9 months ago I got invited to interview for an exciting job in London. The company was intriguing, the people were lovely and the free breakfasts were the cherry on an already delicious cake. Was I interested? Absolutely. But when I asked about social sports, I discovered that the company only had a male football team.
I accepted the role, because I’m not a total idiot. But after settling in and finding my feet, the time had come to get the figurative ball rolling. First to join the cause was my enthusiastic colleague, Georgia. Together, we went on a mission to get a team together.
This involved lots of conversations along the lines of ‘Do you want to play netball?’ ‘No.’ ‘Umm ok!’ or ‘Do you want to play netball?’ ‘What is that?’
But soon, we had rallied up a group of delightful young netballers to start playing together. The next step was to get a name. Many suggestions were put forward, from the cringeworthy to the simply inappropriate (one team we’ve played is called ‘Netballs Deep’…) But eventually we settled on the Uptown Dunks, inspired by our collective hero Bruno Mars. This name conveniently gave us a decent theme tune and a motto to yell on the court (‘Cos Uptown Dunks gon’ give it to ya!’)
Our first match was a bit scary. An assorted group of colleagues from different parts of the company so many didn’t know each other. For some it had been a decade since even holding a netball. But miraculously, we won our first game like the champs that we are. We went on to finish second in the league, which for a brand new team and a bit of fun, I think is quite impressive.
But like a dog with a bone, we didn’t want the success to stop there. We signed up for another season (shout out to Go Mammoth for organising it like pros) and were determined to kick ass. The season was a difficult one to say the least. Terrible weather, #tubestrikegate, illness – we saw it all. But us Dunks battled through. And with our team mantra to play with passion over all else (even talent), we made it to the semi-finals, and then the finals. AND WE ONLY RUDDY WELL WON!
To say I am a proud captain is an understatement. Dunks – you are all delightful people who I am honoured to call my friends. Such a win called for a big celebration, so in classic Dunk style we hit a local pub.
Great revelry was had, with lots of choruses of Uptown Funk and the discovery of snacking ham. It suffices to say that we are very excited to start the new season as the resident champions. So watch this space avid followers of the London netball scene! (essentially my mum and reluctant flatmates…)
Is netball going to save or change lives? Probably not. But is it ruddy good fun? Hell yes. Hopefully Bruno will be in touch soon…