Monday, December 15, 2008


Last week I played netball. Yeah, I said it. Mixed netball. Yes, it’s basically a girls’ sport. No, I didn’t have to wear a skirt. I was filling in for my friend Priya's team because they were one person down. I played half the game at centre and half at goal attack, and was equally underwhelming in both roles. The female centre on the other team totally outplayed me, I admit.

Does it make me any less of a man? I don’t think so.

If you didn’t know this, netball is pretty tough on the joints, since you need to be able to come to a dead stop once you run to catch the ball. And I came out of the game wincing at my throbbing left knee. Now, I play a lot of sport – soccer twice a week, basketball once a week, and coach badminton several times a week during school term. Knee problems? Nada. Yet it took barely 10 minutes of netball to give me a really worrying twinge – worrying because several of my friends have had knee reconstructions recently, and it doesn’t seem like a lot of fun. In the sports that I play, I’m pretty fast, but if you take speed out of my game, I’m a bit of a hack, really. So a damaged knee would remove much of the enjoyment from my week’s activities.

So I’ve decided never to play netball again. My knees and ankles are too valuable to jeopardise by playing something I’m not totally passionate about. That’s right, I’m retiring from a girl’s sport because it is too physically demanding for me.

Does that make me less of a man? I’ll have to think about that one.

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