Wednesday, 19 April 2017

This Girl Can: Jackie's Story to falling in love with Basketball

My name is Jackie and I have the great privilege of writing a guest blog post for Melissa about my favourite sport – BASKETBALL!
I thought that it was such a shock that Melissa asked me because she wants ‘Women in Sport’, I thought she had a made a mistake! I was NEVER one of the sporty girls at school, frequently being on the ‘D’, ‘E’ or even ‘F’ team at school, preferring volunteering to games lessons and even winning a wooden spoon for being the worst at badminton! 

Jackie's women basketball team at university.
However, when I got to university, I thought that nobody knows how rubbish I am at sport, basketball is something I have always wanted to try and it was only about two minutes away from my halls. They advertised it as something anybody of any ability can try’, no need to try out and best of all? It was free. So I thought, why not have a go? 

Much to my delight, basketball was very fun and easy to grasp; the other women were also extremely kind, supportive and welcoming and it was great for both my mental and physical health. Not only was I exercising regularly and becoming fitter, but it also gave me an opportunity to make new friends across subjects and years. It even managed to get me out of my room – something that I always tried to avoid doing at university. 
This Girl Can Social Basketball - Leazes Park
Three years later I moved back to Newcastle and I am now raring to join another club – a big city with two universities and a great city team – how hard could it be?
However, I couldn’t find any that were suitable – either you had to try out (be a certain ability to make the team), or they were too expensive, at the wrong times, exclusive to certain age groups, difficult to get to, just a series of irritating barriers that prevented me from playing.

I knew some people in Newcastle who played basketball and I would sometimes meet up with them to play at a local park but our busy lives often mean these opportunities are few and far between.
When playing on my own at a local court I thought that there might be women around Newcastle who might feel the same as me; who wanted to try a new sport but couldn’t due to some obstacle or that they used to play but couldn’t find an opportunity to do so.
This Girl Can Social Basketball - Leazes Park

I was nominated as a This Girl Can Ambassador through some volunteering for Streetgames and Factory Dance Academy. I had just taken part TGC activities previously, but I thought –why not do something about this?

With the TGC Play Basketball Club I hope to create a fun and social atmosphere where girls and women of any age and ability can come and make new friends, and learn something new or even share tips with each other. It’s free, with no gear or experience needed and easily accessible in the middle of Newcastle City Centre. 

I know that basketball isn’t for everyone but I really recommend you do some sport or exercise, even just 30 minutes a week or walking/cycling/running/jogging/table tennis or football. There are some wonderful local parks with great facilities you can use for free. Bring a friend, get some fresh air, take in the view, get the heart pumping a bit – it’s good for you mentally and physically.
This Girl Can Social Basketball - Leazes Park

Hope this has interested you and if you want to play some basketball - male or female – let me know. Hope to see you at Leazes Park Basketball Court soon!

This Girl Can Play Basketball Club meets every Saturday from 3-4pm at Leazes Park Basketball Court. Just wear some comfortable clothes, bring some water and get ready to have some fun! For more information please join the This Girl Can Play BASKETBALL group on Facebook (here). 

If your interested in trying out basketball, Don't be afraid to join the Facebook page or if you fancy trying out something different why not check out the Active Newcastle Facebook page to see what other This Girl Can activities are happening in Newcastle. If you would like to see other women's only activities happening across Newcastle you can check out Active Newcastle's Website for tones of other activities happening in Newcastle.  

Monday, 10 April 2017

Top 3 places to eat at Lunchtime in Newcastle

In December my workplace moved our office to Newcastle City Centre (Civic Centre). As everyone knows Newcastle's city centre is full of places to eat and I won't lie I'm a sucker for eating at restaurants and cafes. With this I thought I would list my top 3 places to eat on my lunch each restaurant/cafe has it own reasons for being on this list and I'll explain them along the way. 

1. Meet and Treat

Top 3 places to eat at Lunchtime in Newcastle
Meet and Treats Interior 
Top 3 places to eat at Lunchtime in Newcastle
Meet and Treat Fish Bowl and Beef Flank Noodles.
Meet and Treat has only recently been put on my radar. If you follow the #Neblogger hashtag on twitter and Instagram then I'm sure you would have seen lots of photos of this place including it's incredible floor (blogger heaven). Meet and treat is at the end of China Town and is for me is somewhere that is just within walking distance from my office which makes it great if you are looking to get away from all the shopper. The thing I love most about Meet and Treat is that the atmosphere is calm and the staff are lovely.

I've been 3 times now and every time I've tried something different. I've tried the the Deep Fried Vegetable Dumplings Japanese Style, Fish Ball Noodles, Malaysian Style King Prawn Noodles and finally the Teriyaki Chicken Bao. 

Everything I've tried I've loved. If you fancy checking Meet and Treat out then here is the menu and there Facebook.

2. Tyneside Cinema Cafe

Top 3 places to eat at Lunchtime in Newcastle

Tyneside Cinema Cafe has always been one of my favourite places to go and relax. When I was at college and I got sick of sitting in the library tyneside cinema cafe was my place to go. With free wifi and sometimes a film on in the cafe I found it was my go to place to get away from the stress and that hasn't changed since moving into my current job that sometimes can be stressful. 

With the tyneside cinema cafe being located on pilgrim Street which is about 5 minutes work from my office. It's one of them places I go when I might not actually have that much time but I don't want to be stuck in the office. 

My favourite thing to have at the tyneside cinema cafe is normally the soup of the day or the Tyneside Hot Dog and Chips. The service is normally quite quick which is essential when you want something quick but I've also used tyneside for meetings and it can be quite quiet through the day. 

You can check out the menu for Tyneside Cinema Cafe here it has the brunch menu and the evening menu just incase you fancy going after work. 

3. Fat Hippo Pop Up

Fat Hippo - Top 3 places to eat at Lunchtime in Newcastle
The Fat Hippo at the moment is definitely a highlight of my week, so every Thursday around 12noon Fat Hippo set up their pop up Burger Bar at The Quad within the ground of Northumbria University. I remember seeing this on my twitter feed and jumping around the office in excitement. The Fat Hippo has always been one of my favourite places for food but I love them more when they are at pop u including Wylam or The Cumberland Arms for there Beer and Ale Festivals. 

My favourite burger that is always on the menu is the The Little Hippo (I wish I had a photo to show you) which is a single 4oz patty, topped with chorizo, cheese and Fat Hippo sauce which I won't lie is my favourite part. Another item on the menu that is a must is the signature cajun fries. 

You can see when the burger bar is coming close to your workplace by checking out there events page to see where there heading next. 

Well that is my top 3 places to eat at Lunchtime in Newcastle. I hope you have enjoyed it and like seeing a little bit of a restaurant review. I'm hoping to do a few more of this type of post. 

Why don't you tell me below where you favourite places to eat at lunchtime? 

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