Our 2022-23 Elite Sports Programme continues to grow. The 4-week trial process in September saw the attendance of 228 young athletes: 73 for netball and 155 for football. As a result of our assessment protocols and squad balances, across Years 7, 8, 9 and 10, we have taken; 51 for netball and 60 for football.
The coaching staff have been delighted with the attitude and intensity in the training sessions, with an Elite culture developing amongst the current 111 athletes in the Elite Sport Squads for Netball and Football. Building on the last three years of the programme, we have also continued to strengthen the pathways for our aspiring pupils in Netball (Northants Storm) and in Football (Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Derby County, Kettering, Northampton Town).
On the netball court, our Year 8, 9 and 10 Elite Netball teams have made 100% starts by winning all their matches to date in their County League games, whilst Year 7 have made excellent progress in their team development. In November, Year 9 finished a highly impressive 4th place in the County play-offs at Oundle.
On the football pitches, we have seen some excellent performances across all year groups during the ten matches for our Elite footballers, with games in the Northants County League games re-starting in January. Also, the Year 7 and Year 8 teams have home ties in the County Cup quarter-finals to look forward to.
We were joined by Manisha Tailor at our Elite Sport Parents’ Evening in November. It was inspirational to learn about her journey as Manisha is a trailblazer and currently the Assistant Head of Coaching at QPR, making her the first female and first person of South Asian heritage to hold such a role in the English game. Also, Mr Clyne kindly gave up his time and shared what Sport had taught him and the invaluable life lessons he had been taught during his career. They both reinforced the importance of Character development and how technical talent may get you an opportunity, however, the real skill is managing your own behaviour and displaying the core values of Respect, Determination, Ambition, Tolerance and Integrity.
We are really looking forward to seeing the continued development of all our young players in school and in their chosen sport in the new year.