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Netball players from Year 7 through to Year 10 had an exciting opportunity to attend a two day netball tournament at Boreatton Park in Shropshire earlier this month. Year 7 player Rebekah reflects on a successful tournament for our talented players.

We returned home from the tournament with an almost clean sweep of wins, following a tough match for our Year 10 team.

Our Year 10 team mates played a particularly tricky final against Royal Wolverhampton, their rival team from last year’s tournament. After a brutal sixteen minutes of play, the teams were neck and neck. The score was 13-13. With four minutes extra time, the battle began again. We scored, they equalised, we scored, they equalised. When the four minutes were up, we were still drawn, just now at fifteen points each. It went to Golden-Goal. One minute later, to cheers, and tears from Royal Wolverhampton, Jess, our Goal-Attack, scored the winning goal from the edge of the semi-circle! We’d won!

The Year 10 final was incredibly emotional, with everyone involved with the tournament joining in and supporting us. For Year 10 team mate Charlotte, “everyone cheering for us was an amazing feeling”. The win was described by many as “surreal”, “out-of-this-world” and “fantastic”. When asked how it felt to have scored the golden-goal Jess replied, “I felt incredibly happy and I was very over-whelmed.” Despite members of the team feeling “very sad” that this was their final performance at the tournament, having attended the event for the past four years, everyone agreed it had been a “once-in-a-lifetime experience” and that “this was the best year by far”.

During the tournament we met England netball player Rebekah Airey, Goal-Keeper, Goal-Defence and Wing-Defence, who awarded the coveted prizes. She told us how, as the youngest of three, her “Mum threw us into everything to try and tire us out.” Rebekah trains 10-15 hours a week using a number of different sports such as weight training, running, swimming and playing netball. When asked about the calibre of netball at the tournament, Rebekah enthusiastically replied that there “are some really hard-workers out there” and that she’d seen some “really nice work”. Her main piece of advice was to “always push yourself, have fun, and enjoy the journey!”

PGL represents an amazing opportunity to develop your skills and to bond with your team-mates. As well as playing netball, we also had a chance to use all the activities that Boreatton Park had to offer. A particular favourite was the Giant Swing. “The suspense as you get to the top followed by the massive drop is amazing!” said Year 7 student Katie. The netball skills we developed also improved our performance, individually and collectively. “We’ve become much better at the start of our game” said Olivia a member of our Year 8 team and for Year 9 student Erin, “my sportsmanship was tested and improved greatly”.

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