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Hunter netballers take on the State’s best in Academy Games

It was a weekend of experience and development for the Hunter Academy of Sport’s Greater Bank Netball Squad that took part in 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games in Newcastle during the April School Holidays.

Hunter was one of 12 academies that took part in the tournament that provided an opportunity for players, coaches and umpires to develop their skills in an elite sporting environment.

Head Coach of Hunter Academy’s Division One team, Kel Huggins, was impressed with her squad’s performance on and off the court, in particularly the sportsmanship displayed amongst the playing group.

“It was great to see the girls back on the court in such a competitive environment. The group trained hard in the lead up to the Games, developing strong connections both on and off the court,” Kel said.

“Our youngest squad members were particularly impressive in their first Academy Games Tournament, showcasing exceptional growth across the weekend.”

“The tournament was also important for our coaches who used the weekend to not only guide the players on court but also develop their own skills through mentoring and sharing ideas and information.

“We’ve received some great coach development opportunities throughout the program and the one-on-one mentoring in games was invaluable. We’re no different from the athletes in that we are all looking to grow and build on our skills.”

The HAS Division One team won eight of their 10 games, including a few nail-biting contests and narrow wins against rivals Central Coast Academy and Sydney Academy.

It was also a positive weekend for the HAS Division Two team, winning six of their eight games including some notable performances against strong metro teams.

While many HAS players produced strong performances across the weekend, Charlee Belcher (Division 1) and Paulini-Fi Davies (Division 2) were standouts being named MVPs for Division One and Division 2 respectively selections.

The weekend was also highlighted by the awarding of National Badges to Kimberley Clement (National B) and Emily Milton (National C).

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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