One for the Record Books

Posted by martin.parnell |

Quests for Kids

Event #2:

Netball Quest 61

  • Guinness Book of Records Challenge for the Longest Game of Netball EVER>>>>>

  • Event: To play a game of Netball for 61 hours continuously
  • Where is it: South Fish Creek recreation Complex (S.E Calgary)
  • Start time: 5.30pm Friday Sept.16th
  • Finish time: 6.30am Monday Sept.19th
  • Reason to do it: Right To Play fundraiser

At 5.30pm, on Friday September 16th, two teams faced each other on the floor of the gym, at the South Fish Creek Recreational Complex in Calgary's South East, determined  to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest game of netball ever played. Their target; 61 hours. A week before, they had their only practice and a number of players had a chance to meet each other for the first time. I'm proud to say I was one of them.

Some interesting facts about the 24 member squad. 8 team members were male and 16 female. 12 were Senior A players with Netball Alberta, 5 Senior B and 7 had little or no experience. Their native countries  include Canada, England, Fiji, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Tanzania. Amongst them were elite athletes in various sports including Lacrosse, Bobsleigh and Mountain Guiding, one is a pre-eminent fitness trainer. There was also an Olympian and a Social Media guru.

Julie Arnold, from Netball Alberta, was the glue that held the whole thing together. The logistics for this event were mind-boggling. Making it a Guinness Book of Records event means there were checks and counter-checks. Julie lined up over 70 volunteers for duties including umpires, timekeepers and witnesses. Then, there was the requirement to have the whole thing video graphed, which meant continuous coverage for 61 hours.

There were several people from Cochrane who played key roles in the event. One of the players, Lawrence Mafuru has recently arrived from Tanzania. He runs his own trekking company and takes groups up Mt. Kilimanjaro. To date, he has climbed the mountain over 50 times. I knew when I met him that he would be a good fit for an endurance event. Key volunteer roles were filled by Cochranites Dan and Pam Gossman, Bobbi Fridfinnison, Caroline Roth, Roy Ellis and Steve Cook.

The schedule stated that each player would play five, 8 hours shifts and then have a four hour break. The idea was that you grabbed some sleep and came back refreshed for your next 8 hour shift. Well, that was the plan. At 3.00am on Saturday morning there were not very many refreshed looking players. Hour after hour the game went on. By 3.30am Sunday morning, 34 hours into the attempt the wheels on the bus were starting to fall off. Players were playing too hard and a number of injuries had occurred. At a game break we called a meeting and agreed that we had to slow things down or we were going to lose team members.

That was a turning point. At 5.30am Monday morning a huge cheer went up as the old record was beaten and one hour later the 61 hour mark had been reached. There were a lot of tears and hugs and people who hadn't know each other a week ago had under taken a challenge that would bond them for life.

Dr Randolph Randolph's book of animal jokes

Q: Why do bees buzz?
A: Because they can't whistle!

A member of the Team Rollers tries to get past a member of Team Rockers at Netball Quest 61: Record breaker

NQ61 Finish

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