Oakham School is celebrating after two of its netball teams have made it to the National Schools Finals.
The School’s U19 and U16 teams both successfully qualified at the Regional Finals and are now looking forward to the final competition being held in March.
Narrowly missing out on the Nationals was the U14 team, who are still being celebrated for their fantastic achievement of making it to Regionals.
Lauren Nicholls, Director of Netball at Oakham School, said: “I’m really proud of all of our netballers. Playing at the Regionals Finals tournament is a fantastic experience and to have all three teams finish in the top three in the East Midlands is amazing.”
“It has been great to see them back playing competitive netball after missing out over the last couple of years. The U16s and U19s have some work to do now to step up to competing on a national level and we look forward to that challenge in March!”
In preparation for the Nationals the teams will continue to train twice a week and play matches against the School’s first team when possible. During these sessions, they will concentrate on tactics, match play, positional play and teamwork to ensure they are confident with their positions.
Evie, captain of the U16 team, said: “We have a good team spirit, and we were pleased to come second in the County round, so to then win all our matches and come first at the Regionals was great. We all encourage each other and enjoy ourselves as well as competing.” “It’s great to be back playing sport after Covid restricted us for a while. We missed an entire netball season last year, so it’s good to be back playing properly as a team and having fixtures and competitions to work towards.” “It feels great to get through to the Nationals – it’s always the aim at the start of a season. It will be a tough day but we will make sure we enjoy the experience.”
The Oakham netball coaches support each of the teams with their enthusiasm and personal training where required. The School gym is used for strength and conditioning sessions and the players have fitness programmes which they can follow to allow them to develop and improve during their matches.
Sophie, captain of the U19s team, added: “In preparation for Regional finals we trained hard as individuals, but most importantly we trained as a team.”
“The team environment is being supportive of each other as we want every player to be successful. We’re all very trusting and respectful of each other both on and off the court and although it’s a competitive team, we also all enjoy our netball.
“To get to regionals and nationals Oakham School supported us by providing exceptional and specific coaching along with challenging Strength and Conditioning training sessions. To be going to National Finals is such an amazing achievement, and although it will be highly competitive, we hope to play our best netball and enjoy the occasion.”
The National matches will be held on 12 and 13 March.
Find out more about Netball at Oakham School.