Do you recall playing any kind of ball sport with your friends from the old neighbourhood? Ever catch yourself drifting off to a dirt field, recreating that very moment when you won a game for your team? Don’t you want to stop daydreaming and start living that feeling again? Here’s a thought: it’s never too late to take up a sport. Whether you’re in your late 30s or fast-approaching the golden years, you can get in a team and play sports again.

Played by men and women, kids and seniors, netball may just be that very sport you crave and need. Over 20 million people in more than 80 countries across the globe enjoy this contact ball sport — and if you happen to be in Melbourne, then you’re in luck because there are clubs you can join to get started on this increasingly popular and fast-paced sport.

You can try signing up as an individual player and join a team with Melbourne Netball, which has been actively facilitating social netball competitions in the city. Melbourne Netball does social netball games every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, at five Inner Melbourne venues. If you’re not up to playing this fast-paced game just yet, you can explore the Melbourne Netball website and get more information before you dive right into the sport.

You should know that netball is a very physical and mentally challenging game. Not only will you train to be agile, fast, and flexible, but you’ll also have to develop the quick thinking needed to win a game; this 60-minute game can go by so fast. You’ll have to learn how to strategise to win every match, not just have the athletic ability to score a goal.

But the mixed netball competitions Melbourne clubs organise do not just help you become a better athlete and help you maintain a healthy body, but the games also allow you to cultivate relationships, however competitive matches get.

Every team has to develop a deeper sense of teamwork in order to be victorious, fostering bonds that may be enriched off the court and, even, out of the office. Everyone has to put aside differences and work together, for instance, to win a match against the team from communications or engineering. In a corporate-organised netball competition, the sport has the ability to help co-workers of different backgrounds and personalities work toward a common goal, which in this case may be to make the men and women in suits from communications lose out to the men and women in overalls from engineering. All in the spirit of good fun, of course.

Because of the physicality and mental demands required for every game, netball also makes a pretty compelling way to relieve stress. It’s definitely lots healthier than going out for several rounds of drinks or greasy food late at night, all the time. And who knows, you might even get into mixed netball so much that you might just decide to go pro.

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