Record Netball Success

Under the new partnership of Samantha Lait and Katie Holder, this year’s National Netball campaign has been the most successful for Dean Close to date. The Head of Netball and Director of Netball have led the U14, U16 and U19 teams to a minimum of a ‘top 3’ finish in the County tournaments, with the U16s coming second to Wycliffe to qualify for the Regional Round in Camborne in January.

The U19’s narrowly missed out on qualifying for the Regionals with a 5-9 loss to Hartpury in the semi-finals. This match was a brilliant result as they were up against a netball academy with some of the best netballers in the country who are heavily involved in the England Performance Pathway. The game was 7 minutes each way and at half time the girls were level at 4-4 but the final score of 5-9, meant they just missed out on qualification for the Regionals. Pate’s Grammar School and Hartpury College went through as the two victors, being the only two teams that Dean Close lost against. Every member of the squad did an excellent job and stepped up to the challenge.Dean Close came 3rdoverall out of 17 schools.

The U14’s had tight group games but impressively won through as runners up on goal difference, putting them in the semi-final against Cheltenham College. In very strong, windy weather conditions, the team was unable to convert goals at a quick enough rate to come out on top so ended with a final score of 4-9. This placed them 3rd overall out of 20 schools, again just missing out on the important top two spots to qualify.

During these County rounds, 20 schools from the Gloucestershire area enter a team in each age group. With one 2nd place and two 3rd place spots overall, this puts Dean Close Netball in the top 5 percent in the County. Head of Netball, Sam Lait commented: “Due to the heavy commitments during Michaelmas Term, netball can only be allocated one hour per week for training at each age group. As such, this is an excellent achievement which we feel is due to the coaching structure and the additional role of Director of Netball who has bolstered the overall club provision.”

Director of Netball, Katie Holder, is a Level 3 coach who has club links as Head Coach of Hucclecote Netball Club, the largest performance club in the South West. The recently implemented Dean Close Sport Strategy has enabled the girls to be in great physical condition with specialist strength and conditioning coaches to aid effective performance and training systems. This provides a platform to maximise the potential with in the School alongside regular one-to-one mentoring and coaching sessions for our netball players.

Well Done to the Dean Close Netball Club.