In the beginning, there were a group of bored nineteen and twenty-somethings (and some others...) that got together with the idea of revving up their world of sociable sport.

En route to finding a suitable direction, this rag-tag assortment of Zimbo's, Kiwis, Saffas and Aussies hooked up with a couple of token English to see what kind of hell they could raise.

So, we picked a game (netball - no one really remembers why?), we found a pub and we found a tournament - conveniently located at the same pub - The Walkabout, Shepherds Bush and away we went!

Ten weeks later, a lot of beer and more by luck than judgement, we were crowned champions of the Walkabout Autumn mixed netball league 2001! And if the kudos wasn't enough, we won a massive bar tab and a lot of nasty hangovers. The celebrations continued for many nights (though the bar tab didn't get past the first hour), before the group was scattered around the globe in pursuit of fame, fortune and a cure for those damn itchy feet.

Hot Custard is Born!

Well, that was that for a while, happy times had become happy memories, before the remaining few decided that the daily grind was too much to bear without some more fun to be had. Several beers later, we decided to do it all again - only bigger and better and (maybe) with a hint of organisation... Hot Custard Sports was born!

Many people have wondered just what the name is all about - including ourselves - and many fantastic stories abound. What we do remember is that we liked custard (yum!) and like so many things, it seemed like a good idea at the time...

So, a new netball tournament, new location, new faces and even a strip! And always the commitment to working hard, playing hard (or in this case, playing hard and playing more!) and the same dedication to the belief that; it wasn't the winning, but the looking good that counted... though winning is pretty damn good fun too!

Enter Commonwealth Netball UK - a netball competition in London. We signed up a social team at their Pimlico venue, they provided some additional players and Hot Custard had their first ever 'official' game.

And lost!

However, undeterred and bolstered by our new-found connections to Brisbane, Sydney and Wagga Wagga (a place we didn't think really existed), we went on to win every other game we played in right up to the Summer Grand Final where we did it again and lost by one point!

Ah, but what an end-of-season celebration was had by Hot Custard. Though we lost the final, you would have thought we had won the World Cup the way we (mis)behaved in the pub afterwards! The winning team - seemingly tired and flat (warm milk all round) and only a few tables away - looked on as we drank, sang, danced and even squeezed in the first (and hastily arranged) Hot Custard Sports Awards.

Our first unofficial Captain, Eugenie Duff, accompanied the medal awards with a short and witty speech for each team mate, and this was followed by the inaugral presentation of the 'Hot Custard Essential Ingredient' Award. The award - a lovingly crafted, hand made bowl (what else) - is a recognition of, well, the title says it all - being an essential Ingredient amongst the many special ingredients that make up Hot Custard. After a less brief (but equally witty!?) speech by Rohan, the first Hot Custard Essential Ingredient Award was presented to Jo De Vries.

Into Our First Winter... (It's Cold Outside!)

And so the first real season of Hot Custard came to a close. Once again there were scatterings of the troops. To Canada, France and Australia. Xmas came and went and in the new year of 2003, Hot Custard regrouped, recruited and entered two sides in the CNUK winter (brrrrr!) mixed netball tournament. Unfazed by our lack of experience (on court that is) Hot Custard moved up from the social grade to the A grade (but we're just as sociable). And, by popular demand, entered a replacement team in the social grade. Originally dubbed "Hot Custard II - the Second Helping", this team underwent a self-imposed name change early on where it was - not quite unanimously - decided to call this team the "Maps of Tassie".

The Maps of Tassie name has a story to its meaning... Also, like Hot Custard, it has some stories to tell about its origins - if only we could remember! But thats what its all about. Hot Custard Sports. Having fun.

With the experienced hand of Lyndsay Clark (just popping over from Oz to see what all the fuss was about!) kicking the season off with Hot Custard (and indeed, prompting the Maps of Tassie name change...) the two sides were flying. Dominating the indoor tournament, both the Maps and Hot Custard moved smoothly through to the finals of their respective grades...

Finals day was upon us and a sensational new strip was unveiled in an understated ceremony about thirty minutes before the games! Decked in their sexy shirts, Hot Custard were first up against the (tall) 'Legends'. After a game full of blood, sweat, tears (joy) and sexy netball, Hot Custard were crowned the champions of the Premier CNUK A-grade! The newly legendary (certainly outstripping the status inferred by the oppositions team name!) line up was Ingrid Malifa, Rohan Creasey, Adam Ferrario, Nic Yeandle, Adrian Clarke, Laura Watt, Sarah Sharpe and Jo Burns.

Buoyed by the franchise's initial success, the Maps were up as the last game of the day... With tumultuous support from some well-oiled team-mates, the Maps crowned a huge day for Hot Custard by running out victorious too! Guy Dilliway-Parry, Sarah Sharpe, Kylee Leggat, Rohan Creasey, Kymee Ferrario and Jo & Matt Burns took the honours for the Maps!

We looked good, played the best and then took off to dominate the post-finals party..! A great day for Hot Custard. The Hot Custard bowl was once again presented for the 'Essential Ingredient Award'. Everyones name was mentioned once again in the voting, but the unanimous overall choice was Sarah Sharpe.

Here Comes the Spring... (It's Wet Outside!)

Moving back outside for the Spring tournament at Pimlico, Hot Custard and the Maps of Tassie lined up again in A grade and Social. Alongside the Maps we introduced our third Hot Custard outfit - The 2nd Helping!

