Beccy Tarling and her daughter enjoy an evening of exciting and inspirational sport watching Team Bath at the Vitality Netball Superleague

I probably haven’t been near a netball court since I was at school, many years ago, and I was struggling to remember the rules as we arrived to watch Team Bath play Loughborough in the Vitality Netball Superleague at the Sports Training Village at the University of Bath. But although the rules were the same, this was a world away from schoolgirl netball. The stands were packed, loud music was playing while cheerleaders entertained the crowd and TV camera crews were filming the action: this was a big deal.

Although I would describe us as an outdoorsy, active sort of family, we don’t participate in or watch team sports and so this was the first time we had been to a sporting event like this together. And as the mother of three girls, I was looking forward to taking them to a fixture where all the team members were female; I was keen for them to see an exciting women’s sport and perhaps be inspired by strong, athletic women. The players didn’t disappoint.

Many of the Team Bath players have international experience at the Netball World Cup or on international tours. They tore up and down the court with, it has to be said, a fair amount of contact between the players as they jostled to free themselves of their opponents, the Loughborough Lightning, and find that crucial bit of space. But none of it was ill-tempered: they were all fair, focussed and inspiring sports women.

From the very start, the action was fast-paced and although Team Bath took an early lead, this had disappeared by half time which found Team Bath trailing by eight goals. By the third quarter Team Bath had made a come back and for a while the two teams were matching each other goal for goal. This made for an exciting final quarter as they re-started one goal apart but it wasn’t to be and in the last few minutes, Loughborough steamed ahead to finish victorious with 47 goals to Team Bath’s 41.

Despite the scoreline, we all had a great evening. My girls relished the novelty of the experience and by the end were chatting excitedly about their favourite players. I enjoyed seeing them appreciate how exciting netball played at this level can be and the fact that we were all able to experience this together in a fun, very family friendly environment was a winner as far as I was concerned.

For information on upcoming Vitality Netball Superleague matches, go here