East Barnet resident Navinda Snell is certainly making up for lost time – going from not playing netball for over three decades to her life now ‘revolving’ around it.

Snell, 57, took up the sport once again through an innovative, England Netball-organised Back to Netball session – before moving on to Netball Now. 

Netball Now is all about the fun and enjoyment of netball, playing games with no scores recorded with participants changing their position regularly throughout.

After sending emails out to various fitness classes, Snell got a response from England Netball and jumped at the chance to get back on the court.  

Snell, who is one of over three million UK women who play netball each year, said: “I went to the first session in 2014 and that was it – I've not stopped.

“My life revolves around my netball now. I do not book anything on a Monday, Wednesday or Thursday and then on Sunday morning, I coach for three hours.   

“If I could play every day, I would.” 

New research shows that almost nine in ten (88 per cent) members of the netball family say the sport gives them a sense of belonging, with 73 per cent reckoning it makes them feel empowered.

Like many women, Snell had to give up netball as she dexterously sought to juggle her work and family commitments. 

Ealing Times: Snell, 57, admits her life now revolves around netballSnell, 57, admits her life now revolves around netball

And the London resident added: “I played netball at school, and I played a bit out of school, but then I got married and had a family and I didn't go back to it until 2014.

“I still remember to this day, the teacher got us all on the court and got us all playing, and I just absolutely loved the connection with it. 

“I didn't enjoy tennis and rounders as much as I enjoyed netball – they didn't seem to have the same sort of team spirit.” 

Returning to netball gave Snell the impetus to improve her fitness after she stepped out of her comfort zone as a goal shooter to experiment in goal attack. 

Snell said: “I joined Weight Watchers and lost three and a half stone. So now I can run up and down the court and play any position. 

“The team I play for, we've got lots of youngsters, so now I think, I've got to be as fit as them to be able to stay on that court. I'm not going to give up my place to a youngster if I haven’t got to!” 

Snell also reckons she learns something new every time she attends a Netball Now session, adding: “Everybody learns from each other. I love going to it because you play all different abilities, and you still pick up different things.  

“One of the ladies the other week was doing something and I thought, I like that, I'll try that.”

For more information about how to get involved in participation programmes such as Walking Netball or Back to Netball, please contact your regional Netball Development Officer (NDO). There's something for everyone no matter what your age or ability – click here to find the best contact for you: https://www.englandnetball.co.uk/support/regions/