They say that physical activity decreases the risk for breast cancer. This is the reason why the diagnosis was a complete shock for Sara Donovan, PE teacher, and netball player.
Sara is a natural athlete. When she’s not teaching PE at Dubai College she is taking part in triathlons. Being on the go comes naturally to her – which is why she won’t let anything get in her way. Even a breast cancer diagnosis.
As a teacher, she is determined to be a positive example to young women and refused to let chemotherapy stop her from training.
Sara knows that young women have a lot of obstacles in front of them. She wants them to see that life can go on despite problems.
Sara Donovan and the rest of the national women’s netball team made history two weeks ago when they became the first UAE team to compete in the Netball European Championship in Gibraltar. The women brought home the bronze medal for the game- not bad for first timers!
It was a game to remember. The team went to score 200 goals in 4 games with all 12 women receiving the Senior Players cap. This venture was a great start for UAE team as they set out to conquer the global netball stage.
After their historic win, it is almost possible to think that Sara was diagnosed with Breast Cancer just a few months before. Instead of taking a leave and concentrating on her treatments, Sara went back to practice a month after her first chemotherapy treatment.
“I was determined to get to the training session. I wasn’t going to let this illness define me. As a physically active person, I didn’t want this to halt me in my tracks.” Said Donovan.
As a teacher in the United Arab Emirates, Sara knows how much of an impact netball can have on Emirati women.
Aside from being an all-female, non-contact sport, netball can be played indoors which is perfect for the unpredictable weather in the area.
In a country where women are still struggling to find their footing in society, the team’s victory is a step in the right direction. Furthermore, Sarah’s determination to continue playing despite her diagnosis can help inspire other survivors to get moving.
The UAE Netball Association is now working with Sara to spread the news about netball. Since it is an all-female game, Emirati women are more likely to be comfortable playing than other sports. Furthermore, women also have the option to play in a hijab or a tracksuit.
Indeed, Sara’s courage and passion to help Emirati women are inspiring. She is living proof that cancer is not the end of the road. Women can still pursue sports, causes, and life after a diagnosis