Society Spotlight: Grabbing life by the (net)balls

Getting to know the people in the netball society

Netball is stereotyped as being a “female-only” team sport, yet at Sussex the sport completely reverses this belief by allowing anybody of any ability to come and compete in casual, no-pressure and no-commitment games with friends and strangers alike. I spoke to Katie, activator of Sussex’s Active US Netball, about why more people should join one of the biggest team sports in the UK and what she loves about the sport.

No commitment to come every week

With casual sport, you can come for one session then not come again for three weeks. Katie loves coaching these sessions because it gives everyone the opportunity to play a sport without any pressure, and just enjoy themselves. The casual sessions are either split into half coaching and half match, or just two hours of pure matchplay. If you think you’re good enough for the team, there are trials held twice a year; once in September, and again just before the Christmas break.

Matches aren’t just for team players

Whilst the team plays matches on Wednesday’s, either home or away, casual members also have the chance to play against other university casual teams. Some casuals have recently visited London to play in SHOTS, an England Netball tournament, and Katie has also been organising more local games for the social girls.

Let’s not forget PRZYM Wednesday’s

The social side of netball is the most important part of being a member. Netballers can be party animals where each Wednesday, both casual and team members meet up, wearing a specific fancy-dress theme pre-decided each week (previous themes include emergency services, zoo, glitter and 80s fitness. Classics), and head into Brighton for drinking and fun in a bar, then dance the night away in PRYZM, along with other Sussex sport socials. Try not to be late though, there may a punishment for those who aren’t very punctual.

Welcome to the Club

If you’re a regular player, you’ll get the chance to be properly, yet informally, welcomed into the netball club. Whether the members decide to be extremely nice or extremely brutal to you, that’s a mystery. Netballers always have a trick up their sleeve, and whilst I had a fairly nice welcome by being painted in green and eating mushy peas without my hands, I can’t guarantee the next welcoming will be as nice. You have been warned…

Oh yeah, there is That Croatia trip

Every Easter, sport teams across the country have the option to head to Croatia with ‘ILoveTour’ for one week of drinking, dancing and the most socialising you’ll ever have, and Netball isn’t missing out one bit. It’s like being a fresher all over again. Whilst you can play games throughout the week, you’ll have serious bonding with other netballers and Sussex students, as well as meeting other university students from across the country on the tour. Plus it’s very affordable, so it’s a cheap way to do all the things you love whilst on holiday.

What, when, where, how?

Sessions are held weekly on Sunday’s from 6-8pm in the Sports Centre. That’s just two hours of your Sunday evening playing an exciting and friendly sport, and you don’t have to do it on your own. Bring a friend or two, and even if you’ve never heard of it, never played it or think you’re a pro, try it out for just £1. Plus, if you come 5 times, you’ll get your 6th session free. All students love their freebies, so what’s the hold up?