A First Birthday Gift for Leeds Rhinos Netball

Here at LRN HQ, we could not be more thrilled with last week’s news from England Netball we’re to deliver next season’s pathway for the Yorkshire region.

As many of you will know, we set our sights on a Superleague franchise when our operation began in July last year. Twelve months on, although we are not quite over the line, the pathway puts us a huge step closer to our goal whilst we help prepare athletes in our region to become England-ready.

Our athletes are much a part of this journey and we understand there are many questions from our community and beyond. We encourage you to attend our Information Evening being held next Tuesday, July 24, at 6.30pm at the Emerald Stadium in Headingley – book online here.

For those unable to make our event, we will continue to keep you informed of any updates through emails, social media and on our website.

To read the official press release from our parent organisation, Leeds Rhinos – including comments from Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball, Anna Carter – click here.

Leeds Rhinos Netball – June News

As Leeds Rhinos Netball approaches its first birthday, having launched on 8th July last year, we can honestly say it’s been a massive year for all things netball! Here, we’re taking time to reflect on some of the main developments and highlights from this past twelve months.

The pinnacle has to be England’s winning the Commonwealth Games Gold, beating Australia by one goal in their own backyard, in a game that had everything including the dramatic finish which showed sport at its absolute best! Netball fans would do well to follow the Australia and NZ domestic leagues, as well as the Vitality Super League in this country, to stay tuned in on happenings at the very top of our sport.

Since the Commonwealth Games, it’s fair to say netball is much more prominent in the news – as is women’s sport in general – with a number of campaigns helping to drive participation in netball and asking for spectators to show their support, too. Here are a few articles on recent campaigns and occurrences in our sport which are well worth a read:

The Sky Netball and Women’s Sports Trust campaign #ShowUp (encouraging participation in a range of UK women’s sports) https://englandnetball.co.uk/showup-campaign-launched/

A campaign in Australia, Wake Up to Netball, which is proving effective in getting fans out to watch live games: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-04/sue-gaudion-wake-up-netball/9725944

Closer to home, here’s an article about the development of the Vitality Netball Super League https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2018/05/22/premier-league-football-clubs-could-hold-key-netballs-future/. Note that some of the top English Super League clubs like Wasps are now drawing in big audiences, as are the games played at major arenas such as Manchester and London Live.

And here’s an example of one of the many close games in the Australian league which you would NOT have wanted to miss, an intense 2-goal difference match played recently between West Coast Fever and GIANTS in front of a crowd of 8000+! http://westcoastfever.com.au/News/fever-topple-giants-in-two-goal-thriller

Back home, we had a superb week of fun camps in Blackburn and Leeds over the spring break, with three Commonwealth Gold medalists appearing to coach and inspire athletes plus other top coaches helping our athletes to learn new skills. Both received some great feedback from our athletes; here are some snaps of everyone enjoying camp with amazing role-models Beth Cobden, Jodie Gibson and Nat Haythornthwaite.

      

 

We have more exciting camp options this summer starting with our residential/non-residential Boot Camp at Woodhouse Grove. This camp is open to a range of ages and abilities, with excellent coaches, and is a perfectly timed pre-season prep. We also have three Fun Camps across the north in Leeds, Blackburn, and Calderdale, for 8-14-year-olds wanting to improve their game, plus a camp for our Mini netballers aged 6-10 years.

There are still places available at all camps so if you’re interested, get signed up fast at http://www.leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk/camps/
On a final note, we held a successful coaching event at the iconic Headingley Stadium recently, coaching more than 100 athletes in netball alongside our fellow rugby coaches who were helping similar numbers with rugby skills. What a great day, and fantastic to see plenty of new talent emerging!

As ever, we will keep you posted with developments throughout the remainder of the year.

Anna Carter
Director of Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball – May News

 

Leeds Rhinos Update – May 2018  

Just a quick update for you so you’re aware of the many developments currently underway. We have had some cracking stuff happen since we last wrote, with more great stuff planned – not to mention what has happened to English Netball in general since that very exciting Gold Medal victory on Australia’s Gold Coast!

