The mass availability of worldwide TV channels means that you can watch almost any sports that you’re interested in and from any country. That wasn’t the case when Pamela Cookey set out on her netball career. In the late nineties, when Cookey was aspiring to be an international netball player, the sport wasn’t televised at all and so she looked outside of sport for her role models, who included Nelson Mandela.
Rise in the popularity of netball
Now netball is often as widely televised as other sports and its popularity has increased over the years since Cookey first represented her country. According to Netball England, the sport was conceived in England in the late 1800s. Although it’s not yet an Olympic sport, it has been a Commonwealth sport since the 1998 games in Malaysia, and still most popular in the member countries.
Cookey now aims to be an inspiring role model to young players looking to get involved in the sport and says that you can have a successful international, and regional, career while also focussing on your studies. The key to making it work is to manage your time well and ensure that you’re fully committed to both, because it can be hard work.
Anyone already involved in netball will know that the sport requires some key skills which differ to other sports. As well as being generally fit, players needs to be able to move in and change direction quickly and regularly, and the same goes for speed, where short bursts of intense speed are required. Many coaches will use netball drill videos, such as those from https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Netball/index.jsp, as part of their team training regime.
You will also need to be able to work as part of a team, as the rules of netball dictate that each player has a very specific area of the court in which they’re allowed to play, so your teammates rely on you to do your job in that area.
Netball can be a rewarding sport to be part of. While perhaps still not as high profile as sports such as football, rugby and tennis, it is growing in popularity and should continue to do so, while the likes of Pamela Cookey are championing the sport and acting as role models for up and coming players.