Izzy Howse is raring to return to the netball court after a spell of illness which has ravaged her summer.

The centre contracted glandular fever in April, leaving her unable to continue her training with Saracens Mavericks and forcing the 19-year-old from Leeds to take a step back from her busy lifestyle.

Howse had previously been selected for the Roses Academy in 2021 and learnt from some of England's best over her fledging international career.

But several months away from a sport she loves had a major impact on her everyday life.

"There was definitely a lot of adjusting because netball takes up a lot of my time and suddenly, I had loads free,” she said.

"I really missed playing and both my mental and physical health took a hit throughout that time.

“In June, I started feeling a bit better and started getting back into a little bit of training, but it was very minimal, just working on getting my heart rate up quite slowly and gradually getting back into it.

"I recently started playing a bit of netball properly again, which was obviously really nice, because it's been a long time coming.”

Howse forced herself to appreciate a slow life for the first time, gaining a newfound appreciation for activities as routine as a walk to a university lecture.

"With an injury, there's often certain things you can do to get back to health, " she said.

"Whereas for me, it was generally more like complete fatigue.

"There was very little I could do, which I definitely found the most difficult thing.

"I ended up going on few more walks than I think I would have otherwise, which was really lovely actually, and I spent lots of time with friends.

"Having to walk and slow down instead of rush everywhere really made me appreciate everything a little bit more."

Howse is now back for her second year at Cambridge University studying Natural Sciences, meaning she's back to her busy schedule alongside her Mavericks commitments.

And with the continued support of funding from a partnership between SportsAid and Pitching In, the midcourt player hopes she can pick up where she left off.

"I'm excited for a new season now because there's always something going on," she said.

"On the court, I can't wait to build on things we did last season. Last year was my first year at Uni and I have a more comfortable base now.

"Short term, I want to showcase my skills for the Europe Netball U21 squad, which is in October, and before that, it will just be a case of building strength back up.

"It's really nice coming back to the court knowing I have the support of SportsAid.

"After a few months of not playing, I feel more confident going into the year with their help."

Entain, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, is proud to be championing the next generation of British sporting heroes by providing talented young athletes with financial support and personal development opportunities in partnership with SportsAid. Visit entaingroup.com to find out more