Here are some of our highlights:

  • Our High-Performance Academy athletes appearing on the pitch at Elland Road at the Rhinos vs Cas Tigers match, in front of a crowd on 23,000, along with the Rhinos Academy boys, Rhinos ladies, and Rhinos physical disability teams – a great occasion and fantastic profile for netball!
  • Some well-attended workshops for athletes and coaches, covering a range of ages and position specialisms, which are all receiving great feedback
  • A successful half-term camp at Woodhouse Grove, well attended and with strong coaches and our Netball ambassadors providing support and inspiration to the athletes
  • Our Spring Bank Fun Camps at Leeds Beckett and Blackburn College, featuring our regular coaching staff and also a special appearance from Commonwealth Gold Medal winning stars Beth Cobden, Jodie Gibson and Natalie Haythornthwaite.
  • Our on-going presence at most of the Rhinos home game, including drills and shooting practice on show. Our Mini Netballers were invited along to the last game and all of our athletes will have this opportunity at some stage!
  • A great day of matchplay for some of our Academy athletes, against the Hertfordshire Mavericks in London, with some brilliant play, superb experience, and encouraging results –big thanks to the coaches for taking the athletes along.
  • Our Academy Programmes at capacity and in full swing; and most of our Hub Programmes also booked out and giving athletes a weekly opportunity to enhance their skills over the summer season.
  • Our recent Netball Festival which proved a huge success for over 50 athletes who attended, with many new skills learned in netball, rugby and objective-setting, and lots of great feedback received. Note that this camp was for Rhinos and non-Rhinos athletes and it was great for the coaches to see new talent as well as players who have improved throughout the season. The day’s highlights were matchplay, the coaches playing “Killer” and everybody forming a heart shape in memory of Jo Cox, who was killed tragically two years ago, as part of a campaign called #connect4jo. Massive fun and hugely symbolic.

What’s coming up next?

  • We have some spaces in our Leeds Junior Hub, and at both Junior and Senior Hubs in Bishop Burton, and in our younger Mini Netball session on a Saturday morning at Beckett
  • We also have our Summer Camps running from Woodhouse Grove, including residential and non-residential options, which are a perfectly-timed intense start to pre-season training!!

 

We appreciate the support you give to Leeds Rhinos Netball and look forward to sharing further developments with you later in the year!

#netballontherise #thisgirlcan #ANewEraBegins

Anna Carter

Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball announces new Ambassadors

Leeds Rhinos Netball has been given a huge boost with the announcement that Leeds Rhinos star, Ashton Golding, will become an Ambassador for the club.

The Rhinos full back has shown a keen interest in Leeds Rhinos Netball and was a guest speaker at their launch event back in July 2017. His connection with them has now progressed further and the Leeds born player has now agreed to become an Ambassador, to help inspire all the athletes involved at Leeds Rhinos Netball.

Golding, who came through the Rhinos Academy to make his debut in in 2014 aged just 17 said he is thrilled to have been asked to be an Ambassador of the team.

“I am honoured to take up the role as an Ambassador for Leeds Rhinos Netball. This is an exciting time for the netball in Leeds, with more opportunities for people to get involved. Leeds Rhinos Netball are doing great work through their Academy to develop young players and hopefully this will help them achieve their ambition to secure a Superleague franchise in the near future.”

Leeds Rhinos Netball also revealed their netball ambassadors Jessie Ducker, Erin Hodgkiss and Georgia Pexton, who are all from the High Performance Academy.

All three athletes are in the Loughborough Lightning U21 Squad, and Georgia is also in the Roses Academy U19 Squad and was Vice Captain of England U17 last year at Netball Europe. Georgia and Jessie have both been national schools champions. Erin has toured New Zealand with her school squad. These athletes will be heavily involved with the development of Leeds Rhinos Netball and will attend events, where they will help out or coach the younger athletes.

Speaking about the new Ambassadors, Anna Carter, Director of Netball for Leeds Rhinos Netball, who selected the three players said:

“All three of these athletes operate at a very high level of netball, and are great role models for the younger athletes, with their work ethic and commitment to the sport and their team mates.”

The Netball team have had their first few fixtures, which have been great experience for these athletes many of whom haven’t played at this level. Carter added

“The U15 and High Performance Academy travelled to London last week to play a threeway fixture against Wasps and London Pulse. Our Academy athletes are getting an excellent set of wrap around support for their programme, drawing on the professional expertise and experience of Leeds Rhinos.

“With netball on the rise nationally, with participation figures rising and the profile of the national game through the recent Quad series, the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the Superleague season underway, we are proud that Leeds Rhinos Netball is progressing so well. The ultimate ambition remains to secure a Superleague franchise.”

Leeds Rhinos Netball have recently run successful prestige workshops and a half term camp which received great feedback. Events are being run all the time, including coach education, learning from the success of Rhinos Coach Education. All these activities, including the Prestige Workshops for U13s, can be seen here on our website.

