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Academy Games provides perfect learning curve for netball squad

It was an action packed two days of netball at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games in Newcastle during the April School Holidays with the Western Region Academy of Sport (WRAS) Greater Bank Netball squad enjoying an amazing opportunity to test themselves against some of the best athletes across the state.

Facing off against 11 Regional Academies, including Greater Bank allies Hunter and Central Coast Academies of Sport, WRAS entered teams in the tournament’s Divisions One and Two.

Wins for Division One against Central Coast and Northern Inland Academies of Sport were the highlights for the weekend, while the Division Two team side was unlucky not to secure a victory despite very close results. 

Head Coach Linda Macleod, said the entire coaching staff could not fault the application of effort and skill throughout the weekend.

“Both Division One and Two teams were challenged against top quality opposition, and although we didn’t finish with the results we wanted, the girls showed great determination to improve each quarter over the course of the weekend,” Linda said.

“We [the coaching staff] left with massive smiles on our faces, because we loved watching the girls’ grow in confidence throughout the weekend. They were relentless and never gave up, and as coaches we could not have asked for more,”

A highlight for the athletes and coaching staff away from the court was the opportunity to meet Kurt Fearnley. A WRAS Hall of Famer and 1998 alumni athlete, Kurt attended multiple games across the weekend, taking pictures with the squad and chatting with athletes and coaches during their game breaks.

This small token provided a great deal of enjoyment for the entire WRAS squad, capping off a weekend focused on developing each player’s skills and confidence.

Following the tournament, MVPs were awarded for each team with Mudgee-based Eliza English taking the honour for the Division One and Taliyaha Chatfield from Bathurst for the Division Two team.

Congratulations to both girls on an amazing achievement, and to the whole Greater Bank WRAS squad for their superb efforts across the weekend.

The performances of all squad members across the weekend set a benchmark for the Academy Challenge to be held in Orange later this year.

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