netball fun’.
Forty years on and we’re still running Teesside Netball League, now at Middlesbrough Sports Village and we’re still having ‘netball fun’.
This season, which is our summer season, we have twelve teams playing on a league basis every Monday evening from 7.15pm to 9.30pm, with training for any ability from 6pm until 7pm. Everyone is welcome, whether a full team wanting a place or an individual player looking for a team. We can find a place for anyone.
Age also is not a problem as we have young players starting on their netball journey and grandmothers playing, some in the same team. Mothers and daughters in the same team is a regular occurrence in our league.
We don’t ask for affiliation fees or membership fees, all we do is share the price of the hall between the teams and enjoy our night together.
We still want to win every game but reaching England standard is not a priority. We are competitive but we are a friendly league with a great set of players playing the sport we love.
We have done many games for charity especially raising money for Chemo Day Unit as some of our players have used the facilities on offer and we like to help a little to show our appreciation for giving us back our players. We have played for 24 hours and raised lots of money for the said cause and love to mix our sport with raising money for such a worthwhile cause.
Anyone wanting to be part of this marvellous group can find us at teessidenetball.co.uk or on social media at Instagram and Facebook.
It’s a great league to be part of and one I am very proud to say “is one of our own.”