Netball support during isolation; from Caitlin Thwaites
The last time we all united together as a Netball Community was for the Bushfire relief fundraising efforts. It was incredible to see the strength of our community all pull together to help those affected by the bushfires.
The Diamonds vs SSN All-stars game was a huge highlight; to see people from all walks of life volunteering their time, expertise, physical and emotional support and of course the donations, was amazing.
It really reminds us all that in the hard times there is still so much good out there but just as those areas are starting to get their feet back on the ground things have changed again.
A month ago, I don’t think anyone could have predicted just how much our daily lives would become so different. It has been devastating to see the spread of COVID19 across Australia and around the world, to see those graphs on the news and try to make sense of it all knowing that each one of those statistics has a family, a community and a story.
From the shutting down of our normal activities like netball competitions, trying to navigate your own safety, the stress of caring for loved ones who might be more vulnerable, while trying to juggle the financial hardships resulting from job losses, reduced hours, or pay cuts, and driving to four different supermarkets to get some toilet paper.
Adapting to a new life of isolation and social distancing, on top of all of those stresses… it’s no wonder we are all feeling overwhelmed!
Given that so much has changed, I am grateful that one thing has stayed the same, our awesome netball community. Even in the last few weeks I have seen it adapt and change to overcome these obstacles.
For us at the Vixens, it started out with increased hygiene measures and we stopped giving each other high fives, we sat further apart from each other on the bench, then we introduced cleaning and wiping down the gym about four times per weights session (!), and finally it became more important and responsible for us to stop training together as a team.
I have been so inspired by seeing so many creative ways of being able to stay connected and train at home. Online resources have been made available by the clubs as well as Netball Australia and NetFit delivering free sessions which is a great way to maintain that connection to the sport even though we cant physically be together.
One of the greatest things about being part of a team is that we can lean on each other at different times. Throughout preseason every year (and I have done 18 preseasons!) I feel anxiety about how hard the running sessions are going to be. It’s not my strength, even though I push myself and try my hardest, my team mates still help me get through.
Then when it comes to other activities, pushing big weights or boxing, it is my turn to help others. We share that load of leading, of helping others, and of being helped ourselves because every challenge is different, we can’t be the best at everything, and we are all in it together as a team.
This new challenge that we all face together is no different. So take the time to check in on your team mates, because it could be your turn to support them if they are struggling a bit, and on the other hand don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for some assistance if it is you that needs a bit of love!
So a few tips or reminders to leave you with from me…
- Stay connected with your Netball team.
That could mean creating a whatsapp group for everyone so you can use this time to get to know your team mates better- trust me it will help when you get back out on court! You can also set a weekly challenge or activity you can all complete at home.
- Get outside for a walk or exercise (whilst adhering to social distancing)
NetAus and Netfit have great programs you can join in with.
- Look after your mental health too!
Set up some structure to your day, be kind to yourself and others and practice Gratitude – list 3 things each day you are grateful for!
- I promise you there is an opportunity in every obstacle!
We netballers in Australia are a million people strong and the power of the netball community and Confident Girls lies with in all of you!!
As netball people you understand team work, you have dealt with setbacks and overcome them to build your resilience; you are leaders! So it is your time to put all of those skills to work. We will all get through this together and get back to playing the game we love soon!
From my isolation bubble to yours-
*To apply for a Netball Recovery Grant, head here: https://confidentgirlsfoundation.smartygrants.com.au/