Interview with Croydon Korfball’s Kathy Bradford
From the park to the playoffs – Kathy Bradford will lead Croydon out at the playoffs as captain, ten years after discovering korfball in her local park.
Born and brought up in Croydon, it was during a stroll through the Lloyd Park in Croydon where Kathy first came across korfball. She recalled: “I was walking through the park with my family, I saw this sport going on we went over to find out more and the rest is history!”
Now it’s about the winning and competition
The following season she found her feet playing in Croydon 4, and remembers it being a great environment to learn and play the sport. “They were really friendly, which is why I kept coming back. I’ve now played for all of Croydon’s teams. At first it was about the fun of playing, it’s still fun now but I’m much more competitive. Now it’s about the winning and competition too.”
Having worked her way up – she made her first team debut in 2011/12 season, which she recalls was away to Nottingham. “I didn’t expect to come on, all I remember is it being a difficult game,” she said.
Last season she was made captain for Croydon’s England Korfball League campaign; despite not winning a game Kathy was positive about the experience.
“It was a tough season, but we never came away from a game feeling really down and like we had been hard done by. There was always a good atmosphere and we had some really good away trips, Norwich sticks out in particular. If we were to go up again we would be more confident with the increase in teams in the league as it’s going to make it more competitive.”
I can’t wait to play
To make it to the National League again Croydon need to be one of the top three teams at the playoffs, an event which Kathy is definitely looking forward to. “I can’t wait to play different teams, the adrenaline and atmosphere is going to really help our game,” Kathy commented.
Croydon is a club with a lot of history, having celebrated its 70th birthday this season. “It absolutely makes me proud to be leading a team with so much history. At our 70th last season we had a letter from someone who played when the club first started in 1946 and told us about the fond memories he had playing korfball, including meeting his wife!
“I love the mix of ages and experience, there’s also a really good mix of characters at Croydon. We have some pretty feisty, competitive players on the pitch as well as people who are a real calming influence too.
“Off the pitch they are a lovely bunch of people and we have some really good socials and fundraisers. Of course the Croydon summer tournament is always a massive highlight of the year.”
Watch Kathy and Croydon in action at the playoffs at K2 in Crawley on 6th – 7th May 2017. Click here to buy your tickets.