|Netball is flourishing at Denstone. It is the main sport for girls in the Lent Term, whilst also being offered as a games option in the Michaelmas Term. Opportunities are available to attend pre-season training days in order to fully prepare for the season.
We have the capacity to field seventeen netball teams across the age ranges, resulting in competitive Wednesday and Saturday fixture opportunities for all girls. Each team has their own designated coach available to work closely with them on a regular basis. The College boasts 6 newly surfaced courts enabling matches to take place in all weathers. The majority of fixtures take place in the Lent Term, although we also do secure a number of fixtures in the Michaelmas Term. The fixture list is competitive and inclusive with the majority of girls having the opportunity to represent the school. We compete in county and school tournaments wherever possible, with the aim to enter the National Schools competition in 2017. The annual inter-house competition is always a strong contest, whilst the weekly staff versus students’ fixtures highlights the element of fun in netball.
In addition to the netball-specific training, the girls have the opportunity to access top level Strength and Conditioning sessions designed by England Netball to enhance their overall performance. We have strong links with both Staffordshire and Derbyshire County Netball and therefore encourage the girls to attend trials with the chance to further improve their skills by training with the satellite/academy squads. As a result, we have increasing numbers that represent external clubs and county teams. Tours prove popular when the teams travelling play a number of fixtures against local sides, showcasing their talent whilst enjoying the fantastic experience.
Harriet Gill (Director of Netball) - Netball has always been a passion of mine, playing since the age of 5. I grew up playing for Oldham NC, one of the most prestigious clubs in the North West. I was fortunate enough to win the National Championship title at both club and school level, which has certainly led to my dream of coaching a Denstone College netball team to National Champions. At university, I played for Loughborough’s first team and in my final year, I balanced studying with playing in the Netball Superleague for Loughborough Lightning. My coach, Karen Atkinson, the second highest-capped England player, inspired me greatly and taught me a huge amount about coaching netball. It was Karen who encouraged me to take up a coaching role at Uppingham School and following this, a graduate coaching assistant role at Denstone College. I am thoroughly enjoying the Director of Netball role here and am investing lots of time and effort into increasing the profile of netball at the College, increasing the standard as well as developing links with pathways through Wasps and Staffordshire County netball.