Walking netball returns to Louth for 2018

Ailsa Lewis, Jill Makinson-Sanders and Liz Prestwood enjoy walking netball EMN-180122-112928002
Ailsa Lewis, Jill Makinson-Sanders and Liz Prestwood enjoy walking netball EMN-180122-112928002

A former town mayor and a nurse are among a group of netball enthusiasts who are taking up the sport again in a very different way.

Walking netball is following walking football as an increasingly popular way of getting up and active at any age, and sessions have re-started in Louth where trained Community Sports Instructor, Mel Dent, puts participants through their paces.

More than a dozen people were at the first daytime class of 2018 at the Meridian Centre, organised by the Magna Vitae Trust for Leisure and Culture, and supported by Active Lincolnshire.

“This is a really inclusive and social way to have fun, meet new people and get fit,” said Mel.

“There is always someone new coming along and the great thing is you can join in on your own or with a friend.

“We are also looking at encouraging people to stay and have a coffee and a chat at the end of the sessions.”

District and town councillor, and former Louth mayor, Jill Makinson-Sanders took part at the Meridian session.

“This is my first time here and I think it’s great – really good fun,” said Jill.

GP practice nurse Ailsa Lewis added: “I always enjoyed playing netball and this is brilliant.

“And for people who do not think you will get enough exercise, think again. You work very hard, using both upper and lower body.

“It is really important for people to keep active as they get older, but this is also very good for the mind as you have to use co-ordination and think quickly.”

Former leisure centre manager Liz Prestwood was a well-known face at Meridian and the old swimming pool for 34 years, and now returns there to keep fit herself.

“It is the social side of coming that is so good, as well as the keeping fit, which we all need to do,” said Liz.

The sessions are part of The Get Out Get Active programme (GOGA), led by the English Federation of Disability Sport, which receives funding from Spirit of 2012, supporting more people to lead active and healthier lifestyles together.

The sessions run every Tuesday at Meridian Leisure Centre from 1pm to 2pm. For more details, visit www.magnavitae.org