Do you ensure your child has enough support when playing netball?

Are you safe-guarding their bodies through a key time in their life while they are growing?

Netball is a sport that is tough on the body with lots of stop-starting, change of direction and jumping and landing. And it’s never too early to protect all important joints.

You’ll find a lot of junior netball is played outside, particularly at schools or tournaments and these are hard surfaces. So, it is key that youngsters are wearing the correct footwear.

There are four shoes that meet the recommended criteria for playing netball, the most choice junior netballers have ever had!

ASICS Professional 13 Junior Shoe

The Professional GS Junior is a take-down of the record-selling adult version. For the first time, young netballers can now wear the same shoes as their idols. It features GEL in the forefoot and rearfoot plus a midsole trusstic which is what provides the support when twisting and turning and changing direction. Something running shoes don’t offer

Mizuno Wave Mirage Junior

The Mizuno Wave Mirage Junior is a clever replica of the adult version. A lightweight performance shoe, this shoe gives you ultimate support plus excellent grip which becomes more ‘grippier’ as the shoe warms up.

ASICS Gel-Netburner 18 GS Junior

The Asics Gel-Netburner GS Junior shoes are a very supportive shoe with great protection, particularly from the forefoot GEL, for young growing feet.

Mizuno Wave Twister Junior

The Mizuno Wave Twister Junior is a take-down of the adult version. The size take-down to the junior version means there is less of the EVA midsole cushioning. However, it has more than adequate cushioning and support for juniors (not for adults trying to get a cheaper shoe :-))

It is a very supportive shoe without being clumpy.

Click here for the orange version

Click here for the wild aster version

Us females are usually fussy when it comes to colour, particularly youngsters growing up wanting to be cool. So, with plain white options through to bright orange and a crazy black print, everyone should find a shoe they like.

Look after your youngster and ensure they are wearing the right protection for their sport.

Debbie Hallas

Netball UK donation encouraging netball in Malawi

It’s hard to ignore the rise of netball in Malawi, as the Malawi Queens really stamped their name on the international scene with victory over England Roses to claim bronze,  in last year’s Fast5 World Series in Sydney.

While star shooter Mwayi Kumwenda is a professional netballer for Melbourne Vixens in the Australian Netball League and Joyce Mvula is the first Malawian to play in the UK Netball Superleague.

However, it could be argued that Mwayi and Joyce are exceptions to the rule in Malawi and have succeeded despite the lack of equipment, kit and facilities. There is financial hardship throughout the land-locked country in south east Africa, but they are using netball as a positive influence and inspiration for the female population.

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These players started as young girls in their communities and often as part of projects set-up by charities. One such project is the Phunzira project base in northern Malawi, founded in 2009 the UK-based charity’s main aim was to improve education and healthcare.

Encouraging youngsters to engage in sport is recognised as an important part of sustaining such projects and Dr Philippa Mander, a health co-ordinator at the Phunzira charity, contacted Netball UK looking for donations towards the project.

Dr Mander said:  “Thank you again so much for your extremely kind donation of two sets of netball kits to the Nyumba Ya Masambiro youth club. The club members are absolutely thrilled with the donation and they have held both an inaugural match and a mini tournament against a local school netball team in celebration of these donations. They also use the bibs weekly in their sports session. Having these bibs has really boosted female engagement both with sports and with youth club attendance in general for which we are very grateful.”

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Mike Greenwood, director at Netball UK added: “When Dr Mander contacted us it really was a no-brainer, such a modest donation can have a huge impact on these youngsters.”

“In light of this story and having a great partnership with Manchester Thunder we are looking at a way we can support a project on a regular basis linking in with their Malawian player Joyce Mvula and her netball community.”

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You cannot deny the Malawians strength out of adversity. Their passion for netball is undeniable and you wouldn’t bet against them improving on their current ranking of 6th in the world. Go Malawi!

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You can read more about the Phunzira project by clicking here… http://www.phunzira.org/Welcome.aspx

Why the Mirage is not an illusion – Gabby Marshall

Why the Mirage is not an illusion – by Gabby Marshall

With my club side Manchester Thunder and England Netball partnering with Mizuno, the opportunity arose to try out their range of netball shoes. I have always worn netball specific shoes as opposed to running shoes as I know the importance of grip, support and change of direction – all crucial components to my position in the middle of the court.

