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What are the benefits of women joining a sport's team?

When you were younger did you hate PE lessons? Were you constantly feigning an injury or complaining about your period to get yourself out of participating?

Being someone who enjoyed working out, with a very competitive spirit, I could never understand anyone who didn't want to join in. I was never the best hockey player, swimmer or runner but I loved the feeling of being part of a team. I struggled with friendship groups at school and lunchtime was a really difficult time for me. Not knowing who to try and hang out with or to eat lunch with was very stressful and anxiety-inducing.  Taking part in the various team practises meant I was able to go into lunch first and avoid the cliques! Differences were left at the side of the pitch at training and games because we all had a common cause - To win!!

I carried on playing netball when I left school, playing for my Aunt's team and met a couple of girls there who are still my friends now, over 30 years later. I ended up playing hockey through a girl I met at netball not having played for 30 years. The camaraderie and support you get from playing in a team sport cannot be underestimated. The social side of a team can mean from anything from teas after a match to weekend tours abroad. Not forgetting you are keeping fit whilst having fun, giving you more energy and a toned strong body. Sport and exercise are so good for your mental health as well. I know when I had small children and when I was going through the menopause, after a really bad, stressful day there was no better feeling than getting out of the house and running around a pitch. All my stress would dissipate and I would come home feeling relaxed and revived.

Global interest in Women's sport has increased by 66%. More and more women are participating and it is great to see the press finally giving women in sport some coverage. The Telegraph produces a wonderful supplement once a month purely about sportswomen but we still have a long way to go.

There is no excuse to join a team nowadays.  Most teams have a website or are on social media. Ask around at the school gates or at work, someone will know someone who can point you in the right direction. 


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