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Sarah's Story

I've been playing Volleyball for over a year with North Riding Eagles Volleyball Community Club and in that time it has been a wonderful journey. A year and a half before that I was over 22 stone and totally given up, not only with myself but the chance to play any form of sport (I hadn't played any team sports since school). I love watching sports had totally given up ever participating in anything. I turned 50 on the 1st of Feb 2016.

I had joined the gym and attended various classes, boxercise being my favourite as that really made me want to lose weight so I could be fit enough to finish a class without giving up; the instructor was fabulous after she realised I was in it heart and soul.

But sadly due to change in my work rota I was unable to attend every week as most classes started at 6pm and even if I didn't attend classes, going to the gym around 7:00-7:30pm was getting too busy.

Days off were spent catching up on all the things I didn't get done because of work. I'm a bus driver and most days I'm up at 5:00am to be at work at 6:15am then not home till 7:00pm and as you can appreciate I would have to get changed, not eat as the gym closed at 9:30 then shoot home eat, shower, sleep and start all over again.

I found it really had to keep going, my weight started to creep back on as I really like my food. Then a leaflet dropped through the door; volleyball sessions at my local gym (Filey Road Sports Centre) starting at 7:30 till 9:30 stay for an hour or stay for two.

I'd seen volleyball being played on the Olympics and walked past a few games when I'd visit Brighton, my home town, they have permanent courts down by the pebbled beach. Everyone was fit and healthy and never in a million years would I have seen myself playing BUT here I am and trying hard to convince VOLLEYBALL IS FOR ALL!!

It truly is accessible to everyone! And we are so lucky to have an amazing man called Anthony Laffan that won't take "I CAN'T DO THAT" he will find a way, he will adapt the game to you. Male or female there is nothing like scoring your first point, even if you had no clue you've done it. There are so many rules and regulations in volleyball but you don't need to worry about that. Because you are having too much fun to care. When it gets a little more serious, tournaments etc., then Anthony will set you up so you know enough but he just wants you to have a blast. You don't have to be in tip top fitness, you don't have to run miles, you don't have to be tall, you don't have to be anything you aren't.

I think women who put on weight it's not because women get lazy it's while taking care of everyone else, mothers, lovers, carers workers, because of illness, handicaps just let life pass by, it's so hard to make time for you. Really it's so easy for others to judge you. Sometimes finances stop women from play for a sport, as there's always something else to buy... But Volleyball c'mon £2.50 an hour that's not even the cost of a Starbucks skinny latte.

Friendships are struck up, you are never alone, you are cheered and encouraged from start to finish, in truth I hate it when it's time to wrap up. I JUST WISH I WAS 35 YEARS YOUNGER as who knows what would have happened. I know I wouldn't have been fat for so many years and missed out on so much.

This Girl Can. Do what it says on the tin.