Mizuno-mirageLike most players I have historically worn Asics shoes so was intrigued as to what Mizuno had to offer. I initially tried the Wave Phantom, a very stable shoe favoured by some of my team mates playing in and around the circle. It’s a great shoe but I needed something more dynamic to suit my game. That’s when I picked up the Wave Mirage. The first thing that struck me was the weight – how could a netball shoe be this light? It made me question whether a shoe of this weight could also provide support.

Gabs-Mirage

Within a few minutes of my first training session I knew I had found a shoe that suited my game. It’s low, flat base did indeed provide the stability I was seeking. It’s outsole grooves allowed me to pivot and move instantly and the grip got better and better as the sole warmed up and interacted with the court surface. As with any change of equipment however I knew I needed more time for testing – could I definitely adapt from a shoe with a soft feel and running DNA to the firmer, more responsive Mizuno Wave Mirage?

The answer was a resounding “yes”. After a few sessions I could really sense how much the shoe was benefitting my game – I felt more efficient as the superior flexibility and grip meant I worked less to stop and turn. In sport it’s important to seek every advantage possible and I know that in the Wave Mirage I have found the shoe that gives me an extra edge.

Gabby Marshall. Manchester Thunder, Oldham, England & Mizuno All Star.

Gabs-Mizuno

Does this apply to your sports bra?

Does this apply to your sports bra? 

  1. You’re noticing more movement as you’re exercising
  1. You can’t read the care label anymore
  1. Your workouts are working and it suddenly seems too big
  1. It’s pilling or otherwise quite worn

If so, it could be time to invest in a new one. (Keep on reading and you may even find an extra bonus!)

Did you know that on average the support in a sports bras only lasts for 6-12 months?

I was quite surprised when I learnt this, as I had had some of my sports bras for at least a couple of years. Along with our staff, I like to be well educated in all of the products that we sell, firstly to ensure we are selling the right products for netball and secondly so we can pass on important messages to you.

First of all, advice that will help you know when is the right time to replace your sports bra plus some helpful tips that could prolong the life of your sports bra.

I have found a good rule of thumb to go by is if you wear your sports bra twice a week and wash it once a week you should definitely replace it on its anniversary.

best-sports-bra

Tip 1: Ideally, sports bras should be hand washed and hung to dry. But if you must place yours in the washing machine, it’s best to put it in a lingerie bag; hooks and rough fabrics from other clothing can damage sports bras during the washing process, making them less supportive.

Tip 2: Avoid throwing your sports bra in the dryer when you can since dryers makes lycra less stretchy.

Tip 3: Avoid using fabric softener. Using a fabric softener is a highly effective way to improve the feel of your washing, but unfortunately when it comes to technical fabrics they are also particularly damaging. Such softeners line your garments with wax like chemicals that will damage the materials ability to both breathe and wick moisture from the skin.

Tip 4: Take off your bra straight after exercising. Back in the day, women didn’t sweat, they ‘faintly glowed.’ Today’s women work out just as hard as the men do and they’re not afraid to show how hard they’re working. Whether it is in training or a match wash your sports bra as soon as you can. This will help remove some of the sweat and bacteria that can cause the fibres to break down.

So invest in your breasts, ensure you have good support when exercising. Go and check yours now and ensure you start the new season with the right equipment for your body.

Finally – your treat! Buy before 3pm 31st January 2017 and I will give you an EXTRA £5.00 OFF! Simply use COUPON CODE: DH5

Debbie Hallas

Managing Director.

Click here for our full range of sports bras…

4490- ACTIVE MULTI SPORTS bubble LIFESTYLE

Why I am a Mizuno Netball Trainer convert – Kerry Almond

I’ve always been an ASICS girl when it comes to netball shoes, ever since I joined a netball club nearly 19 years ago. Until now.

Over the summer months I made the switch from the ASICS Gel Netburner Super 6 to the Mizuno Wave Phantom trainers, and I haven’t looked back.

For me, stability in a netball trainer is key, having been through major ankle surgery and more than a few minor injuries in my time, I need a lot of support and underfoot stability in a netball trainer. And the Wave Phantom doesn’t disappoint.

When you first put them on they do feel harder underfoot than an ASICS trainer, but this is down to the way that Mizuno cushion their shoes. ASICS tend to use a thick GEL cushion in the shoes which raises you up higher and means your feet are further from the floor, whereas Mizuno use WAVE technology for the cushioning and this brings you closer to the ground. This, for me, leads to greater stability underfoot as there is less of a high platform for rolling the ankle. Which, when you have glass ankles like I do, is a huge selling point, and also one that builds confidence in being able to play and not worry when the next roll is coming!

