The Mum Network

7 mothers and their first game of netball in 20 years. A match report.


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About a month ago I decided to pull together a few of my favourite Mama bears to form a truly unbeatable Indoor Netball Team – The Bernies Memes. The selection process for inclusion in the team was as follows:

MOTHERS WHO DESERVE TIME OUT ALONE TO PLAY TEAM SPORT AND NOT HAVE TO BE COACH, UMPIRE OR TAXI DRIVER. 

Nuff said, that pretty much includes every mother on the PLANET.

Off I went to K-Mart to source uniforms. First problem was finding a sporty shirt that would fit everyone from a size 8 to16 . That’s not an easy thing to do. I settled on a sexy pink number purely because it was the only one available with all sizes needed and it was only $6 – Bingo! First mistake – didn’t realize how stretchy and unforgiving the fabric was…..and that’s BEFORE it’s been washed.

We created a group on Facebook and wound each other up. There were obviously two distinct groups amongst us. The fit….and the seriously unfit. The most obvious concern was how our joints and pelvic floors would hold up.

Match Report – Game 1

After vowing to warm up and spend serious time ensuring we took care of our bodies pre-game, the warm up appeared to be limited to a crazy rush to make dinner, throwing babies at husbands as they arrived home followed by driving like a mental case to get to the 6:30pm game on time. Mrs O confessed to eating a chocolate bar in the car on the way – extra energy and all that.

Positions were decided and we realized that we only needed 6 players, not the seven we had so Mrs K kindly sat out the first half. I don’t know why as she’s one of 4 players who are sub 45 kgs, we could have done with her weightlessness. There is no Centre in Indoor Netball. We weren’t prepared for this at all. How on earth does one play without a Centre?

When we got on the court, Mrs O (who knows everyone in our area because she’s a school teacher) struck up a conversation with opposition – they were the skinniest humans I’ve ever seen in my life. I thought Mrs O may have taught them at some stage but no, she was just luring them into a false sense of security and quickly worked out that her cushy WD bib actually meant she was now the Centre. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting that but she bravely took the challenge.

After the first ball was thrown the pace was established. I was playing Goal Shooter so assumed that I would have a few minutes before the ball came my way. I sussed out my competition.

Me: “How long have you been playing together?

Goal Keeper: “Three seasons.”

Me: “Oh, good. So how old are you all?

GK: “I’m 19, the other girls are mostly about 19 and 20, except the WA, she’s really old, like 30 or something”

I was going to smash this chick.

I secretly wished that we had entered the mixed netball comp as our secret weapon, Ms P, who is the youngest and hottest on the team could have hypnotized the opposition with her good looks and personal trainer figure whilst we ran away with the ball but it was not to be, we were going to have to work hard for this.

3 minutes and 21 seconds into the game, in the position of Goal Shooter (I wasn’t going to push it too hard on game 1), I managed to take a bounce pass and I bent over to pick up the ball, as you would a baby, and I felt the back left muffin top part of my hip tear. OUCH. I didn’t even know there was anything there but fat. I pretended it was no biggie but I secretly wanted to call an ambulance.

The ball started coming down our end rather frequently. With thanks to the gallant efforts of Mrs H in GK who’s only just had a baby and Mrs OS in GD who casually runs 10kms a couple of times a week FOR FUN, they defended like women possessed. I was impressed, these girls were GOOD.

Mrs S pulled herself away from her 2 year old’s birthday and left hubby at home to put beds together after 4 months of renovating came to an end today. She managed play Goal Attack like a champ but she too recently ran a 10km marathony thing so we expected to rely on her extreme fitness on game day.

Mrs O was incredible. This is a self confessed “I have no time for exercise” mama. Given she played the entire court for the entire game and never stopped, we could perhaps forgive her for standing to take the Centre pass and throwing it straight to the opposition in their direction of play but it was bloody funny. Mrs O is a netball coach this year too so took a couple of tips from the umpire at half time, no doubt to help her smash the competition in her coaching role.

I had an outer body experience or two. When I doubted that I would actually catch the ball, I inadvertently but clearly purposely dived ON the ball to ensure no other player could get hold of it. I didn’t think it was that funny but each time I was floor bound, I ended up with three or four players hovering over me and giggling to help me ‘get up’. I realized that I must have looked like a whale beaching itself and the helping hands were because this whale looked like she couldn’t get back in the water alone.

Mrs K came on in the second half and provided some much needed energy and pace. How we let two of the fittest players on the team take half a game off is beyond me. I’ll be sitting out at least one half next week.

We lost 23-10 but we were awesome and we were playing 19 year olds who had three seasons under their tiny little belts.

We left the complex red faced, high on endorphins and DELIGHTED with ourselves that we’d not completely humiliated ourselves. We actually spent more time outside discussing how much longer we would stay if they had a bar/coffee shop outside than we did actually playing the game.

We then planned the look and feel of the new bar……….

Some things never change!

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