Why My Daughter Loves Playing Netball!
A full international netball match aired on television here in Dubai recently, which made me realise what a massive global sport it’s becoming. I loved playing Netball when I was young and still play now (secretly harbouring the hope that my knees hold out long enough for me to play together with my daughters).
Watching the game, I thought about how important it is for children to learn about teamwork, how to win with grace and lose with dignity and about how these life lessons prepare them for the trials of the teenage years and the tribulations of adulthood. Team sports don’t just help keep our bodies fit, they also help vital social skills flourish.
Read more: Best Kids Sports Activities In Dubai
So with this thought in my head I began my search for a netball club for my daughter, quickly coming across the newly formed Desert Girls Netball Club (DGNC) and immediately feeling a kinship with their wow factor ethos.
The club was founded by Samantha Preston. An ex Australian international netball player, Sam dreamt of starting a non-profit club in Dubai that boosts grass roots netball and offers a sense of belonging, positivity and team spirit to any young girl, regardless of their skill level.
Seriously impressed with the clubs inclusive principles (and the ‘cost covering only’ price tag), I took my daughter along to the team selection day and heard more about the club’s founding traits.
“Playing in a team sport provides such a valuable arena, boosting so many aspects of personal development: confidence, camaraderie, fitness, friendship, fun and of-course competition. The DGNC is not about elite player against elite player. Anyone who wants to play will be put on a team – all skill sets, all levels, all welcome.” Samantha Preston, founder and chair of DGNC.
The DGNC is sponsored by The Entertainer, another great cost cutting, community spirited entity (and possible the most used App on my phone!). The coaches and trainers are all volunteers and the team managers are mums and dads like you and me.
A few weeks in and my little 6-year old dons her netball kit with a beaming grin, all abuzz to train and compete with her teammates.
Best of all? She has no idea that she is acquiring social skills that will yield lifelong benefits…she just knows that she is having fun!