I’d go so far as to say that out of all the netball trainers I’ve worn through the years, the Mizuno Wave Phantom is the most stable I’ve ever come across.

Another feature I love about the Phantom is the grip which is far better than any shoe I’ve worn in recent years. The sole warms up as you move in them and ends up slightly tacky. This means that they grip the floor better and means that I can push off a lot faster on a change of direction than if I was wearing a shoe with less grip. And when you’re like me (older and slower than some of my teammates) any advantage you can gain is welcome!

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A lot of people have asked about the fit of the shoes recently, and for me, the fit seems to compare to ASICS in most ways. Although, I feel like there is a little more room around the toes, but this hasn’t affected the fit for me.

All in all, the Mizuno Wave Phantom is a great shoe, with good cushioning and fantastic stability, and is at a great price point too. I highly recommended the Phantom, it will definitely be my shoe of choice for the upcoming Superleague season.

Kerry Almond

Manchester Thunder

& Netball UK Office Manager

 

Netball Posts – a buyer’s guide just in time for Christmas!

Christmas is coming – FAST! Have you run out of ideas of what to buy? Or even what to put on your own Christmas list for Santa?

A netball post is an ideal present for netballers young and not so young (for the more competitive adults).

A great idea and something to share with all the family. I am sure all the dads and brothers will be out to prove they are better than us girls!

There is now quite a choice on netball posts available on line – but be careful – they are not all what they seem! Believe me there are still many shoddy efforts out there. Here are some tips to help you while you are looking:

  • TIP 1: Beware of rickety netball posts that lean to one side! The image should give it away, but if the poles are too thin and don’t slot far enough in your post will be more like the leaning Tower of Pisa!

leaning-tower-of-pisa

  • TIP 2: Is the netball post the correct height? We’ve checked all the posts in this review and they are all correct. We have come across some that either aren’t high enough or are too high (believe it or not). For junior school age you will need a post that can be set to nine feet (2.74m). For ages 12 and above, the full regulation height is 10 feet (3.05m).

post-height

 

  • TIP 3: Be careful of a ring that is flat – you will never use one like this in a netball game. Plus, the ring is likely to swing around when the netball hits it. Ensure there is a good fixing between the ring and pole.

spinning-post

  • TIP 4: What will the instructions come like? Will they be in English? All posts we sell come with easy to assemble instructions (be sure to read them too, make your life easier).

instructions

At Netball UK, we have done the research for you, we try and test all our netball posts AND give you our honest opinion on the ones we have chosen to sell.

Here is what’s on offer on netball posts for home:

  1. LIFETIME NETBALL SYSTEM

The Lifetime Netball System is a high quality, well manufactured post with some excellent features, including five height settings. Most of you probably won’t use them all, but it is an advantage if you have younger kids as the height can go up very gradually as their strength and ability increases.

It is easy to move around with good sized wheels. The engineering is high quality and the post doesn’t wobble as it can with alternative inferior products.

It finishes off with a sturdy ring with hooks for the net so there is no messing about trying to tie knots and tape it on.

Lifetime, an American brand established in 1986, is well known for its high-quality sports products, and the Lifetime Netball System definitely doesn’t disappoint.

At this price point, there is no question this is the post to choose. Plus, it’s our top-selling post!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 10/10

Click here to view…

  1. NET1 NETBALL SYSTEM

The NET1 Netball system is also a well manufactured netball post and very similar to the Lifetime Netball System.

It has many of the same features, five height settings, a base with wheels to easily move around, a sturdy ring with hooks.

The pole comes in robust sections which avoids any bend giving you a constantly accurate height, plus you get pole padding which is not absolutely necessary for practising outside, but just in case a competitive dad or brother decides to get involved the safety aspect is there!

The instructions are easy to follow and there is even a You Tube video at ‘NetballUKTV’ to help you. The NET 1 is available in two colours with 10% of NET1 profits going to the Pink Ribbon Foundation on all sales of the pink unit.

All in all a great netball post but with the post padding it makes it more expensive than the Lifetime.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! 9/10

Click here to view…

  1. GILBERT NETBALL POST

All round this is a decent offering from Gilbert, a good solid base with wheels, three height adjustments for the ring. It also features the hooks for the net, again making it easy to attach.

One advantage of the Gilbert Netball Post is that you can easily disassemble it, so if you want to move it by car, take on holiday or even take to a tournament for practice you can do this easily.

