What’s the most popular women’s sport in Australia?

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Bondi Beauty Founder Renae Leith-Manos spoke to Australian netball Captain Laura Geitz.

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Australian Netball Captain Laura Geitz visited Sydney and spoke to Bondi Beauty Founder Renae Leith-Manos. She didn’t take up netball until age 13, and considers herself a “late bloomer” in the sport.

It’s not often I feel short, but next to Laura Geitz, I felt like a miniature person – she’s tall, leggy and just lovely.

Brisbane based Geitz started playing netball when she was 13 years old, and said it was the moment that changed her life. “I was a late bloomer in that sense, as most players started at around 8 years of age,” she said. ” As soon as I played I knew I’d found a sport that made me feel passionate. Nothing compares to the intensity on a court.”

“Netball is the highest participation sport in Australia for women,” Laura says, “and the third highest when you throw in men’s sports as well.  People who have never been to a game are blown away when they stand court-side for the first time. The atmosphere is electric, and the game is very fast.”

The profile of the game in Australia has risen significantly in recent times since several corporates including ANZ invested more money into the game. “What was once a sport that was only really played for a few months of the year is now a sport that is played all year , we now only get a token 6 weeks off and that’s it.”

The change in the sport’s profile has meant players are retiring younger, as they are playing longer and harder. “Most girls stop playing at around 29 or 30 now, whereas years ago they’d play into their early 30’s.”

One of the bonuses of the sport is that 80% of the training sessions and games are indoors in air conditioning. “We’re really lucky – we still get very dehydrated, but the sun isn’t a major issue for us.” The team does use beauty products including mascara, moisturiser and paw-paw to help prevent cracked lips and skin, but one beauty product they don’t go near is nail polish, as nails have to be kept super short to prevent injuries,”our nails are checked before every game, and if they’re too long, we have to go and cut them and have them checked again.”

At 27, Laura already has her career after netball in place – not that there is any hint of her walking away any time soon. She has her own clothing line she designs for Spartan, and she runs netball clinics for girls 10-14 where she not only teaches them the sport, but encourages team leadership, and educates them on nutrition and health.

In fact she’s in North Sydney this week to talk about netball: www.northsydneylifefestival.com.au if you want to see her in the flesh.

The Many Benefits of Netball and why you should consider playing:

1) Socially it creates a great network of instant friends.

2) It gives your body a super overall workout super fast.

3) You don’t notice the workout as you are so distracted by the game

4) It’s challenging as well as fun.

5) It improves agility.

Why do you love netball?

 

Renae Leith-Manos

CONTRIBUTOR

Renae Leith-Manos travels the world writing (www.renaesworld.com.au). She has had a colourful media career as a journalist in many magazines and newspapers, and spends her time writing, consulting to new businesses, running, doing yoga, swimming & cycling.
She's likes healthy eating, but thinks chocolate cake is just as important as kale chips.
She spends most weekends hanging out with her gorgeous twins.

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