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Where Ellie Rattu draws her inspiration from

Credit: Ben Lumley

Ellie Rattu’s parents have taught her a lot including how to skip the lunch queue at school.

The Saracens Mavericks defender owes her faith, sport and education to her parents Peter and Lisa.

Both of them worked at Rattu’s high school, with her dad serving as the head teacher, which came with its perks as well as its drawbacks.

She and her mum played for the same netball team, with the family all attending church together which has gone on to inform how the 24-year-old lives her life.

“Growing up with parents that are teachers in a state school they have been very good at helping me understand where I am very lucky to have been brought up in certain places and be financially stable as a family,” Rattu explained.

“And that has been really great to see a massive diversity of people at school and in life and have a bit of awareness about different things.

“The work they do with our local church and that community has also been a massive part of the way that I view the world and people and that has been the basis of how I see and perceive people and situations.

“The way that my parents have been brought up and the stark contrast that they have had always reminds me of how fortunate we are.

“And being involved in the church community is about how can we serve the people that need help and that’s always been a real thing at the forefront of our lives and has also carried on into my personal life now I don’t live with my parents anymore, it is something I would like to continue.”

Rattu is part of Saint Church in East London where she lives but her faith is not confined to attending services on a Sunday.

It is always with her, even when she is away with the Vitality Roses, with her fellow England players, and former London Pulse teammates, coming together to support each other.

She added: “I’ve been privileged to be in teams with lots of other Christians so last year with Liv [Tchine], Hali [Adio] and Funmi [Fadoju] we prayed before games together.

 

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“Often at England, we would have bible studies together with some of the other Futures girls as well.

“So, it has been great to feel supported by them and to know that you aren’t doing this alone.

“As someone who is Christian and plays netball and spends a lot of time in that space, it is nice to feel like you have family there as well.

“It’s been great for people to feel like they can ask me questions and explore a little bit of it themselves and feel comfortable enough to talk to me about that and I am always open when people want to chat, and I look forward to those conversations.”

Rattu left Pulse at the end of last season to return to Saracens Mavericks having developed through the pathway in Hertfordshire.


The Bedford native is being coached by Camilla Buchanan, who has been impactful in a different space around diversity, making the Black Roses documentary highlighting the racial diversity within netball.

Rattu’s return to Hertfordshire Sports Village felt like home in another way with a shoe drive, where people give up new or barely worn netball shoes to those who cannot afford them, already up and running at Mavericks’ home venue.

At Pulse, she had been responsible for setting up the same initiative during her time and continues to look for ways to give back.

Her upbringing, including being raised by parents who came from two quite different socio-economic backgrounds, has instilled in her a desire to help those less fortunate than her.

Ellie Rattu is involved in her local church in East London, Saint

“I think it is our responsibility as netballers to not just get too focused on the performance stuff,” she said. “And how we can serve other people because we are in a privileged position and have a lot more power than we realise.

“With my church, I volunteer once a week, they put on a meal for the homeless and most vulnerable in our community.

“And we have people that donate hygiene packs so we are able to support them not just with food and conversation on that occasion but also shower gel, shampoo and groceries and there are hairdressers and people who are social prescribers who come and help with them legal forms or government issues.

“I think it is really important that a church does that but not even just a church, that people do that and are communities and organisations that are actively helping.

“So if people have time or money or material things they can give, that it is quite an easy thing to do.

“I have seen first-hand the impact that has had on people’s lives and I would encourage people to have a look at things that are local to them and see how they can get involved.”

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