It doesn’t have quite have the build quality of the NET1 and as many height adjustments, but you won’t be disappointed, plus if you need a more transportable option this is the one for you.

Recommended: 8/10

Click here to view…

  1. SURE SHOT JUNIOR NETBALL POST

The Sure Shot Junior Netball Unit was one of the first of the better netball units on the market and has been a great seller over the years. It has a sturdy frame and a similar ring to the netball posts above with the easy thread hooks. However, it has been overtaken by the new, better quality offerings.

The one feature this post has that others don’t is that the height adjustment goes down to as little as four feet, so if you have real youngsters this is helpful to get them started.

Recommended: 7/10

Click here to view the black post…

Click here to view the pink post…

  1. GILBERT ACADEMY NETBALL POST

We found the Gilbert Academy Netball Post to be the best out of the ‘garden’ netball posts. It isn’t as stable as the posts above but if this is your price point this is the post to go for.

There are many versions out there including some with a flat ring which often spins around when the netball hits it. You will never (or should never) be playing a game with a flat ring so I would avoid those.

It is the most stable out of its competitors and comes with the best ring option.

Mark: 5/10

Click here to view…

CLICK HERE FOR OUR RANGE OF POSTS…

 

 

 

 

 

Will the kids drive you mad this half term? Want help?

Will the kids drive you mad this half term?

We can help you, and save you £££’s in the process!

Half term is fast approaching, so have you got anything planned when the kids wake up on Monday morning?

No doubt they will be attached to their devices or playing on computer games, which can become an easy life for parents. I have a 15-year-old who is addicted to his Xbox, while interactively playing on games with his friends, he’s also multi-tasking on Facetime to someone else, listening to You Tube on his laptop AND snap chatting! Basically being a lazy teenager and not very active.

Sound familiar?

It is encouraged by the NHS that children should be active for one hour a day to avoid becoming overweight or obese. Could you say your child is active for an hour a day?

To encourage them they need something fun that motivates them into becoming active.

Why not invest in a netball post? It is fun for all the family, even dads and brothers are up for a challenge as they always try to prove that they are better than us girls.

Most females play or have played netball and a lot of competitive men out there will be dying to show us how much better they are – as it is just like basketball after all – isn’t it!

Well to put to bed a few myths the netball ring is smaller than a basketball ring at 15” diameter as opposed to 18” for the latter. Plus, in netball we don’t have the advantage of a backboard. So gentlemen, the challenge is on!

Over the last few years, the range of netball posts available for home use has grown massively as has the quality. Gone are the days where the pole was rickety, leaning to one side and the ring swings around when the netball hits it.

Now you can get a netball post that easily wheels around so you can not only use in the garden, but on your drive or even on the street, if it’s not a busy road of course. The Lifetime Netball System is made by the world renowned US manufacturer and until the 26th of October you can get £20 OFF using coupon code BLOG20. Click here to view now.

Fun Shooting Game: Killer

Minimum players: 3

Maximum players: as many as you want

Netballs needed: 2

  1. Mark out a shooting point, about three strides away from the post. You can use anything from chalk to a water bottle or even a stone.
  2. The first two players each have a netball, the first is allowed the first shot, as soon as they have taken their turn the second person can go.
  3. Once you have got the ball in the net you go to the back of the line.
  4. Your first shot must be taken from the start line, any shot after that can be taken from anywhere.
  5. However, if someone that started their turn after you gets the ball in – you’re out!

Give it a go…it could be your half term hero!

We have a fantastic offer on this half term. Simply use coupon code BLOG20 to get a massive £20 OFF the Lifetime Netball System.

This is our highest recommended netball post for home, BUY NOW…

Lifetime Netball Systemlifetime-height-settings

New netball rules – have you got to grips with them?

For most of us the netball season is now well underway, whether you are playing local/regional league or the new Mizuno Premier League.

So how are you doing with the new rules so far?

I was coaching at my first league game of the season on Sunday and I have to say on the whole I found the new rules a success.

Probably the only one we had to really think about was the injury stoppage. A player on the opposition called time for injury but I am not sure whether they realised they would have to go off or not. At that point, with it being such a quick change over (30 seconds) I wasn’t quick enough to make our own change.

It’s a lesson learned though, I will be ready next time!

The new ‘setting penalty’ rule is so much better where you don’t have to wait for the offender to stand by your side. It really speeds the game up and certainly stopped any time-wasting.

