Home > The highs and lows of my physical literacy journey – Angela Nilmadhub-Watson

The highs and lows of my physical literacy journey – Angela Nilmadhub-Watson

The highs and lows of my physical literacy journey - Angela Nilmadhub-Watson

Young child – Weekends were always about swimming and rugby. Saturday’s would be at the rugby club, with Dad playing and Mum doing the teas, while all the kids ran round the clubhouse. Sundays Dad would take us swimming and our after swim snack was a warm drink of Bovril or Marmite. On Sunday afternoons, we would also take local walks, sometimes in the countryside – which I still love doing to this day.

At primary and secondary school, I was the sporty kid and didn’t really fit in with the girly groups. I played hockey, netball and was a keen cross country runner. I also joined a swimming club, but was never fast enough to race so this fell by the wayside. I never got to join any other sports clubs, but was very happy when I got my first racing bike. I would spend hours cycling around the roads where we lived, with my friend from next door.

At sixth form college, I was lucky enough to go on a ski trip and that started a lifelong journey with skiing. Nowadays I’m less fearless than I was at 17, but still enjoy getting away to the mountains when I can. At 16 I joined the Sea Cadets and became very involved in the canoeing club at our unit and enjoyed trips away to Devon and the Norfolk Broads, where we camped with the Royal Marines.

At 17 I left school and went to work in a factory. My sport fell away at this point and then after I studied for a BTEC in Travel and Tourism I became very inactive until my mid 20’s.

At 26 I joined a gym, and then following the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I joined a hockey club and started playing sport again. It was after a long period of reflection that I decided to leave my work in the travel industry and go to university to do a degree in Sports Studies. At university, I was one of the mature students, but played lots of sport again – which I loved.

After graduating, and through my 30’s, I was very active. I played football, did a number of triathlons and a few mad active challenges with friends, such as the three peaks and a couple of 10k runs, to raise money for charities. I joined a gym and also commuted to work by bike.

In my 40’s I continued going to the gym, but stopped playing sport when we moved to Brighton. I did however continue my cycle commute, either side of my train journey to London. Once our daughter came along, my active life dipped a bit, although I remember all the walks along the seafront, trying to get some steps in.

In my 50’s I have been a gym member and have enjoyed yoga and spin classes. I had a bit of a tricky time through the peri and menopause stages, but found the only thing that really helped with my anxiety was exercise. So I cycled where I could, ran or walked and spent some time with a personal trainer looking at building muscle strength for later life. Most recently and since my daughter has started Secondary school, I have played football again and hope to get skiing again soon.

To find out more about what physical literacy means, visit www.activesussex.org/physical-literacy-consensus-statement-for-england-published/

Middle-aged woman with short hair, wearing a blue shirt and smiling
Angela Nilmadhub-Watson, Sport Welfare Officer
Skip to content