Claire’s Story – This Girl Can

Claire Adam, thisgirlcanMy name is Claire Adam. I am 40 years old and work as a duty manager at my local Beefeater. I have two boys, Joel, 12 and Ethan, 9. I have a love for photography but at present lack the confidence to take it to the next level. I also play rounders, and do all this in the beautiful town of Taunton with my husband Chris, who has come and watched and supported me in nearly every match.

Many years ago I played hockey for Taunton Vale; unfortunately I gave it up. This is something that I deeply regret.

Over the last few years I have suffered with anxiety which on occasions has led to depression. I manage it by medication. About two and a half years ago I saw an advert for back to rounders for ladies, run by Somerset Activity & Sports Partnership (SASP). I thought it would be perfect for me so I messaged a few friends (safety in numbers) and went along to a session. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. I’ve not really pursued any sports since school or since finishing hockey. I am overweight, unfit and under confident! But it’s one of the best things I have ever done. I can remember our first session. I wasn’t alone in the “I’ve not played since school department”. We were all different shapes, sizes and abilities.

As the weeks passed our confidence grew, our fitness improved and for me, personally, it had a marked effect on my moods. I looked forward to Thursday mornings. As a team we decided that we were good enough to enter a league. We are an all female team and we were about to play mixed rounders. We held our own and I’m so proud to be part of it!

Over time we have become more than a rounders team. We encourage each other, we don’t judge each other, we have become friends.  If someone is not feeling their best on a Thursday morning… it’s fine. They have come along to a session and are guaranteed to leave feeling 100% better. We have great banter within our team.

The longer I play, the more competitive I have become. Yes, it is a team sport, but when you score half a rounder, a whole rounder, catch someone out or watch one of your team members accomplish one of the mentioned, it’s an amazing feeling.

The England senior squad visited Somerset earlier this year and the SASP league held trials for those individuals who wanted to be on the team to play against them. This turned into my personal goal. Nerves were high again, but this time exciting nerves. I got picked to be on the team! Personally I learnt so much from that day, hints, tips and even a few rules that I wasn’t aware of.

Rounders England have requested whether the senior squad can play against us again next year, so we couldn’t have been that bad. My inspiration? I aspire to bowl as well as the bowler we played against that day! But my team, who voted me their captain, they are my inspiration. They keep me focused, motivated and smiling.

The team that I play in is mainly made up of mums. Outside of our organised sessions we have met up on a few occasions and have even played family rounders – some of our children put us to shame!

I would urge any lady to give rounders a go. Who knows what may happen? In two years, I’ve got fitter, made new friends, I’m in more control of my anxieties; together we have joined leagues and won cups and trophies. I am so pleased I  responded to the advert. I’m so proud of myself that I went along on that sunny Thursday morning. I’m so proud to be part of rounders team, Batty Birds, who are totally awesome and have helped me in so many ways.

Being part of a team feels unbelievably incredible and I personally can’t wait to see where the next two years takes me/us. There is nothing I dislike about rounders. We play in the rain, sun and wind, although that’s a little tricky if we are outside!

Thursday morning is my time. My time to play!

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