After a nice, long (but not long enough) Christmas break, your Felix Sport captains’ interviews are back! This week, two lovely ladies from Netball: Lucie Hazell, Club Captain, and Feroza Kassam, Club Treasurer.
Felix Sport: Netball is one of those clubs which always has a pretty strong turnout, and plenty of teams. How big is the club?
Feroza Kassam: We have four competitive teams, and one social team, for about sixty members. The club has definitely grown since last year, though...
FS: What kind of netballing experience do you guys have?
FK: I’ve been playing at uni since my first year, but there’s a bit of a story behind it...I accidentally signed up for the medics in fresher’s fair! I only switched back after a year. I got into netball at school, though.
Lucie Hazell: I only started in my second year, actually. I hadn’t played it since I was fourteen, but once I got into it I just got more and more competitive, and now I’m club captain!
FS: What do you find appealing about netball, as opposed to, say, basketball?
FK: It’s faster-paced than people think it is, even though you can’t move when you hold the ball.
LH: If you’re being serious about it, it can become a very tactical game...You can appreciate people not seeing the appeal from the outside, most guys don’t get it either but once you start playing it’s actually loads of fun.
FS: Speaking of guys, should they ever be allowed to play netball?
LH: You’d have to make the posts higher! I don’t see why not though.
FS: Maybe mixed netball?
FK: I think England netball organise discovery sessions which let guys try out netball.
LH: We had “Fun day” last year, where a few guys played, and we organise a grudge match every year against the rugby club – although like I said, the posts are too short for them, so they get an unfair advantage!
FS: What leagues do you play in?
FK: Both BUCS and ULU. The 1s are doing really well this year, as they are second of their division!
FS: That’s pretty good – how often do you train, and what does it involve?
LH: We train once a week, two hours, all together. Our coach used to play netball for imperial, and she’s doing a great job for all levels. We start off with some fitness, and then do drills with the ball, and then practice matches. The drills are good for all levels, especially the people who have never played before – we have quite a lot this year!
FS: So the club is growing nicely then?
FK: Yes, I think particularly this year: we had a lot of people at fresher’s fair coming up to us saying they’d never played before, which wasn’t really the case in previous years. This year there is a new committee, and I feel the dynamic of the club is changing a bit, becoming more open. There was a feeling in previous years that the whole thing was a bit elitist, with the committee members all from the higher teams, and the first team captain would be club captain too. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it gives a very competitive edge to the club, but I think it did put some beginners off.
FS: Just to clarify, which team do you play for, Lucie?
LH: The thirds! So the club mindset has changed somewhat, in that sense.
FS: You also mentioned a ‘social team’ – what is that exactly?
LH: Well, it’s for the people who don’t want to play on a BUCS team, or who just want to enjoy themselves – I’d say the majority of the club is made up of the 4th and 5th teams (the 5th team being the social team – Ed.) We’re trying to get the 5th team into ULU next year, but at the moment the team captain has just organising informal matches. The Royal College of Music are starting up a team, so we play them, as well as the RSM.
FS: Speaking of playing other faculties, let’s have your thoughts on varsity! Any aims for this year? How did it go last year?
FK: I think we have a good chance this year… We won two out of five last year, which was amazing, a really good result. We’re really happy if we win any match, because all the equivalent medic teams are a league above ours. The 1s are doing really well this year, though, and we think they have the potential to beat the medics, so…fingers crossed!
LH: The matches are on a whole different level in varsity, though; we play medics in our leagues all the time but when it comes to varsity it’s a completely different situation!
FS: Finally, how is the social side of the club? Are you quite active?
The club this year is a lot more social than it has been, we’re going on tour to Salou, in Spain for the first time ever, at Easter –twenty-five girls bussing it down. The social secs this year are doing a great job, we’ve had a curry night and a Christmas dinner so big we had to change the venue! We also try and come to the union every Wednesday, and have a good turnout. I think it’s important that everyone gets to know each other.