By Lucy Lloyd
My korfball Journey
In summer 2012, I felt inspired by the London Olympics to be more active and try a brand new sport. After a google search, I stumbled across a sport called korfball and was so pleased to find a local club in Ely. With a netball background, I reasoned that I would have a good set of transferable skills to begin my korfball journey. It was time for action and summer was the perfect time to begin. After a couple months of relaxed non-competitive training, the new season began and I was placed within team 3. After some seriously great coaching from Vikings, within a year I was regular in team 2, with occasional appearances in team 1 - in both the SERL and CKA leagues. Seven years later, I now class myself as a korfball enthusiast and enjoy promoting the sport as much a possible. Here are my ten reasons to try korfball this summer.
1) Summer korfball is very relaxed.
Korfball is typically a winter sport and league matches are played between October and May. For Ely Vikings Korfball club, summer is the time for more relaxed and fun training sessions. In June and July we train indoors; however, in August we make use of the drawn out summer evenings and run outdoor training sessions.
With zero pressure to play the sport competitively, summer is a great time to learn to play korfball. Taking up this sport now, provides you with weeks and weeks of practice before the season begins. Therefore, when it 's time for team selection in Autumn, you'll feel confident to be included. We have three teams at Ely Vikings and room for all standards of players.
2) Make new friends!
Korfball a mixed gender sport which is accessible to all, making it an extremely sociable sport. Ely Vikings Korfball Club has members ranging from 7 to 65 + years. Korfball is truly a sport for everyone.
3) Fitness and well being
It's widely known that exercise is beneficial (if not essential) for good physical and mental health. Not only does taking up korfball provide you with a weekly fitness commitment, but it also inspires you to improve your fitness to become a better korfballer. If you're super keen (like me), it won't be long before competitive instinct takes over and you'll find yourself hitting the gym to try and win matches!
4) Korfball keeps your mind engaged.
Korfball is largely described as sport which is a combination of basketball and netball. However, there are many aspects of the sport which make it totally unique. You can learn all the rules here. It's a sport which not only requires fitness and agility but tactical skills to be able to outwit the defence. With your brain 100% engaged, it's a fantastic way escape from everyday life. Need a mental break from work or school? This sport could be your thing!
5) A reasonably priced workout!
Korfball is a high energy sport. You need fitness and agility to move yourself around the court to outwit your defender. It's a brilliant workout but without a hefty price tag. In many cases the cost of joining a korfball club can be cheaper than joining a gym. So not only is korfball brilliant for physical health, it's great for the health your bank balance too!
6) Promote gender equality !
Korfball is the only mixed gender sport in the world. Playing for a korfball team and/or volunteering (e.g. helping with fundraising, refereeing, coaching) helps promote gender equality within your community.
7) Increased work prospects!
Employers love it when applicants play a team sport. Korfball provides a whole set of life skills. First up, it helps build your team-working and communication skills. It also shows you have determination and resilience. Also, experience gained as a team captain and/or referee enables you to develop excellent leadership skills.
8) Family time
Korfball is a sport accessible to everyone, which means you can play alongside family members. It's a fantastic way to spend quality time with family on a weekly basis. We have many family groups at Ely Vikings Korfball Club. It's really amazing to see families play on the same team, all working together for a common goal.
9) Witness something amazing!
One of the most common phrases us korfballers hear is "what is korfball?". However, the popularity of this sport is fast growing and there are clubs all over the country and world. In fact Korfball is played in 57 different countries. The media coverage of korfball is ever increasing. The England korfball finals (held at the The Copper Box) have recently been featured on the BBC and in particular our club was recently featured on ITV anglia. Korfball is a unique dynamic sport and once you try it - warning - you can get hooked! Join a korfball club this summer and enjoy watching korfball become a mainstream sport everyone knows and talks about.
10) Summer time offers beginner sessions
A couple of months ahead of the new season, many korfball clubs offer beginner courses. This is another reason why the summer is the perfect time to learn this sport. Ely Vikings are running a beginners course for senior players on 8th and 15th July 2019. These sessions are designed to teach the basics of the sport and are completely free! Want to learn more - contact us!
Author and Korfball Photos: Lucy Lloyd
Additional Photos from unsplash.com
Gym Photo: @dncerullo
Sunset Photo: @kevindelvecchio