Women In Sport: An Interview With Alana John

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As part of Wessex Scene’s coverage of Women in Sports week, we will be bringing you an exclusive interview each day from just a few of the many talented women we have competing in a wide range of sports here at Southampton. Not many can say they have played for the England U21 Netball team, heading down under to play the best in the world, but Alana John has and we interviewed her about her netball career.

How did you get into netball?

I first started playing netball in primary school when I was 9 and then later joined a local club.

What position do you play?

I’m predominantly a WD/GD.

Who would you say is your main role model?

When I was a young player I always looked up to Pamela Cookey because she was (and still is) an incredibly skilled and smart player and always managed to make her defenders look silly. Plus she’s a great role model off court as well.

What struggles/problems have you have you had to overcome?

I’ve always struggled with time management and particularly A levels I’d have really long days and not much sleep which had a massive strain on my school work.

You’ve been playing netball for 10 years, what’s been your most memorable moment of your netball playing career?

I still vividly remember the first time I found out that I had been selected into the national academy after trialling three or four times and finally achieving my goal and making my family proud.

How has joining the uni teams been and what has your experience of varsity been like?

I’ve loved playing for the university team and being a part of SUNC! It’s been great getting to know all of the girls and other uni sports teams, definitely a highlight of my university experience so far.

You played for the U21 England team, what was that experience like? Did you play in any matches and how did you find it?

Playing for the England U21 team was incredible. It was a constant struggle and meant that I had to sacrifice a lot of things over the years but I’m really glad I persevered because it was so rewarding. I travelled to Australia twice to play against their national side and the Kiwis – the two top sides in the world currently – which was an eye opening and brilliant experience. The first time I played in the England dress was a very overwhelming experience and one of my best memories.

Can you see yourself pursuing a sporting career in netball?

Perhaps after university I may choose to re-enter the programme, although right now I’d like to focus on getting a degree and simply enjoying netball at a lower level.

Do you think there is enough media coverage of women’s sport in general and if not what do you think could be done to fix this?

In the past couple of years I’ve seen vast improvements in coverage of women’s sport, whether it’s live screenings or in news bulletins which is really great. However I still think that there’s a lot of ground to make up when you consider that half of our population are female and male sports are still so dominant. Hopefully if we continue to have as much success in female sport then eventually they’ll have to show it!

More articles in Women in Sports Week 2016
  1. Women In Sports Week 2016 Starts Today
  2. Women In Sport: An Interview With Laurie Pestana
  3. Women In Sport: An Interview With Rachel Barton
  4. The Ultimate Women In Sport Quiz
  5. Women in Sport: An Interview With Eleanor Fox
  6. Women In Sport: An Interview With Alana John
  7. Women In Sport: An Interview With Abigail Finn
  8. Women In Sport: An Interview With Alice Masterman
  9. Women’s Salaries In Sport: The Good The Bad The Ugly
  10. Women Of Wessex Live Blog
  11. Women In Sport: An Interview With Cara Pritchard
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