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Get fit the fun way (con’t)

Netball Netball is still the most popular team sport for women, mainly because it is the main female sport encouraged in primary schools across the country. There are around 289,000 women around the nation who don their best pleated skirt and play in Saturday or mid-week teams. They are attracted to the fast paced nature of the game as well as the choice of playing indoors or outdoors. 27-year-old Kasie says, “I’ve been playing in the same team for the past 6 years and we love it. We’re all great friends by now and we love getting together, working up a sweat and (hopefully!) winning the game”. There are great role models for netball also. The Australian women’s team is at the top of their game and won Gold Medals in the past two Commonwealth Games. For further information about Netball, check out www.netball.asn.au Soccer Women’s soccer is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia. The catalyst for this growth was the inclusion of women’s football in the Olympics in 1993 although the participation rates have soared from elite to grass roots level. Thousands of Aussie chicks get together each Sunday in an attempt to Bend it like Beckham, such as 23-year-old Anna. “Of course we play to win, but we think the camaraderie of our team is most important. Each Sunday we get together to commiserate over our hangovers and gossip about the latest on the OC. Oh yeah, and occasionally we kick a ball”. Most women players haven’t had the benefit of growing up playing soccer, like their male counterparts therefore the standard in the lower divisions isn’t as high but joining a team as a beginner isn’t nearly as intimidating. Anna’s team-mate Susan says, “I’d never played soccer before I joined last year. My skills improve each game and it’s a great learning environment because the more experienced girls are really supportive. It’s easily become my favourite sport!” For more information about joining a soccer club, check out www.footballaustralia.com.au Ultimate Frisbee A new activity taking the sports world by storm is Ultimate Frisbee. This seven-a-side competition combines the elements of netball, touch football and gridiron, is self-refereed and non-contact. A group of American high school students started playing the came in a car park in New Jersey in 1968 and then introduced it to college campuses a few years later. Since then it has grown immensely popular with Australian universities – around 30 campuses offer the sport. Although the popularity spawned from students, its appeal isn’t limited and various open age competitions have grown throughout the country. The rules are relatively simple therefore it’s easy to pick up for newcomers and as it’s a growing sport, there are various learn-to-play days where women (and men) can learn in a safe and fun environment. 22-year-old Kat started playing Frisbee last year and hasn’t looked back, “It’s really addictive. I got off for these tournaments every few weeks and realise I’ve spent 6 hours exercising and don’t even notice it!” For more information, check out www.afda.com