Lydia Hitchings grew up, like most young girls do in Wales, playing the sport of netball.

She was introduced to the sport at age seven and at age 14 was a member of nearly every after-school or competitive netball team she could find.

“I just really trained and did it for enjoyment and because it was a hobby and habit as well,” Hitchings said. Then, you make it a part of your life.”

Netball is similar to basketball although the rules, equipment and team numbers are different.  There is no dribbling, no running with the ball, seven players, no backboard and two scorers.

Participating in ‘inter-clubs’ and ‘inter-counties’ allowed Hitchings to showcase her skills — and height — on the court. She credits those competitions for securing her position in the Welsh netball system.

After a standout performance during Under 21s Netball Europe championship, she joined the Celtic Dragons as a professional netball player in Wales.

At one point recently, Hitchings played for five different teams at different levels — Cardiff Metropolitan University’s first team, the Cardiff based CTK, the Celtic Dragons, the Bath Toucans and the Wales senior team.

As her career ascended, an ACL injury during a training session caused her to miss out on the Commonwealth Games and the 2017 World Youth Cup hosted in Botswana.

Now, Hitchings is fully recovered and expected to gradate from Cardiff Met in July with a degree in textiles and design. As part of her feature, she invited our production team to her studios in the Cardiff Met School of Art.

While her professional future with her degree is blossoming, Hitchings continues to play at the highest level with a goal of playing in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in England.

“I’m just going to keep playing my best,” Hitchings said. “I’d love to push it as long as I can with netball.” 

Hitching’s story of sport — and art — as part of our Transatlantic Storytelling documentary is being produced by Jared Frank and Ryan Klimcak.

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