Netball Festival in La Manga

Published: Friday, 09 November 2018.
Netball Festival in La Manga

From 22 - 26 October 2018, 19 students, along with Miss McLean and Miss Brough, embarked on a netball development tour to the Spanish Netball Festival in La Manga.

From 22 - 26 October 2018, 19 students, along with Miss McLean and Miss Brough, embarked on a netball development tour to the Spanish Netball Festival in La Manga. After a dramatic start with an administrative error (cue Miss Brough running around the airport to get her boarding pass sorted) we arrived in Spain and at our hotel around lunch time. We spent the day lunching, swimming in the pool, taking a stroll on the beach and finished off with a welcome presentation from the tour organisers.

On day 2, the girls received a defensive masterclass from ex-England coach Maggie Jackson. The main focus was on developing the girls’ ability to dictate where the opposition could go on the court, and forcing them into difficult spaces in order to prevent them from bringing the ball down to the goal. In the afternoon, we did fitness training on the beach and the girls were worked hard! The girls then competed in teams to build the best sand sculpture, and the fish built by Scarlett, Verity, Ellie H, Charlotte and Leah B was declared the winner by the coaches. Although tired from the fitness training, the girls then played 1 hour of beach netball, where the coach really got them to think about the quality of their passing in a game and how overhead passes are too easy for the opposition to intercept. In the evening after dinner, the girls performed their rendition of Party in the USA at the karaoke, and the star of the show was undoubtedly Amy M!

On the final day of training, the girls had a shooting masterclass in the morning followed by an attacking workshop outdoors. This was the hottest day so it was a really tough session but the girls persevered and this was in many ways the most valuable session of the tour. The coach helped them work on successful centre pass tactics, and how to play off of one another to create space and get the ball to the goal. In the evening, we (some more than others!) enjoyed a Zumba dance lesson with the other schools also on the tour.

Day 4 was tournament day! We had two teams – Notley Red and Notley Black. Each team had 3 group round games followed by a play off stage. The Notley Reds team consisted of Year 8s, 9s and a few Year 10s. Their first game was against a strong opposition and they lost 17-2, however the very young team were competing in an u16 age category so we expected it to be tough. In their second game the work they had done in the training days paid off when they secured a 6-3 win! In their final game they faced another difficult opposition and lost 16-1 but their previous win secured them 3rd place in the group, so they played the team that finished 3rd in the other group in the play offs, Harrogate Ladies. Unfortunately, we were unable to secure the win but the girls did not give up, fought to the very end and as a team who had never played together before they did themselves and the school proud. We finished 6th overall. Among the most valuable players (MVPs) for their games, as decided by us teachers, were Verity, Charlotte, Amy Fenton and Leah B.

The Notley Black team comprised of mostly Year 10s and the Year 11s. They were undefeated in the group stages with 3 comfortable wins of 12-2, 12-2 and 12-4. This was the best these girls have ever played together and we could really see how valuable the training sessions had been, particularly in getting the girls to stop using loopy overhead passes! MVPs for the group stage games were Amy Forster, Ella, Leah R, Grace and Paige. Finishing top of their group, the girls then played the runners up of the other group, Wycombe Abbey, in the first of two semi-finals. This game was a nail biter and went to extra time. It was so close and could have gone either way, but we ended up losing 7-6. Although the girls were devastated, the team played exceptionally well and taking forward what they learned from the week we are confident they can only improve. The MVP for the semi-final was Amy Forster.

On the final evening, we attended the official awards ceremony, where Leah R picked up Coaches Player awarded by ex-England player Lindsay Keable. After the Netball’s Got Talent show, we went upstairs and had an awards ceremony of our own. Four awards were given for each team; Most Improved, MVP, Players Player and a Resilience award. For the Notley Reds team, Most Improved was Charlotte, MVP was Scarlett, Players Player was Verity and the Resilience award was given to Amy Fenton. For the Notley Blacks team, Most Improved was Paige, MVP was Amy Forster, Players Player was Ella and the Resilience award was given to Amy M. This was a great way to finish off the trip, celebrating the successes of the girls and the teams. Thanks to the girls for making the trip so enjoyable and to Miss Brough for her support.

Miss A McLean
PE Teacher

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