After a hectic year of ups and downs, lockdowns and restrictions, ‘This Girl Can’ week has rolled around again for 2021. A week to celebrate women keeping active however they can, fitting in hula hooping while making cups of tea or practicing yoga in the living room.
Today we want to shine a light on UWE’s social netball team and the women who run the show. One of UWE Bristol’s most successful social sport clubs, MOVE Netball boasted 120 members in 2019. Students have had an extremely challenging year, adapting to online learning, social distancing and continual shake ups of what sport can or cannot go ahead. We hear from two of the University Netball Officers (UNO) and how they have tackled the past year.
Could you introduce yourselves?
Emma: I’m in my third year studying psychology. I have been a University Netball Officer and MOVE Activator for the last two years and played MOVE netball (aka Netball Now) in my first year.
Abbey: I’m in my third year studying Primary Education. I currently help to run ‘UWE Netball Now’ as a MOVE Activator but have played since I started uni two years ago.
Why did you get involved with MOVE Netball?
Emma: I enjoyed MOVE Netball so much I really wanted to be involved so applied for UNO at the end of first year. I loved that it was a fun and not too serious environment, it means you aren’t constantly worried about the pressure of not being good enough, and I wanted other people to know how great it was and there was another option than the competitive trials route for BUCS.
Abbey: I applied for this volunteer position as I have a passion for netball and wanted to share that with others and help them enjoy it as much as I do.
What do you do as a MOVE activator?
Emma: Our main roles as UNOs are to plan and run the sessions, organise and communicate with the players; for example sorting their teams and checking memberships, and also we like to arrange extra activities such as matches and socials.
Abbey: Due to the pandemic we haven’t been able to run many sessions this year so our roles have changed slightly. However, we have arranged and taken part in a Christmas fundraising challenge for Mind: The Mental Health Charity and have hosted online Zoom quizzes to keep in touch!
What makes MOVE Netball special/any advice for future students?
Emma: I am really lucky to have had such a great group of other UNOs around me and such amazing players who love to get involved in everything we do at ‘netball now’ such as fundraising, socials, matches and this year even online events. Our players really are a testament to women in sport; they’re enthusiastic, friendly, team-players and committed to the sport. It doesn’t have to be the Olympics or high-level sport to recognise the achievements and importance of women and girl’s involvement in sports and activities and to me that’s what This Girl Can week is all about! I hope we’ll be back at netball soon so that we can all get back on court doing something we love with other great girls.
Abbey: My advice for anyone joining MOVE Netball would be to enjoy it! It has unfortunately been cut short for us this year due to the pandemic, but it has been an amazing way to socialise with friends and share a passion for netball. Working as part of a team with the other UNO’s has been such a rewarding process that keeps on giving, and being a woman in sport is empowering. It gives you the opportunity to be strong in mind and body. Being able to run ‘UWE Netball Now’ has inspired and aided me in gaining more confidence. Success not only comes from winning, but from enjoyment. It is important to keep women and girls participating in sports and exercise because it has the power to inspire and engage others as well as developing yourself.
Follow MOVE Netball @uwenetballnow on Instagram and check in this week for Emma’s live takeover of UWE Bristol Sport’s Instagram channel!