A busy season saw all three sides qualifying for the finals once again! After a slow beginning to the season, the Maps of Tassie came good in the second half of the season and qualified for the semi's, to be played at 09.45! (What's the 0 stand for? 0h my god its early!) And, though they had a less good end-of season, their fantastic start meant that the 2nd Helping also qualified for the finals! Unfortunately, the semi's didn't go quite according to plan...

The 2nd Helping didn't have a full seven, and the Maps went down fighting by the odd goal to the eventual winners of the grade. It was an outstanding performance though, especially in the centre court where Kymee, Seona, Jess and Ads had a blinder. The fact that the opposition had recruited an A-grade shooter, who didn't miss a shot even though she only comes up to waist height... made it good running for our novice shooting pair, Sarah and Jess just to stay in touch... But it was not to be. MVP? Difficult to prise everyone apart, but I would have given it to Kymee who showed us just what we'll be missing at WA next time as that was her last game before she goes back to Aus... so we'll be missing the #13 until we can tempt her out of retirement somewhere down the line...

So not quite such a success story this time - however, it was nice of them to allow someone else to win a CNUK title..! Thats the Hot Custard spirit! And, just in case you were wondering, yes, we were the best looking bunch of people out there! Undeterred by the result though, the Maps and 2nd Helping shouldered the erm, 'burden' of ensuring the chilly bin was well stocked to get us through a scorching day!

So onto the Hot Custard grand final... vs. our old nemesis, the 'Legends'...

After what was a long, fun day in the sun, our third finals representatives took the court to face the Legends... We started with the centre pass and were two down in about 30 seconds... and the half didn't get much better - the sun had obviously affected our play (?!) and by half time we were 4 down and looking shabby (but good of course..!). Were we missing one of our oiled cogs in the form of Clarkey - unable to play in the final as he was off travelling? So, a quick slug of water/beer and a rousing team talk (?) later, we took the centre pass to start the second half... and lost the first two goals in 30 seconds flat again! A few minutes later and Hot Custard were somehow 7 goals down and the crowd were a bit quiet... and then it happened...

...not quite sure what, but something flicked the Custard switch from 'Cold' to 'Hot - damn Hot' and we started to play. Some incredible athleticism at the back from Ingrid, some needling of the opposition (in the best Sean Fitzpatrick, discrete way of course) by Rohan, quicksilver centre-court play from Ads, Nic, Meagan and great linking, tall-people beating and gun shooting from Joey and Sarah.... Hot Custard ran red-hot and scored 8 (yes, eight!) unanswered goals!

Game on, Legends stunned and an up-to-then quiet, now alcohol-fuelled crowd - including invaluable (and patient!) support from Burnsi, Jess, Seona, Kymee (and a few hundred more it seemed..!) came to life and got rowdy! And a stunning match ensued. With the Operatic intro that rained down from the Church fete next door, the second half was Hollywood material! When the final whistle went, Hot Custard had one by one goal!
Unbelievable! (it was too!)

A deflated Legends team were as gracious in defeat (which was nice) as Hot Custard were boisterous in their celebrations! They finally got to drink a well-earned beer, joined the others and drank a finger or two for Hot Custard - present and absent - and for living pretty damn right up and beyond what Hot Custard is all about! Looking good, having a lot of fun playing sport with a great group of people and winning one or two things along the way!

Great stuff everyone - all season has been fantastic on and off and away from the court!

So a great day had by all... and as you may expect, it didn't end there! We had an awesome night of celebrations! It began with a fight in the pub
(not involving us!), continued with many, many beers and an unprecedented number of shots, improved when the Maps of Tassie won a holiday to Ireland (woohoo!) and then... if you thought it couldn't get much better... went ballistic when the Legends, a bit gutted to have lost in the netball (to say the least!), challenged Hot Custard to a Cruiser boat-race!

A few drunken rounds of the 'Hot Custard song' later (a sure-fire big seller if it was ever cut on vinyl!) and we were lined up, vodka cruisers and straws at the ready!

Well... not to be missing this, even Joey gave up her two-month detox to line up against her opposite number, Vosti, to skull green Cruisers in the way only Hot Custard can... And, Joey starting us off and having blown her opposition away to get to the bottom of her bottle, we went through Ads, Sarah, Jess, Rohan and may have done Kymee and Matt too by the time the Legends team were only half way done!!

If the win on the court hadn't done enough, we had a Hot Custard kick-ass drinking win too!

The day will live on in the memories for a long, long time... and in the photos too!
It was a stunner.

As has the whole season long and each season before that. Its been a perfect blend of wonderful people and a lot of fun has been had by all I hope.

Hot Custard Today... (It's Evolution Baby!)

Well it goes on! With more shuffling of ranks and friends departing for Australia, European travels and various bits of the globe, Hot Custard are undergoing another transformation and intake of new faces. The Hot Custard A grade mixed is still going strong with ooh, 4 (?) titles under their belts... and the girls have gathered a ladies team too (The Hot Custard Cuties!) and are flying high and undefeated in their league. The Maps of Tassie are still there - upgraded to pastures new into B grade, not dominating just yet, but still looking good! Then there is our second ladies team (Sweet as Custard!) and our fifth team, another mixed affair (Bananas and Custard!) are undefeated in B too! Add to all the this with our two Touch Rugby sides, Cricket, some extraordinary running and triathlon events, an olympic rower (Go Sal!) and you can certainly say Hot Custard is still going strong and definitely going BIGGER!

There's a lot to fill you in on! Better get amongst it!

Anyway, the games go on. The drinking goes on. The fun goes on.

As a clever guy once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you might miss it."

We're having a good time.

Enjoy it, because Hot Custard is a Great Recipeā„¢, for sure.

Go well.