Netball star Ama pays a visit to Sheffield children’s centre
Former England netball captain Ama Agbeze MBE has paid a visit to Sheffield Children’s Becton Centre.
Ama visited the centre, based at Beighton Community Hospital, to chat with young people staying at the inpatient lodges about her netball journey – starting in school and ending with leading Team England to their historic Commonwealth gold medal in Australia last year.
Ama, who has recently been awarded an MBE for services to netball, talked about the ups and downs of sport, what she has learnt from being a captain, mental health and sport, her studies which led to her becoming a qualified lawyer, and her plans for the future.
Everyone had the opportunity to ask Ama questions and see the official Commonwealth gold medal before both patients and staff got stuck into a friend game very similar to dodgeball.
Ama then had a chance to chat one-on-one with patients, and she wrote personal messages for those who weren’t able to take part.
Ama said: “I had a great time meeting the team and patients at Becton.
“ It was great to see first-hand the dedicated work Sheffield Children’s do in supporting young people across the UK with a range of difficulties that are impacting on their mental health and emotional wellbeing – it also reminded me of the important role sport can play to open conversations about mental health and support anyone struggling.
“After talking about my journey in sport, we played a great dodgeball- style game in the sports hall with both young people and staff – everyone got involved. This helped to break some barriers down and helped to open up some really good conversations with a number of young people staying in the lodges and helped me to get an understanding of what matters to them, why they’re currently staying at Becton and their interests.
“Conversations like this and chatting to staff really showed to me how important it is to have a centre like Becton to support our young people and their families.”
Before she left, at the end of her visit , Ama also took the time to talk to staff about the dedicated work they do every day to support young people across the UK with a range of difficulties, as well as discussing the potential benefits sport can have on mental health.
Visit sheffieldchildrens.nhs.uk for more details on the Beighton centre.