It was a stunning sky. As though stuffed with iridescent cotton wool, the fluffy blue-grey clouds occupied my attention when my mind should have been focused on what was happening on the ground below.
The afternoon of my very first game of netball ("netty" in Australian) was a cool, cloudy Saturday in April. I'd brought my favourite two-person fan club (Nick and Jen) and was so excited to try out this brand-new (to me) sport. At the very least, I thought to myself, I'll get to wear this spiffy new netball dress! Had I not become so comfortable in a bathing suit from playing all those years of water polo I might have been just a wee bit self-conscious. The "dress" is more like a bathing suit with a gratuitous little frill. The frill is meant to pass as a skirt but it certainly does not hide much in a fast moving, outdoor game (hello breeze!)
Nevertheless, I forged ahead into the game. It's a bit like basketball however the net does not have a backboard, and instead of dribbling the ball, it gets passed from player to player up and down the court. I managed to stay on my feet (most of the time) and even got an interception! With the support and encouragement from my loyal fan club and Nick's sister (whose team I play on, along with Nick's mum but she was away on business) I made it through the game not only in one piece, but loving a new sport! Ever since injuring my shoulder I've really missed playing water polo so hopefully I'll be able to turn netball into my new team sport!
The hardest part was remembering all the rules. What is considered normal defense in basketball is called, "interference" in netball; needless to say I got a few penalties. Luckily I also managed to get the hang of it and have been looking forward to my weekly game ever since!