To help, you can pick up a new copy of the official netball rule book click here…

Here are some helpful tips on the new rule changes, new-rules-whats-changed

Comment below with your experiences of the new rules whether you are an umpire, player, coach or even a keen netball fan…

Have you got the balls to pick? 10% OFF THIS WEEKEND ONLY!

Have your balls deflated?

Is the grip so smooth your balls slip through your fingers?

Or maybe they’ve finally burst at the seams…

Start your season as you mean to go on with brand new netballs. Don’t struggle on dropping the ball or tiring yourself out before you start through constantly pumping up balls that are way past their best.

There’s not much equipment to playing a game of netball, the posts are usually already supplied at your venue, bibs last a good while. Just the nature of the makeup of netballs, they don’t last forever. So this is key to you and your team’s performance, don’t let your balls let you down.

So which netball should you buy?

As the experts in this field, we’d like to offer our help in choosing the best netballs for you.

Matchballs:

  1. The Gilbert Synergie X5 is the best matchball on the market and we love it, it is the chosen netball of the top three countries in the world so that tells you something. World Champions Australia, New Zealand and England all use the Synergie X5. Basically if you can afford it – buy it – you won’t find a better netball around!

With coupon code ONLY £28.35

  1. The Mitre Pursue matchball burst onto the netball scene in February and hasn’t disappointed. It maintains great shape and air retention and most of all it offers excellent value for money.

With coupon code ONLY £17.99

  1. Probably the best value around is the Molten International matchball, you may not get quite the same grip as something like the Synergie but at club level this is a fantastic choice. What we can tell you is that those that do buy it usually come back for more and stick with it! At this price you can’t go wrong. Give it a go…

With coupon code ONLY £11.68

Training Netballs

  1. Becoming the fastest selling training netball is the Gilbert Bullet it is more expensive than your average training netball, however, you netballers and coaches are learning quickly that cheapest is not always better value. Let’s face it you don’t want to be pumping your netballs up at every training session, and the Bullet netball offers a performance butyl bladder. Not normally found in training netballs, this bladder gives you far better air retention. Plus it can double up as a starter matchball, particularly with youngsters. It’s worth investing in this netball. 

With coupon code ONLY £10.79

  1. The Gilbert Pulse Netball will brighten up your training session with many colours available, it shares several of the same attributes as the Bullet but doesn’t have the same quality of bladder. So, for variety of colour and if your budget is really tight we recommend the Gilbert Pulse Netball.

With coupon code ONLY £6.53

  1. For years the Mitre Intercept was the leading training netball, but the love for the Gilbert brand has fast overtaken Mitre. The Intercept, however, still offers great value for money. The grip is a little stickier than the Gilbert Pulse but we have found will wear a little quicker. Like the Pulse, the Intercept only has an entry level bladder. If you like traditional and you don’t have much to spend this is the netball for you.

With coupon code ONLY £6.98

To help you we are giving you 10% OFF ALL NETBALLS this weekend only.

Simply use coupon code: NETBALL10 in your shopping cart.

Coupon code expires 9am Tuesday 6th September.

Why Helen Housby Goes Ballistic

Today sees the England Roses take on the Aussie Diamonds in Adelaide in the second test down under. England and Australia are joined by New Zealand and South Africa in the aptly named SANZEA competition.

England will be looking to build on their performance following a 65-39 defeat to the Silver Ferns at the weekend.

There was an interesting show of footwear on display with England goal attack Helen Housby leading the way by wearing the brand new ASICS Gel-Netburner Ballistic – exclusive to Netball UK.

The snazzy new blue colour, or to give it it’s official name blue jewel & white cockatoo, has been hugely popular since its release in July. Outselling other colour options, the Ballistic Blue is now starting to rival the best-selling netball shoe ever the ASICS Gel-Professional 12.

So what is making the Ballistic so popular?

Firstly, I’d say the lightness of the netball shoe, it’s snug-fitting low profile makes you think you are wearing slippers.

Secondly, the wet-grip gives probably the best traction available in a netball shoe. Once the netball trainer is ‘warmed up’ it gives you excellent grip on all netball surfaces.

Finally, the Ballistic still retains a high amount of GEL for ultimate cushioning. So combining lightness with comfort and protection.

All in all, this is a netball shoe where you can look good and play hard! We highly recommend at Netball UK, give them a go, we would love your feedback. Click here to view now…

I will talk more about all footwear on show while the quad series is in full flow, hopefully it may help you choose which is the best netball trainer for you.

You can watch Australia v England from 11am on Sky Sports Mix.