On Tuesday 9th January, thirty-six very excited pupils and three staff left Holsworthy to travel to Loughborough to watch the England netball team (the Roses) play against the Futures team (mixture of U21 and U19 England players). We had lots of time to kill on the way there so we created banners. Eloise and Amelia were in charge of face painting and then just before we arrived Miss Goldsworthy ran a netball quiz, which was won by Tallulah and Georgia. They each won some crazy headbands, which they wore throughout the day and the England captain Ama Agazee even complimented the girls about these.
We arrived at Loughborough University (one of the most prestigious universities for sport in the country) at 2pm. We entered the netball centre and took our seats in a prime position front and centre to the court. Not long after, the players came out and started to warm up. The excitement grew as we saw our netball idols for the first time.
The game was played in four quarters, each scored separately. The first quarter was won by the Roses; the score was 23-9. The second quarter was 15-13 to the Roses. The third quarter was 21-17 to the Roses and the fourth quarter was 21-8, again to the Roses.
After the match all the schools were invited on to the netball court and each of the players took it in turns going around to see each school to answer questions, take photos and sign memorabilia. Amelia and Zoe both had their phones signed by their favourite players!
Afterwards, as we were leaving, the ambassador for England netball came over and told us that we were the best supporters in the crowd today. She loved our face paints, pom-poms and epic Mexican waves!
On the way back home on the bus, Miss Goldsworthy auctioned off the signed England netball she was given by the tournament organisers. Each pupil who went on the trip was given 5 raffle tickets and everyone waited anxiously to see who would win this amazing prize. The winner was Lucy Storry, who was ecstatic to have won. We then stopped off for some much needed food (McDonald's!) before watching a film on the coach and then singing songs all the way back home to Holsworthy where we arrived at 11pm.
It was a long day, but totally worth it for the experience to watch England play and to meet all the players! A day I'll never forget! Inspired by what we had seen we copied the England netball warm up drills at our school training session on Wednesday night, which was great fun, but challenging at times!
Georgia and Tallulah