Annabel Getley

 Somehow it is already halfway through my second term here at Durham, time has absolutely flown by and the season is reaching its climax with the beginning of the cup knock-out rounds. For me this season definitely hasn’t been the one I’d hoped for, an ACL reconstruction in July has meant that I’ve been on the sidelines – somewhere I’ve never been very good at being. For all the frustration and longing to join my teammates on the pitch though, I have come to enjoy the challenge of being involved with lacrosse from a different perspective.The 2s after a great win against Manchester 1s in their first knock-out cup match

Working with the 6s at the beginning of the season was both some of the most challenging and rewarding coaching I have ever done. Composed almost entirely of beginners, the 6s is a team that allows girls who did’t necessarily play at school a really fun way to get involved with lacrosse and represent Team Durham. As a coach though it was a real challenge to get so many new lacrosse enthusiasts match-ready in just a few sessions. After mastering the basics and full of excitement we headed off to our first match to face Leeds 2s, the majority of whom had played lacrosse throughout school. Unfazed by this the 6s, who had been learning the rules on the way to the game, fought right to the end the match with the most amazing team spirit, scoring a few goals along the way. Everyone was so enthused that they all ordered their own lacrosse sticks on the bus back. It is very easy to get carried away by our competitive nature but at the end of the day we play lacrosse because we enjoy it; being so exposed to this was really rewarding.

The 2s have also been having a really good season which has been testament to the early mornings and hours of training they put in. This really showed up last week with a nail biting 10-9 win over the very competitive Manchester 1s – a massive achievement that really showed development in the team since a loss to them early in the season. The atmosphere on game-day with this team is amazing to be a part of, everyone gives their buddy a motivational note and edible present before a focused talk from captains and then a warm up to music- this has got the 2s some great results and they’re hoping to go all the way in the BUCS trophy cup but will face some tough competition in the next few weeks!

Alongside helping out with the club from the sidelines I’ve been focusing on my rehab since arriving here in October. Its been a huge learning curve for me, and the rehab process pretty much defines the success of an ACL op so I’ve been very glad to have the knowledge of Team Durham behind me for the last few months. The strength and conditioning sessions that we have twice as week as a performance squad have made a huge difference alongside the extra sessions I’ve been doing and I’ve really learnt to focus on each and every improvement rather than over-focusing on my end goal of being back playing lacrosse again. I honestly never thought that I would be so excited to join in fitness sessions but after Christmas, I was raring to get more involved and do as much as I could – the small steps really are exciting! The last few weeks have been really rewarding as after months of watching, I’ve finally being able to join in training sessions which is hopefully progressing towards being cleared to play in the next few weeks.

I really have had the most challenging, frustrating and amazing few months getting involved with the lacrosse programme here in a different way and taking myself outside my comfort zone. Its been incredibly hard watching from the sidelines and I would still much rather be playing but the support I’ve had from  team here has been amazing and I’ve learned to much. Bring on next season!