After four children and a 35-year hiatus from netball, 56-year-old Rhonda Anchen has returned to the courts as part of Rock Up Netball.
The Netball Victoria program developed in conjunction with VicHealth in 2015, runs every Thursday night through Torquay YMCA and is a “wonderful” initiative.
“I saw the advertisement on Facebook about Rock Up Netball. I went to a function and said to a group of friends about social netball starting up,” Rhonda said.
“It’s all about fun, getting active and getting out there and doing things and they said that sounds great so that’s how our team started.”
The competition has nine teams that play against one another every week, with similar ages ranging from early 30s to late 60s.
“It’s just a really lovely social competition, there’s people who’ve never played netball and people who’ve played their whole lives. For whatever reason, family, moving or their career – they’ve decided this is the competition they want to be involved in,” she said.
“There’s no apprehension in relation to the competition, it’s more our own physical capabilities. Once we realised we could slow down or speed up whenever we liked and the other teams and umpires are very supportive of that, we were fine.”
Rhonda said after devoting decades of her life to her children’s sporting endeavours she loved that Rock Up Netball had given her the chance to re-embrace her own.
“We were really happy that when people were making mistakes or they didn’t know the rules everyone was just laughing in a supportive way and encouraging them,” she said.
“Our aim as a team was just to have some fun and get a goal and we got five our first game. It’s just that social, happy supportive environment across both teams.”
Rhonda said she encouraged all women who are looking at getting back into fitness to come along with the option of registering a team or as an individual.
“We have some women who can’t play but bring along oranges and snakes to be part of the social side and encourage us. I have some friends who live out of state and when I tell them what I’m doing they say ‘are you crazy?’,” she said.
“I say ‘no, I’ve got the rest of my life to sit in a chair,’ so while I can I’ll get out there and do it. You don’t have to be the best, you can play a full game or half a game. It’s just a fantastic way to get back into fitness.”
The competition is at Torquay Coast Primary School, Stretton Drive, every Thursday at 6.30pm, team and individual players welcome.
For more information or to sign up to Rock Up Netball, head to rockupnetball.com.au or email Nina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Jessica Nicol - Surf Coast Times