Netballer and GP Dr Oelbaum says sport’s new initiative has helped with day job

Netball might not be your first thought of how to improve performance at work, but for highly-qualified GP Dr Sandra Oelbaum being part of the sport has made a world of difference.

Dr Sandra Oelbaum, from Liverpool, returned to netball at the age of 60 and has progressed from England Netball’s ‘Back to Netball’ scheme to Netball Now. 

Netball Now is all the fun of the orginal game, except where scores aren’t recorded and is not led by rules. People simply turn up and play games of netball. 

Dr Oelbaum explained how Netball Now had helped her: “I just think being part of a team is a fun thing.

“I really enjoy it, you get to know different people, you stretch yourself in terms of building new relationships.  

“You meet a much wider variety of people than you might otherwise meet: people of different ages and doing different jobs and just from different backgrounds.

“It’s fantastic that you meet all kinds of people.  

“I think it really helps me with my job because I am a GP, but now I’m mostly in senior management positions, and in those jobs you have a team.

Hillingdon Times: Credit: Jazamin Sinclair Credit: Jazamin Sinclair

“My working life is about working as a team as well.

“There is this fun, really interesting, way in which for me being part of a team and leading teams at work, is really helped by being part of a team in netball. There’s a real synergy there.” 

The 63-year-old originally played netball at school, before getting back into the game through Vitality Life Insurance.

Dr Oelbaum is now part of the Toxteth Flames and encouraged anyone who wants to get back into netball to give it a go. 

“One of the things about the whole Back to Netball programme, which I think has been a real success for England Netball, is that our club, which is a new club, came directly out of the sessions at Toxteth Fire Fit. 

“We had houses at our school, so I played for the house team and then occasionally played for the school team, but I wasn’t a regular on the school team.  

“You can go back to netball, even if you weren’t that really good star player, or you didn’t have a regular slot on the school team, or you didn’t play at county level.

“It’s a very accessible sport that you can always go back to, from whatever level you played at.”

For more information about how to get involved in participation programmes such as Walking Netball or Back to Netball, please contact your regional Netball Development Officer (NDO). There’s something for everyone no matter what your age or ability – click here to find the best contact for you:

Hillingdon Times | News