Netball Academy Launched at Derby College
Talented young netball players will now have the chance to study whilst also receiving coaching to take their on-court skills to the next level, with the launch of a Post-16 Netball Academy at Derby College.
Derby College has worked with Derbyshire Netball Association and the Derbyshire Institute of Sport to set up the academy for players aged 16 to 19.
The academy team will play in the British Colleges Netball League, and will give players the opportunity to progress into elite level squads.
Players who are selected to become members of the academy will receive weekly coaching from an advanced-level coach, as well as strength and conditioning and physiotherapy support and nutritional advice.
They will also study a course of their choice at Derby College, with netball training and games arranged around the player’s academic timetable.
There is currently a social team at Derby College which competes in Division 1, and it is hoped that this new initiative will help to improve the standard of the team and see it promoted to the Elite League.
On leaving the academy, it is hoped that players would play for a team in the National Talent League or become part of the Derbyshire Institute of Sport and receive performance coaching at the University of Derby, or join an adult club.
Peter Gordon, Assistant Principal for Sport at Derby College, said: “We’re delighted to be launching the Post-16 Netball Academy at Derby College.
“This new initiative will allow students to combine education with furthering their sporting skills and to make use of the college’s excellent sporting facilities and our performance analysis lab.”
The Head Coach at the new academy will be Liz Alsop, from the Derbyshire Netball Association.
Liz said: “There is good provision for netball in schools, a network of clubs and a county performance structure for players up to the age of 16, however there is currently a gap in provision for high performance players at U19 level within Derbyshire.
“This new Post-16 Netball Academy at Derby College will help to bridge that gap and result in more young women continuing to play netball at an age where traditionally they may leave the sport, whilst also giving more young women with a talent for netball the opportunity to go on and be selected to play at a regional level and beyond.”
The launch of the Netball Academy is being supported by Derbyshire’s Olivia Murphy who played netball for England at U18 and U21 level before moving up to the senior team and winning a bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.
She went on to captain the England side and took the team to two more Commonwealth Games before retiring.
Olivia said: “I’m really pleased to see an Academy like this being set up in my home county of Derbyshire. It will be a fantastic opportunity for players to receive dedicated additional coaching and support which could really make a difference in helping them to reach their full potential.”
The Netball Academy, which is due to welcome its first intake of students in September 2013, is inspired by the successful Derby Basketball Academy which was set up in 2009 through a partnership between Derby College, Noel-Baker Sixth Form and the Derby Trailblazers Basketball Club.
Netball and basketball are both sports which are supported by the Derbyshire Institute of Sport, and opportunities to create academies in other areas of the county in other DIS sports such as table tennis and badminton are also being explored.
Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, PR Officer, Derby College, Tel: 07951 945 665; firstname.lastname@example.org
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