I don’t know about you but I LOVE the Olympics. It’s basically the highlight of each four years for me. I would love it even more, though, if it included my favourite sport.
If you haven’t already heard, recently we started a campaign called #whynotnetball which aimed to highlight how ridiculous it is that netball still hasn’t been played at the Olympics (full story here if you’re interested). Our petition is now over 7000 signatures and I think we can hit 10k very soon. If you need any help convincing your friends to sign, here are 8 excellent reasons why the Olympics needs to include netball in Tokyo 2020.
1) It’s played by 20 million people
It’s #FlashbackFriday and it only seems appropriate to re-visit this AMAZING moment earlier this season… 13,314 fans packed @qudosbankarena to see your NSW Swifts end the @firebirdsqld 21-game winning streak in Rd 9. It was an epic contest, and next Monday night it will be no different as these two great netball rivals meet again for the @anzchampionship Australian Conference Final #GoNSWSwifts 📷 @narellespangher
Netball is played across 80 countries and 5 continents, from grass roots level to professional international teams. Venues are selling out, leagues are becoming more and more professional and sponsorship is increasing. This would be a hugely passionate audience for Olympic sponsors and venues.
2) It’s one of the biggest women’s sports
— Denise Evans (@DeniseEvansMEN) August 26, 2015
I always bring this up, but I just love Emma John’s article about why netball is so important for women’s sport. What better way to show the International Olympic Committee’s commitment to women in sport than giving netball a slot at the Olympics?
3) We all think it should be included
A recent YouGov poll showed netball was top of the UK’s ‘most wanted’ sports in the Olympics. At last count, we had petition supporters from Namibia, the Netherlands, South Africa, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Barbados, Switzerland, South Africa, Ireland, Singapore, Israel, Jamaica, Dubai, France, Trinidad and Tobago, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea…
4) It’s super accessible
According to the Olympics website, “the mission of the IOC is to not only ensure the celebration of the Olympic Games, but to also encourage the regular practice of sport by all people in society, regardless of sex, age, social background or economic status”. Don’t worry IOC, netball can help you here – you don’t need fancy equipment or facilities to play. Like football, all you really need is a ball.
5) It fits with the Olympic values
As one petition commentator rightly points out, netball perfectly embodies the Olympic values of ‘higher, faster, stronger’. Here is one of many GIFs to illustrate that point.
6) It’s a true team game
You actually have to work as a team to win a game of netball. Them’s the rules.
7) Men play it at international level
I can fly……some exceptional talent from the NZ teams pic.twitter.com/Yyodv1x62D
— England NETS (@Indoor_Netball) October 6, 2015
Shout out to the England Indoor squad who are at the World Cup in New Zealand as we speak (good luck!)
8) Netballers are awesome role models
I mean, please just watch the video if you haven’t already. If this isn’t Olympic-level inspiration I don’t know what is.
If you haven’t signed the petition yet, get involved! Share it with your friends, post your netball photos and use #whynotnetball. We can do this!