BY KATE HUNTER
There’s a kiss of winter in the air.
Big doonas are replacing waffle blankets, there are stew recipes in the Sunday papers and if I worried about pedicures, I’d worry even less for a few months.
And it’s football season. Yeah yeah yeah.
But equally exciting, for more Australians, it’s netty time.
More people run onto netball courts than AFL fields every Saturday. Actually, netty players don’t run on – they poise like coiled springs, waiting for the umpire’s whistle. It’s more civilized and a whole heap more humble than bursting through a crepe paper banner three stories high. They do this even in under 12s AFL games – not all of them, but enough to make you think, seriously?
Most Australian women at some point have pulled on a netball bib. The good ones wore a ‘C’, the rest of us played ‘WD’ on and off, forever. The tall girls wore something featuring a ‘G’.
But the thing about netty is thousands keep doing it. AFL players in their 30s and 40s are remarkable, and practically crippled, but look around a netball park on a winter Saturday or a sports centre any night of the week and you’ll see girls of all ages – from 8 to 80 looking for an attacking break or a sneaky bounce pass.
My daughter is 9 and gearing up for her second season. Just quietly, I suspect she’ll be WD throughout her netball life, but she loves it. There’s no healthier addiction than the feeling that comes with a goal being scored after 6 unchallenged passes.