Forget the Grand National and the FA Cup semi-finals, there was only one sporting event worth talking about last weekend: the Hacks vs Flaks Netball and Football 2012, the biannual sports tournament that pits journalists against PRs in a battle of sporting prowess and, ultimately, sports bar bragging rights.

This year’s games were in aid of the charity Teens and Toddlers, a youth development programme aimed at tackling the social exclusion of young people, and saw the respective teams gathered at the plush grounds of the Bank of England’s sports centre in Roehampton. The match programme saw football for the boys and netball for the girls.

Being first timers at such an event, the Aspectus PR representatives were anxious to know the level of skill required to participate as members of the ‘B’ team (or the ‘Social Team’ by the time the awards ceremony arrived). However, donning our stylish hacks vs flaks t-shirts before the game instilled us with that vital bit of courage, until the starting whistle blew that is!

Nevertheless, we soon realised that we were all indeed there to have fun with most people having not played since secondary school (not that you could tell, eh girls?) and, despite the majority of the ‘Social Team’ being at least a foot shorter than the average netball player, there were some sterling performances both on and off the court.

‘Face and chase’

The whole match was undertaken with good humour even with some pretty interesting footwork and a thankfully lenient umpire. And, although the flacks put up a determined fight, the hacks pipped us to the post, beating us 28-14 – although it’s the taking part that counts, right?

Although the Hacks dominated the netball, the flacks powered to victory in the football, with a very respectable 3-0 win. Food and drink flowed, and we were astounded to hear that the event had raised over £18,000 for Teens and Toddlers.

Amidst the toss ups, dropped balls and ‘face and chase’ marking strategy, we had a great day with great people and we hear there’s a Rounder’s competition planned for the summer and maybe even karaoke in the pipeline. We can’t wait to get involved again.

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