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Claire's Story

I started becoming more active two years ago; I saw an advert on Facebook about back to rounders. After not doing any real sport since I stopped playing for Taunton Vale Hockey Club (something that I deeply regret) back when I was seventeen and now about to hit the big 40, I thought yes, I would love to do it !

My self confidence in general had hit a low, I'm not a petite girl and after having children I always struggled with weight. I thought it would be easier if I gathered a few friends to join me, safety in numbers! The first session I think we will all admit that we were all a little out of practise, I lost count of the amount of 'sorrys' that were exchanged. Over the weeks the apologies were few and far between. We were getting better.

I have two boys aged 8 and 12, I work 25 hours a week and always made excuses as to why I shouldn't do exercise. Since having my first boy I suffered very badly with post-natal depression and now suffer with depression and anxiety on a daily bases. People struggle to see how I suffer with it but inside I am scared, nervous and anxious about almost everything.

I used to put myself down quite a lot. Starting back playing rounders has changed how I deal with my feelings. I love the ladies I play with, I love the banter, I love that they don't judge me, I love that I am part of a team, part of something great.

I am nowhere near fit or have the perfect body but I enjoy it, I do it for me. I don't do it for my children or anyone else, just me. One hour a week is mine.

Our team entered the Taunton Mixed Social Rounders League last year and we held our own, we are a ladies team and played mainly against mixed teams. At first I was very self-conscious playing against men but now I don't care.

Playing rounders has given me the confidence to play volleyball and go swimming. Although I haven't lost any weight I am fitter in myself and the sad days I have I know won't last forever.

Playing team sports are my key to feeling free, feeling like me again because when I'm playing nothing else is on my mind.

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