DC treble win at the World School Games Netball
World School Games 2022 Loughborough University, UK 29th June – 3rd July 2022
The most amazing five days for the U13, U15 and U17 World School Games Netball teams who travelled to Loughborough in the UK for the first time to compete in this competition. The girls had trained hard all year but in particular after the Spring break with early mornings, lunchtimes and after school sessions as well as fixtures against the best women’s teams in Dubai as well as top local club Hurricanes. We were fortunate to be sponsored by Genesis Healthcare (parents of Maria Y10), ANC (parents of Ryka Y8), Mefitpro (parents of Keira Y12) and World Challenge, this meant that the girls could be fully kitted out in style for this international tournament. We headed off with little to no expectation, this was the first overseas competition we were to play in post covid, essentially we were there to test ourselves, we knew we had trained and competed well in the UAE but playing abroad is totally different and the UK schools are strong, fast and fit, we were excited to see how we would fare.
Games were 15 minute halves and the teams were to play 8 over the two competition days. Following a social media challenge the U17’s found themselves playing a curtain raiser against Caterham School on the Thursday evening, the U17’s were nervous but assured and they won the game convincingly with some sublime passages of play – the mantra of one game at a time stood strong, first match over.
Over the course of the two days no DC team lost a single game – to be able to say that now is unbelievable! The DC girls looked well drilled, fit, strong and athletic. Shooters were outstanding with excellent movement and high percentages in all games, the middies were on fire, working hard to transition ball and create and take interceptions and our defensive units took ball after ball, overall just fantastic performances that got better as each game progressed, after two days of playing we eventually found ourselves taking part in three finals!
The U15 final came up first against Sandringham – having beaten Millfield, arguably the UK’s most prestigious sporting school, in the semi-final in an absolute nail biter they were ready to perform again and confidently took the U15 title. The U13’s came next and were to play local rivals JESS, having already beaten them in the round robin games they showed confidence and belief and ran out strong winners, another title won! The U17’s were to finish the tournament and were playing GSAL (Grammar School at Leeds) a very successful netball school who have won many a National School title in the UK. In the round robin games the U17’s secured a convincing win against GSAL taking them by surprise but the Final proved a different story. GSAL came out strong and the game went goal for goal, it was physical, feisty and competitive, the game was exactly the reason for us travelling, to play the best in the country and see if we could cope, as the game progressed DC began to pull away, three cautions given by umpires showed the extent of the physicality, every ball counted but with continued pressure the DC girls showed their metal and took the third World School Games title – making it a DC treble!
Thank you to all the Captains who led their teams to victory:
U13 Captain: Alejandra Ruiz. U13 Vice Captains: Millie C and Ashleigh S
U15 Captain: Olivia Conlon. U15 Vice Captains: Jessica H and Molly F
U17 Captain: Evie Fuller U17 Vice Captains: Kate L and Sophie S
When targets were set at the start of the competition it was to ‘compete’ – we know we did that! The parental support was amazing, we are so grateful to all the families who travelled, we could hear you and I know that gave such confidence to our DC girls. A fantastic finish to the year for our netballers, three trophies from a World School Games competition, we are so proud of you, after all the hard work you totally deserved these results.
DC Player of the Tournament:
U13: Alejandra R (also voted WSG Player of the Tournament)
U15: Molly F
U17: Alex C
DC Impact Player of the Tournament:
U13: Ryka G
U15: Chloe A
U17: Sophie S
One very proud Director of Netball!