Whether you’re looking to get fit, or just get out and about, joining a sports team is always a great way to be social and active. Here, we chat with British expat, mum and swim instructor Tracy Pickford about the benefits of joining a netball team while living in Singapore.
Have you always played netball or did you start while in Singapore?
As with the majority of our members, I played at school, but I hadn’t really played since then. Most of us are school mums, with a scattering of younger ladies, and we were all looking for a fun, social team. Some of us have played for a while, some not for a long time and some never! We also have some ex-basketballers!
Tell us about your team, the Dragonets, and how you initially got involved.
Three years ago, a lovely lady named Lola McLaughlin offered her time and energy to start running a ladies’ netball club at UWC (United World College) East for the school’s Parents’ Association. She set up Dragonets, and it developed from there; it later expanded to non-UWC ladies being able to join, too. Lola moved to Australia last year, but we have continued to play under the guidance and coaching of Emily from Sport Ready Netball Academy.
We are an expat team made up of ladies from all over the world. We’re a mixed bunch, and none of us take the game too seriously – it’s all about getting exercise, getting better at the game and enjoying being part of a team. When you start playing a team sport again after so many years it’s surprising how much fun it is! We train every Thursday at the UWC East campus in Tampines.
Does the team compete or just play for fun?
In the three years we’ve been together, we have travelled to Phuket twice to take part in friendly weekend tournaments. Just recently, we joined the Sport Ready League and played our first competitive league games. We also play friendlies against other local teams every couple of months.
How in shape does someone have to be to play this sport?
Netball is an active game and can be pretty fast and furious, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play if you’re not fit. We’re all about having fun and, if coming to netball puts you on a road to being fitter and healthier, then that’s fantastic.
What do you love most about playing netball?
Team spirit. Since leaving school, every sport or fitness activity I took part in was singular – swimming, running, going to the gym. I love being part of a team, and the fun and friendships that it brings.
What’s your advice to someone looking to get involved with a netball team here in Singapore?
If you’re looking to get into netball for the first time, or to get back into playing netball, just do it. We always welcome newcomers. There are a lot of netball teams around Singapore, ranging from social to very serious. We veer closer to the social side with a slight competitive edge… sometimes!
For details on how to join the Dragonets team, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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