There will also be a Boot Camp for the summer, in August, where again, the standard will be high and the quality of coaching will be excellent for this perfectly timed ‘pre-season’ camp with a residential option that is always great experience.

Leeds Rhinos Update – Mid February 2018

It seems appropriate to write an update given that the Vitality Netball Superleague (VSNL) season got underway this weekend, we are less than 50 days away from the Commonwealth Games, there has been netball on TV and lots on social media too!

Things are busy here at Rhinos too! We are announcing our next festival for our Hub and Academy athletes, we are busy this week running a camp and a masterclasses, and we have had matches for two of our Academy squads!

The start of the VNSL season is an important reminder of our ambition at Leeds Rhinos Netball, which is to aim to have a squad in the VSNL as soon as we are able to. When we launched our programmes in July last year, we had two clear aims: firstly to run some great netball opportunities to develop young athletes and secondly to aim to secure entry into the Superleague. These two ambitions remain important to us and to our colleagues at Leeds Rhinos rugby, who have of course recently launched a women’s rugby team and a disability rugby team.

Our next Leeds Rhinos Netball Festival is on Sunday March 18th at Leeds Beckett University. The event will be open on the website later this week.  We are looking forward to this exciting event where Academy and Hub athletes can come together and put all they have been learning into practice, and then learn some more about the Rhinos way to learn, play and win!  This is for all our Hub and Academy athletes, except U11s. Last time we had an incredible number of athletes who all had a fun filled day of learning. Places are limited, so book early! It is £20 for the day’s activities.

The day will run between 10am and 3:30pm.  All athletes will take part in four interlinked activities to build on what they have been doing so far through the programme. Athletes will be split into groups and rotate around the activities during the day. Please note some are indoor and some outdoor, so note the kit requirements! We will brief and debrief the athletes all together at the beginning and at the end of the day, including a question and answer session with a Rhinos coach and Netball Ambassador.

Please wear Rhinos kit. Please bring water, snacks and a packed lunch. Be careful not to have any unnecessary valuables. Please bring a kit bag with any medication, strapping, recovery snacks (see bottom of page), plus any spare clothes/trainers.

 Activity 1: #Play like a Rhino, Netball, Sports Hall

  • Netball games in Blue Hall. Rotations/short games, with players deciding on what they will work on and giving each other feedback. Also likely to be filmed for use at another session during the day

Activity 2: #Train like a Rhino – Part 1: Rugby (outside)

  • Rugby drills outside (outside clothing/footwear)

Activity 3: #Train like a Rhino – Part 2: Netball drills and skills (small gym)

  • Sharpening the basics

Activity 4: #Think like a Rhino (classroom)

  • Elite player to talk through analysis of one of their games/or footage of their position – what they are looking for, to help athletes think about analysis
  • Play tactics e.g. centre pass attack and defence, shooting and defending – looking at specific footage and learning about what’s good and bad etc

We will have a selection of Rhinos coaches on the day, plus hopefully our Netball Ambassadors helping as well. We can’t wait to see you there and continue the journey of personal development. If you have any queries, please ask!

Matchplay this week Some of our U15 and High Performance Academy athletes were selected to compete in matches in London this week against Wasps and London Pulse age group sides, both of who are running very good pathway schemes and developing good athletes. These lucky athletes had a fantastic experience, learning about matchplay at a different level, with very experienced coaches, and against strong competition. Huge thanks to Lisa and Debs for all the planning and preparation for the event, to Jan and Gerry for their work coaching the athleteson matchday, to Maggie for her role preparing the athletes before the trip today and to Jo for general help on the day. I am delighted that we are achieving so many of our objectives.

Other opportunities As ever, there are a range of opportunities for athletes to develop. We have a few spaces left on the Masterclass that I am running on Friday this week, where I will work personally with athletes on key aspects of the game and we expect the standard to be high. I would love to see as many of our athletes as possible so we can push their development.

Our Boot Camp will be online soon, scheduled for the summer, in August, where again, the standard will be high and the quality of coaching will be excellent. I would expect that a lot of Academy athletes will want to take part in this, timed perfectly for “pre-season”, before trials and with a residential option that is always great experience.

We are also running a series of position specific Prestige Workshops for U13 athletes, with great coaches, to offer that intensity of learning new techniques to the younger athletes.

We are also launching some coaching for coaches sessions, which will be available later this week, as another aspect of Rhinos Netball developing to have an impact on performance in its broadest sense.

We appreciate the support that you give to Leeds Rhinos, we are really pleased with our rate of development and what has been achieved in the few months since July 2017 and us stretching the boundaries and learning from professional sports!

