For the so called "off season", there has been a fair amount of activity especially for those in U14 and above.
Personally, a few weeks without quite the same level of intensity as the main season has made me reflect on some of the great opportunities the athletes are getting and also just what great stuff the Club as a while achieved last season.
As some highlights, we: stayed in top division of Premier League; were 3rd in Northern League; 4th in Senior Regional League; unbeaten winners of WY SuperLeague and of the Summer League; strong finish (4TH) in tough Netball Nights adult league for our juniors; U11A 1ST & U11B 4TH - in WY Hi Five top division; U12A 1ST in WY first div & U12B 3RD IN WY first div & U12C top in 2nd division (playing up); U14A - Y&H Champs and WY champs – unbeaten; U14B – 3rd in WY first division; and our U16 were 3rd at the Club Nationals Tournament, as well as being Y&H Champs and WY champs
Netball Nights has continued to provide super opportunities for many through the off season, with a few new athletes making their debut in this adult league and often having the opportunity to play with some very experienced athletes. Thanks to those who sort these squads week in week out, no easy task through the holiday season and with a number of athletes unavailable due to Regional Training.
Our first entry into the West Yorkshire Summer league again gave more opportunities for senior netball, thanks to Susie and Kirsty and others who helped. Leeds Athletic was unbeaten in both phases of the league and ended overall winners. Some of our teams also took part in age group tournaments through the summer, getting exposure to different competition and making friendships and netball memories. Again, thanks to parents and coaches for enabling these opportunities.
So many of our athletes continue to thrive in their respective representational squads, and we will be doing our usual Roll of Honour at the beginning of the season. Nat Haythornthwaite has just been selected into the Roses Squad traveling for the Quad Series, Jess Shaw and Imogen Allison (former member) were part of the Bronze Medallists at the U21 World Youth Champs. Again, we have players who have been selected into the National Academy. We have players playing in the August Tournament at U17/19/21 for both Yorkshire and Loughborough.
We have the exciting Leeds Rhinos Netball development, running age group Academies and Hubs (including U11) and aiming for a SuperLeague franchise as well. Visit their website link on our website to apply for training that will complement club training and mention to friends who are interested. Some of our athletes will be training with some members of the rugby academy this week, and being flag bearers at the SuperEights match between St Helens and Leeds on Friday night, highlighting just some of the learning and opportunities from other sports as netball moves into the professional era.
Our new development of a Summer Training programme for U14 and above has been very successful, huge thanks to the range of coaches who have delivered these intense pre-season sessions. We are confident they will get our season off to a great start when we begin our league games towards the end of September.
Meanwhile, we are planning our first ever Club Trip to Australia for 17 nights next August to take athletes to be inspired by the very best netball nation and to create lifetime memories. We hope that this will be a success so that we can repeat it in future years. There may also be another Paris Disney trip for some of our younger athletes.
We pride ourselves on effective communications at the Club, but also ask that athletes and parents also take responsibility to help us with that, especially replying to emails that need a reply (e.g. availability or confirmation of playing), pay fees/match fees with the right change, read the club handbook (eg especially kit requirements!) and follow the code of conduct. If possible, follow us on Twitter and Facebook as a way of staying up to date.
The Google Calendar on the website is being populated as we speak, as soon as fixtures are available. So far we only have Premier and Northern fixtures, I expect the rest will follow late August/early September once we have them from the leagues. Training dates are on there too. First sessions are early September.
We will hold a parent meeting, especially for U14/16/young or new seniors, early in September. U11/12 coaches will also talk to parents early in the season. Please visit our FAQs on the website or the handbook if there is something you are not sure of. If the answer isn't in there, please ask.
After the parent meeting, we will also hold a meeting for parents who are keen to get involved and help, so if you ticked this box, please attend!!!
Netball relies on people developing themselves to be coaches, umpires etc. There is a particular shortage of umpires and so any parents/carers/friends who would be happy to have a go at umpiring, please contact Susie Stead. There are some L2 courses just being advertised on the website (course button on the Club Info page). There will also be a course for table officials in October. So something for everyone! Anyone who feels that they have something to offer the sport, please get in touch with Susie Stead. As a Club, we will always try and help with the funding of these courses where we can.
Congratulations to Laura Kelly and Georgia Pexton passing their Level 1 coaching and to Laura for passing her C umpire award. Any athletes who are interested in supporting sessions in a younger age – eg for volunteering or DoE etc, again, please get in touch with Susie. For our very youngsters, please get in touch with Mark Boocock if you want to join U11 or have friends who want to play.
We will be in touch with regular updates.
Leeds Athletic Netball Club