Pupils from Holsworthy Community College were treated to a once in a lifetime opportunity as they attended an England Netball open training session held at Loughborough University Sports Park.
36 pupils from the college based in Devon were invited to the training base of England Netball to watch part of the squad’s final preparations ahead of the Quad Series matches against New Zealand and Australia, offered exclusively through TeamUp, an initiative developed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), England Hockey and England Netball, to encourage thousands of girls to experience the benefits of sport.
As well as being treated to behind the scenes action, the pupils were also invited on to the court at the end of the match to speak to the England players, take selfies and get the autographs of their favourite players.
Michelle Goldsworthy, a teacher at Holsworthy Community College who attended the open training session with the school children, said: “The whole day was such an amazing experience for our pupils. Going on the trip has helped inspire our pupils to train and play better. It has encouraged more pupils to come to our netball club and speaking with the England stars has raised their aspirations.”
Contributing to their school newsletter to summarise the experience, two pupils from the college – Georgia Stevens and Tallulah Thompson – said: “We arrived at Loughborough University (one of the most prestigious universities for sport in the country) at 2pm. We entered the netball centre and took our seats in a prime position front and centre to the court. Not long after the players came out and started to warm up. The excitement grew as we saw our netball idols for the first time.
It was a long day but totally worth it for the experience to watch England play and to meet all the players. A day we will never forget!”
Since signing Holsworthy Community College up to TeamUp eight months ago, pupils have become more passionate about sport and are now getting involved in many different aspects – through playing, coaching and umpiring. As a result, they’ve received recognition from England Netball in the form of certificates and merchandise. Its pupils also help out in the community with the Primary High 5 Netball League, which the college was only made aware of through the TeamUp website.
By offering young girls the chance to experience women’s sport up close and personal, the TeamUp initiative hopes to inspire a younger generation of girls to want to give team sports a try, and Michelle can see this happening already. She adds: “We have always run girls’ clubs for all three TeamUp sports at Holsworthy Community College, but numbers taking part are higher than ever.”
For access to money-can’t-buy prizes and experiences, resources for teacher delivery and information about training opportunities, sign your school up to TeamUp now: www.teamupengland.com
(Edited by TeamUp Site Administrator - original submission Friday, 2 February 2018, 1:53 PM)