My memories of netball as a teenager include too short pleated navy skirts, big ugly sports pants, bibs that smelt of stale grass, broken fingers and my games teacher yelling ‘piv-oooot’ across the sports field. Netball for girls is what football is for boys – the game we were all forced to participate in, regardless of having two left feet or lacking the ability to throw a ball in a straight line. It was the one sport as a kid I actually enjoyed because you didn’t have to be the fastest runner, the best shot or the tallest kid in the class to do well; it was a sport that included a place for everyone. Netball is currently experiencing a bit of a resurgence, with it now being the largest female participatory sport in the UK. There are clubs nationwide that are rapidly growing, with there being over 40,000 people that play the sport weekly for fun and fitness. Until recently I didn’t even know there was an English Netball Team, but this week I got to meet three of the fabulous ladies that represent us internationally and have netball running through their veins. They’re part of a campaign to help raise awareness of netball, as well as illustrating that competitive sport doesn’t have to be ugly and macho – you can still be beautiful, feminine and glamorous both on and off the pitch. Teaming up with nail icon Sophy Robson (who created the patriotic nail designs on many of the female atheletes during last year’s Olympics,) the English Netball Team have launched seven celebratory nail art designs that the team members will be sporting all season long. Especially designed for short nails so the umpire is still happy, the seven designs are inspired by the team colours and logos, as well as the humble netball itself. Joanna Adams, Marketing Director at England Netball says: “We understand that looking great is just as important to young women as keeping active and healthy. With this in mind, our partnership with Sophy Robson is all about showing active women everywhere that it is 100% possible to combine sport with style. Netball players have to cut down their nails for safety reasons, but we think these designs will show women that they can still look fantastic make a real statement about themselves and their love for the game.” I’ve got an interview with both Sophy Robson and the netball girls themselves to come, but for now have a peep at the fabulous designs that have been created and how haaawt the members of the team are. I felt a little intimated, not only by their height, but how glamorous they were on a dreary Wednesday morning. Will you be trying some of these nail designs out at home while getting out your old PE kit? What are your favourite (or horrendous) netball memories from school?
For step-by-step guides to the nails check out www.netballnails.net
Make an appointment to see Sophy in her King’s Road salon via her website.