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Mums Who Ball: Drop-in fitness for Mums

Ashleigh Went

Mothers tend to have a lot of balls in the air.

It can be a challenge to look after the kids, maintain some semblance of a social life and still find time to exercise.

What if I told you that there was a place in Canberra that you could do all three of those things simultaneously – with a cheeky side of banana bread?

Well, Basketball ACT have recently announced that their new program, Mums Who Ball.

It’s designed for “mums who want to play basketball, but don’t always have time for weekly competitions” but Executive Manager – Group Operations, Dan Jackson says it’s open to more than just women who are interested in basketball.

“It’s not about them winning the championship at the end of the season” he says. “It’s about getting them to come in and run around for an hour or so each week, then afterwards being able to sit down and socialise over a cup of tea or coffee so they can get to know each other. If they end up saying ‘hey we want to try other sports’, we can do some of that here too. It doesn’t have to necessarily be basketball.”

The idea for the program came about when Chief Executive Officer Michael Haynes noticed low participation rates of females as they get older.

“Female participation ranges from about 25-35 per cent. Yet, we know from other data from the Bureau of Statistics, that in the 20-35 year old age group, that women are more physically active than men are. Where is the disconnect?”

Michael suspects that the issue is that basketball offerings can tend to be too generic, whereas busy mothers may need a more tailored solution.

“That’s why we’ve got not just the Mums Who Ball, but we’ve got the bubs who ball on the court next door. That may just be the limiting factor – it’s all very well for mum, she might be really interested and so might her group of friends, but what do we do with bub as the same time?”

What you do in this case, is bring bub along. There will be staff on-hand to occupy the kids and keep them active.

“It’ll basically be like mini ball – they might use balloons rather than basketballs to shoot, if they’re a bit older they can do some balancing games. We’re aiming to keep them active, introduce them to basketball, and hopefully have fun.”

The drop-in element is another component that mums will relish. It’s an opportunity to be active and participate in sport, without having to commit to registering for a season. The fee is $10 and that includes a game, tea or coffee and a muffin, scone or banana bread.

As it’s the first of it’s kind in Canberra, the precise format of the program isn’t set in stone.

“It really depends on how many women turn up. It can be a 3 on 3 game, it can be just some skills and fun with a basketball, we can turn some music on and make it almost like an aerobics class while you’re bouncing a ball. You could be playing 5 on 5 basketball if there was that many and depending on their level of experience and interest in the game.”

Michael says that the program will be reactive to what participants want.

“We’ve also spoken about potentially bringing in other people – physios for example – and working on pelvic floor strengthening and that kind of thing for the new mums. Really, whatever is resonating with mums and will meet their interests and needs.”

At the moment, Mums Who Ball will run on Tuesday mornings at 10am, starting from Tuesday 15 August. However, expressions of interest for other days or times are welcome.

“If there was a mother’s group who were regularly meeting for example on a Wednesday, and they’re interested but Wednesday is the day for us, we’d love for them to contact us.”

the essentials

What: Mums Who Ball
Where: Belconnen Stadium, 42 Oatley Court Belconnen
When: Tuesday mornings from 10am
How much: $10, including tea/coffee and cake
Register: https://membership.sportstg.com/regoform.cgi?formID=70873





Ashleigh Went

Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. She’s currently furthering her studies in nutrition, but also has a Bachelor of Communication and is a qualified fitness instructor with over five years experience working in a gym. Among other things, she’s a lover of great food, coffee and fashion. She can usually be found shopping for activewear, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue More about the Author