The SPA netball season has drawn to a close for this year with all teams across Years 7 to 11 recording tremendous successes both within Greenwich and throughout Kent. The season saw all teams within Year 7, 8, 9 and 11 win their respective Greenwich School’s Netball Leagues. Every team managed to complete a clean sweep, winning all of their matches and remaining undefeated. This is an exceptional achievement for all of the girls involved in netball at SPA and is testament to the commitment, dedication and passion which the girls have shown to their sport throughout the season. As the girls continue to work hard and improve, with many pupils now also playing club netball outside of school in the local borough, it is exciting to think how far pupils will go and how much they will achieve in their sport.
With the title of League Champions to their name, Thursday 21st April saw our Year 7 and 8 Netball teams travel to Rainham School for Girls, alongside their coaches Miss Duffy and Miss Stone to compete in the Kent Netball Invitational Tournament. Having moved up from the Kent Netball Emerging Schools Competition which the current Year 8’s placed second in last year, players and coaches knew that competing in this higher level competition against some of the best schools in the county would be a challenge for all involved. However, it was a challenge that the SPA contingent revelled in.
Having trained extremely hard all season to improve upon their individual and team performances, both teams took to the court to record wins in the first games with the Year 7’s defeating Trinity School Belvedere 2-0 and the Year 8’s defeating Sittingbourne Community College 7-0. With both teams getting off to a steady start the girls continued to work hard for each other throughout the duration of the tournament, displaying some exceptional levels of skill, determination and team work.
Our Year 8 girls finished their U13 section of the competition having won 7 out of their 9 games, finishing third overall. The girls missed out on the silver medal by a single point but with many of the girls displaying tremendous levels of skill throughout all of their games, some girls were approached and asked by the tournament organisers to attend the U14 Kent Academy Netball Trials which will take place in June. This is a wonderful compliment and achievement for our Year 8 girls who have shown great dedication and commitment to netball during their two years at St Paul’s. We wish the girls every success in their upcoming trials and look forward to watching them play even more great netball next season.
The U12 section of the tournament saw our Year 7 team battle their way through five initial matches, recording all victories along the way to eventually face Ashford School in the deciding game of the competition. With both teams progressing through the competition remaining undefeated, the girls knew that they had to win their final game to lift the title. The first half of the match saw Ashford take an early 2-0 lead. However, the girls did not let this phase them and drawing on all of their experience gained throughout the season the Year 7 girls soon settled and got into their stride. Some wonderful defensive interceptions saw the tables turn in this deciding game in the favour of the SPA girls. The girls soon drew the game back to level terms and with our attack and defence linking up seamlessly the girls soon took a 4-2 lead. Our Year 7 team continued to work hard, both individually and for each other to see out the game 4-2 winners to the delight of their coaches and the support from the Year 8 team cheering on the side-line.
This is simply a magnificent achievement for the girls and demonstrates how far both the players and the sport of netball itself have come at SPA over the last number of years. SPA netballers are now challenging for honours at Kent County competitions as well as a number of pupils displaying the ability and potential to be selected for Kent County squads. Pupils in Years 8 and 9 have also been attending Greenwich Netball Trials with many pupils hopefully selected to represent Greenwich at the London Youth Games Competition at Crystal Palace in July.
A special thanks must also go to Year 9 pupils Mira Umelue and Tareh Omajuwa who attended the Kent Invitational tournament and were fantastic sports leaders and ambassadors for St Paul’s on the day. Both pupils have worked alongside staff all season to assist with netball training and fixtures and their dedication and willingness to help wherever possible is very much appreciated and acknowledged. Well done girls!
Management and staff at St Paul’s would like to congratulate all of those girls involved in netball for all of their hard work and commitment to their sport throughout the season. Well done girls on a wonderful end to a fantastic season and we wish you good luck in all your future sporting endeavours. Keep up the good work!