Planning, planning and more planning. That’s how Katie Harris juggles the challenge
of being a Superleague netball star and her career as a paramedic.
Wasps Netball’s star Goal Attack started working for the NHS South Central Ambulance Service in
A significant amount of preparation and planning goes into allowing Katie to play the sport that she loves in Black and Gold.
Due to the constantly changing shift patterns that come with being a paramedic, to even play matches she has to book annual leave with work.
But Katie was always destined to work in healthcare after watching her mum work nights as a nurse ever since she can remember.
Now she relies on her support network, including her family, teammates, work colleagues and coaches to ensure she can keep competing at the highest level.
“I enjoy caring and looking after people and I enjoy the fact that in my job no two days are the same,” said Katie.
“With my mum being a nurse, I always had an insight into what it was like to work in public service and health.
“After finishing college, I did some part-time care work and then worked in the ambulance service control room for a year. I then decided to take my three-year course at Surrey University before qualifying as a paramedic in July 2017.
“But netball has been a constant throughout that whole time. It’s very difficult to manage my time but I’m lucky I have very understanding coaches at Wasps and managers at work too.
“Planning my time in advance is vital. I have a diary and that really helps me get along! Preparing when I’m going to do my strength and conditioning work, when I have training and how that will all fit in to my schedule.”
With Wasps training regularly at the University of Warwick, Katie frequently trains in separate sessions nearer to home so that she can still fit in the same number of training sessions as
the rest of the squad.
She has been an ever-present in the Black and Golds’ starting line-up this season, despite sometimes having work on a game-day.
“I quite often have work before a game, sometimes a night shift the night before. It’s definitely not easy working 10-hour shifts before playing netball, let alone at the highest level,” she said.
“I get to the team training sessions when I can but it’s a real balancing act and the team all understand that.
“I’m lucky that I have the support around me that I do. Most of us Superleague players are in the same
situation. We are all trying to juggle work, netball and our life balance too.
“We give up a lot of time to play the game that we love and I have so much respect for all of the
netballers that split their time between work and the game.
“I’m loving my time at Wasps and it has been great fun since I joined. It’s a great team environment to
be a part of.
“Everyone has their own commitments but the team are fair to everyone and support all of us in what we do.”
*Article first published in match-day programme against Team Bath on 6 April.