It has been strong year for our netballers with some excellent performances, team work and plenty of positives to take forwards to next season. Our U12’s competed in the Area Netball tournament; our U13’s made it to the semi finals of the plate in the national Sisters n Sport competition and our U14’s have had a busy year not only competing in the usual Saturday fixtures, but also the Sisters N Sport National competition and in the U14 National Schools Tournament.
Congratulations were shared in our Easter Sports assembly, 6 April, and awards presented to: Yasmin Tempest for progress in netball, awarded The Rebecca Cholewa/Kirsty MacDonald Cup; Annabel Grafton, the U12 Netball Players’ Player; Annabel Massey and Ella Manson, awarded The Joanna Garthwaite Trophy for commitment and potential at junior level; Ella Manson, the U13 Netball Players’ Player Cup; Nancy Tidy for excellence on court, The Middle School Netball Cup and to Tara Glennan, the U14 Netball Players’ Player Cup. Junior Colours were also awarded today to: Annabelle Apperley, Maya Aziz, Jessica Blake, Ellie Burrows, Holly Biggin-Wilcox, Charlotte D-Arcy, Emily Dimbylow, Tara Glennan, Ella Manson, Annabel Massey, Lucia Partridge and Nancy Tidy.
U12 Netball Report – by Hettie Tidy
Netball has been such an amazing journey for Year 7 this year. We have won many matches but have also learnt from our losses. This year’s netball was very enjoyable and I am sure both squads will improve as the years progress.
This year during our training sessions we have Holly to help us who is a great netball player. Holly made us get the basics right and even put some more complex things in there as well. Everybody learnt a great deal from this and we can implement these skills and tactics into our game play. We have all worked really hard in training and now have a team that works very hard and a B team that are pushing for an A team spot.
Our first fixture was against Bradford Grammar school. This game was so close but we came out and fought right to the end and won. This was a great way to start off the season. This game gave the girls so much confidence and made us all believe that we can win any game if we put our minds to it.
Towards the end of the season both squads competed in the U12 Area Netball tournament. I really enjoyed it and it was an amazing experience. We had some tough matches with the B squad narrowly missing out on a semi final place and the A team finishing as Area Champions. The girls put a lot of effort into it and everyone had a great time.
U13 Netball Report – by Annabel Massey
I am so proud of the U13 Netball team this year as we have come so far in a short space of time. We had to adjust and adapt to play as a squad by thinking how to successfully maintain possession and get the ball to our shooters.
However after all the training and matches we have had we made wonderful progress and made it all the way to the semi finals of the plate in the national Sisters n Sport competition. I think that this is a huge achievement and I can’t wait to see us all grow as a team and improve over our time at school.
Our first ever match at the beginning of the season was against Woodhouse Grove, who are a strong team. We tried our hardest but considering this was our first game the connections just weren’t there. Nevertheless we learnt from this and looked forward to building and growing as a team during our weekend fixtures.
We recently took part in the Wakefield District Schools tournament playing most schools in Wakefield and we came first – with no goals scored against us. A few days later, we had the SIS semi finals against Kings School in Chester which was a tricky game considering Eleanor had a dislocated knee, Grace had just come back from having a broken wrist and Amie had damaged her finger. Despite the loss, the team spirit was definitely there and we know where we can build and strengthen our game- we have certainly improved since September!.
Overall, this has been a great season for us and we have especially enjoyed the trips to the matches with our amazing coaches who we’d like to thank for supporting us. We are all really looking forward to what next season will bring!
U14 Netball report – by Tara Glennan, Captain
It has been a very successful year for our U14 netball team achieving many highs. We have had a busy year not only competing in the usual Saturday fixtures, but also the Sisters N Sport National competition and in the U14 National Schools Tournament.
The season started as we meant to go on with a game against Bradford Grammar that we won convincingly. It is always good to beat an old rival!
This is the first year WGHS has entered the Sisters N Sport competition and we didn’t know what to expect. The first two rounds were well earned wins for the squad but we knew then that the competition was going to get tougher. We travelled to Durham University to compete against a very strong Yarm team but through grit and determination we beat them in a closely battled game. Unfortunately however, Blue Coat School, our ¼ final match, proved to be too strong and they beat us ending our Sisters N Sport Campaign. Blue Coat then went on to win the whole competition.
In November, we competed in the West Yorkshire round of National Schools against 7 other schools and came away winning every game to become West Yorkshire Champions! Beating teams such as GSAL and Woodhouse Grove proved the strength of our team. Winning this meant that we qualified for EN Regional Schools held at EIS in Sheffield. We were all so excited to reach this stage and knew we’d have to work hard on the day. The day arrived and there were nerves and excitement but we knew we all wanted to reach the National School finals. We played 7 games of netball against the top 2 schools in each of the Yorkshire Region and again came away undefeated!! Yorkshire Champions!! We were all ecstatic!! We were presented with a trophy by 2 Leeds Rhinos netballers and had a lot of fun doing our team dance and having photos taken with our silverware. We were going to Nationals!! The first time in 12 years WGHS had made it there.
We had a few more friendlies in between regionals and nationals and won all of them.
The hard work then started, we were given training plans which included fitness and S & C for the next 6 weeks before Nationals in March. We were all so determined to get ourselves match fit that we attended twice-weekly training sessions at school, as well as our normal school netball club and out of school training.
Whilst training the week before nationals, we had a special training guest Jade Clarke, captain of Leeds Rhinos Netball. We couldn’t believe it! She gave us an amazing session and we all picked up so many tips from her. I personally felt that I benefited hugely from it, being the same position as Jade on court.
Our final friendly was against Price Henry’s on the Saturday defeating them by some margin, we were now ready to go compete at Nationals!!
On Friday 11th March we drove down to Oundle for the start of our Nationals experience, everyone was excited, nervous and ready to take on the challenge playing against the top 17 other schools in England! We had a training session at the school and a team meal followed by a video message from family members and the whole Leeds Rhinos team!
We started the tournament very strong, with a close but frustrating loss to Bablake School. Our second match we came back fighting and beat Trent College well proving our place amongst the best schools in the country.
Unfortunately our journey at Nationals stopped in the rounds. The following 2 games were well within our capability but we lost them by one turn at centre pass. Coupled with two key players getting injured, we did not manage to make it through to the quarter finals. But the grit and determination the whole squad showed throughout the day was amazing and we grew as a squad even more. The best part of the weekend was seeing how we all encouraged each other and how we gave our all no matter what.
Looking back on the tournament, we proved that we can play as good, if not better, netball than the very top netball schools in the country. We placed 15 out of the 184 schools that entered the tournament at the start of the season and each and every one of us should feel very proud of that.
We would like to say a huge thank you to Mrs Manson, Mrs M & Mrs Robinson for all the amazing support over the year and for assisting us in achieving so much.
We can’t wait to come back next year, stronger and together as U15s.