My love for team sport started about eight years ago. I played various sports at school and thoroughly enjoyed them all, but went through a rather lazy period in my teens, and gave up everything bar lifting a drink or cigarette to my mouth. Luckily when I hit my mid-twenties, my rather rotund frame got me realising that I needed to get fit and I started running. When I then got together with my husband, I knew he played hockey but thought very little of it, other than it frustrated me that it seemed to take up his entire Saturday and involved a lot of beer afterwards. This didn’t fit in with my new couples plan of, ‘spend Saturday’s lazing around, reading newspapers, lunching, planning our future, etc’. I found myself a ‘Sports Widow’ and spent most Saturdays bored and alone. So, a decision was made, I decided to start playing a team sport and given there are two popular clubs near where we live, I chose hockey. It was time to dust off my old wooden stick.
One big thing I want to promote here on Its Mostly Okay is sport and it’s positive effect on not just adults, but children too. I wrote a post recently about how my lack of sport, especially team sport when I was a young, lead me to be lazy and lax throughout my teen years and well into my twenties. Sport fell off my radar when I hit my late teens, not pushed to do it anymore I stopped it altogether. I’m certain that had I been more active and engaged when I was younger, then I would have had a different attitude towards many things as a young adult, especially diet and lifestyle. Liz Sully, a Fundraising Manager at Women in Sport got in touch with me recently to let me know about their ‘What If’ campaign. A positive and empowering campaign, aimed at changing the way young girls view sport. ‘What if, instead of growing up only seeing images of models and make-up on the pages of magazines, young girls saw sport portrayed in a way that made them want to be more physically active?’. This resonated with me having a daughter myself, I would like her to grow up not just seeing images of un-realistic girls in magazines or on television, with flouncy hair and ‘pretty’ makeup, but strong, sporty girls who show that anything can be achieved and who show that being active and sweaty is totally normal.
The #whatif campaign requires support and backing, Liz explained all to me.
When I was little, I loved sport. I did classic activities like ballet, horse riding and tennis and at school I loved rounders and netball. I was obsessed with horses and was lucky enough to have my own and I played tennis every Friday night. My older brother made me play endless hours of cricket and rugby. I spent many an hour in the garden either having cricket or rugby balls thrown at me, being tackled to the ground or learning to spin pass. I vividly remember laughing hysterically playing badminton in the garden – it’s funny when the shuttlecock gets stuck in the racquet, no?! However outside of garden games, the reality was that the two main hobbies I did, riding and tennis were actually quite solitary sports. I often spent weekends on my own at the stables because people went at odd hours to do their horses and playing tennis, we regularly played singles matches, so I never had that feeling of being in a ‘team’. When my teenage years hit, unsurprisingly I started to find these solo sports rather boring. This, coupled with a move to a new school for sixth form and the freedom that I was given, meant that my previous love of sport went out of the window. No longer made to do it as a compulsory lesson, I stopped completely. With my sports mad brother at University and no more garden games, the tennis club was ditched and my lovely horse was sold. Given the option to be lazy, I quite happily took it.