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‘Sport has never been far away in my life’ – Sadie Mason MBE

'Sport has never been far away in my life' - Sadie Mason MBE

My relationship with sport began with enjoying games in primary school, where I can fondly remember playing netball in Years 5/6 in the autumn/winter and looking forward to summer activities, such as rounders in the local park and primary school sports days. Loved the running races, as I discovered at that time that I was reasonably good at it!
The positive relationship continued at secondary school. I went to an all-girls comprehensive in London, where we were introduced to an additional variety of sports (volleyball, basketball, tennis, track and field athletics) over and above the traditional netball and hockey for girls. Outside of school, I continued my participation in athletics, joining the borough athletics club at the age of 12.
By age 14, despite being school and district club champion at 100m, 200m and long jump champion, it only took one poor experience on the outdoor track for me to give up athletics in favour of playing more basketball…a sport that I’ve enjoyed since that time and continue to do so now.
There has never really been a break: we were led by two great basketball teachers at school (one PE and one Geography) who had an infectious love of basketball, and I soon found myself playing for the school, for the borough at the London Youth Games, for South East Region and then National Team Level by the age of 15 and 17 years.  I continued at University, playing at British Universities and also representing Great Britain at three consecutive World University Games in Canada, Japan and Croatia (former part of Yugoslavia).
I continued to play nationally and internationally (39 caps for England, 4 GB Senior) during my early working career in the financial services, and even when I left London to live/work in Scotland, sport remained an important part of my physical activity journey as I was able to join the local basketball team in Glasgow and within a year was working in sports administration.  I only stopped playing briefly in 1994 and 1996 to have the kids, and even then, I coached the team when I couldn’t play and the kids sometimes came to training in their buggies too!
I’ve remained active in the sports sector since 1995, volunteering (London 2012 was the highlight and also seven years as England Basketball U18 Women national team manager), coaching, officiating and playing.  I continue to champion age inclusion in sport, playing and representing Great Britain on the European and World masters basketball stage. In terms of governance, I am currently an NED on the Board of Basketball England and the British Basketball Federation.
So sport has never been far away in my life, and has provided many experiences and friends and most importantly it’s good for my physical and mental wellbeing.
To find out more about what physical literacy means, visit www.activesussex.org/physical-literacy-consensus-statement-for-england-published/
12 people in the basketball team posing for a picture with a basketball
Sadie Mason and her GB Maxibasketball team
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