Netball co-ordinator Melanie O’Berg invites women to get involved

Rutland Belles Team photo : Back row from Left to right Sara Earl, Lisa Thipthorp, Caroline Drage, Amanda Easton, Amber O'Berg, Kay Sammon Front row  Left to right Jo Nicholls, Ann Bond, Melanie O'Berg.
Rutland Belles Team photo : Back row from Left to right Sara Earl, Lisa Thipthorp, Caroline Drage, Amanda Easton, Amber O'Berg, Kay Sammon Front row Left to right Jo Nicholls, Ann Bond, Melanie O'Berg.
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A new co-ordinator has been appointed to lead a successful programme which has already got women of all ages playing sport and making new friends. In this special report, Melanie O’Berg explains why she is so passionate about Rutland County Netball League’s Back to Netball scheme and how others can get involved.

Are you thinking of getting back into netball? Or perhaps you want to try it for the first time.

If you enjoyed playing netball at school but stopped playing and would now love to start again, then it doesn’t matter if you haven’t played for 20 years, it’s just like riding a bike.

Rutland County Netball League’s (RNCL) Back to Netball sessions provide a gentle introduction to the sport for female players over 16 years of age.

Sessions cover basic skill development and court play.

The emphasis of these sessions is on learning new skills and having fun, playing netball and making friends.

These sessions cater for all abilities, ages (we have ladies from 16 to 50-plus), all shapes and sizes (no we’re not all slim and super athletic!)

I joined the Back to Netball sessions in August 2012, when I was looking for a way to get fit that involved meeting new people.

I was nervous at my first training session as I had not played netball for 29 years.

It took me a bit of time to remember the rules and positions but all the ladies were supportive and offered lots of encouragement as we were all in the same position.

I continued with the sessions and then my daughter Amber decided to come along and we both joined a new team, The Rutland Belles, to enter the winter league.

I am now captain of the Belles and absolutely love playing with our team every week, win or lose.

It’s competitive but most of all we have lots of fun and I have made some great friends.

The league games are played every Thursday night at Catmose Sports Centre in Oakham between 7pm and 9pm.

Over the last two years RCNL has welcomed more than 150 women back to netball, and since the league started in 2012 the number of teams has grown t0 ten.

The latest to join is a new team which has grown out of Back to Netball, Vixens, which will join the summer league in 2014 to take the total to 11.

I would now like to help other ladies like me get back into netball and am passionate about my new role as the Back to Netball 
co-ordinator.

Two Back to Netball sessions are available, one in Oakham and another in Uppingham.

The Oakham session is outdoors between 8 and 9pm on Monday nights at Catmose Sports Centre and is run by the Rutland Rockets netball club.

These sessions, which resume on Monday, January 6, are very popular and need to be booked and paid for in advance (£12 for six weeks).

New indoor sessions will be held on Tuesday nights at the UCC Sports Centre in Uppingham starting on Tuesday, January 7, from 7pm to 8pm.

These sessions are £2 a week, pay as you go, with the first session free of charge.

Please don’t be put off if you’re feeling unsure or nervous about taking the first steps to re-visiting an old sport, or trying the game for the first time.

We offer a very welcoming, friendly environment to help you feel at ease.

To book a place or for further information about Back to Netball or if you’re a player ready to join a new team, email b2nrutland@outlook.com. Come on, show the kids how it’s done!