#netballontherise #thisgirlcan #ANewEraBegins

Anna Carter
Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball Update – Academy – February 2018

Good to see everyone fully back into the swing of things after the break! We have a few athletes with injuries, and are just wishing them a speedy recovery. It feels like we have already had numerous training sessions during 2018, and even had a couple of matches, which is great. I hope you follow on Twitter as a way of keeping in touch! Just the usual bit of a round up, following on from the more comprehensive update at the beginning of January.

Ambassadors. I am pleased to announce that our three Leeds Rhinos Netball Ambassadors are Jessie Ducker, Erin Hodgkiss and Georgia Pexton, all from the High Performance Academy. All three of these athletes operate at a very high level of netball, and are great role models for the younger athletes, with their work ethic and commitment to the sport and their team mates. All three athletes are in the Loughborough Lightning U21 Squad, and Georgia is also in the Roses Academy U19 Squad and was Vice Captain of England U17 last year at Netball Europe.  Georgia and Jessie have both been national schools champions. Erin has toured New Zealand with her school squad. You will see images of these athletes and see them at events helping out or coaching the younger athletes.  In future, you may also see them with additional bits of kit so that they can show others what is available. We are still waiting for final confirmation to be able to announce our Leeds Rhinos Ambassador, which has taken a lot longer than planned! We hope the Rugby Ambassador, once announced, will get to meet all the Academy athletes. Here is an image of the ambassadors.

Performance I covered Maggie and Gerry’s sessions last week and the High Performance Academy session, so I had the opportunity to see how most of the Academy athletes are progressing, which was great. I am pleased that Maggie, Gerry and Jan are doing a great job working on the programme of skills that we agree on as a coaching team.   It looks as though the athletes are mostly working at a good level of intensity and therefore will be getting lots out of the programme being offered. High Performance Academy have had a lot of “wrap around” off court aspects to the programme, with U15 having some. U15 and U13s will have Psychology and Nutrition sessions soon, classroom based, on a Monday night before/after training, Debs will confirm the dates and times soon.

Matchplay We have another match for U15 and High Performance Academies, a three way game against Pulse and Wasps in London mid-February. Selections will be made soon, so please remember to support your athletes whatever the outcome of selection or experience on the day. We are lucky to have experienced selectors on our coaching team, with me as a National Academy selector and Maggie as a Roses selector. Gerry and Jan also have good experience of selecting at the highest standard. It is good that we have been working with the athletes for a few months now, so we have been able to see them over a longer period.

Kit. As you know, we have continued to have a few issues with kit. We will be issuing a refund for the training shorts this week. Lisa will have High Performance Academy refunds and Debs has done most of the U13 and U15. We apologise for the inconvenience caused, but it has got too late in the season to source an alternative. We are looking at an alternative for next season. The “small size” kit order has finally arrived and will be distributed this week. Although the kit man had said that delivery would be more like 6 weeks, even now orders are taking longer than that. We continue to work with him to deliver improvements to quality and timeliness.

Other opportunities We have other high quality coaching opportunities coming up for these talented athletes to experience.

I am running a 10-3pm masterclass on 16 February, where I will be working with the athletes personally on their technique on key aspects of the game and we expect the standard to be high.

We are almost ready to announce our Boot Camp for the summer, in August, where again, the standard will be high and the quality of coaching will be excellent. I would expect that a lot of Academy athletes will want to take part in this, timed perfectly for “pre-season”, before trials and with a residential option that is always great experience. These are opportunities where the athletes can gain hints and tips that help athletes make progress to complement their existing activity.

We are also running a series of position specific Prestige Workshops for U13 athletes, with great coaches, to offer that intensity of learning new techniques to the younger athletes. All these are on our website. Pass them onto others who you know would be interested, especially for those who aren’t on social media!

We will soon be advertising our next festival, which will contain a range of activities for Hub and Academy athletes.

In another exciting development, we are partnering with Leeds City College to provide netballing opportunities alongside studies at the College in line with other sports such as football and rugby, where the athletes will get wrap around S&C and matchplay etc. The open day is in the Leeds Half Term. Here is an image of the flier.

I hope you have been watching the Quad series and are looking forward to watching the NSL competition and the athletes learning as much as they can from elite athletes.

#netballontherise #thisgirlcan #ANewEraBegins

Anna Carter
Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball Update – Hubs – February 2018

Good to see everyone fully back into the swing of things after the break! We have a few athletes with injuries, and are just wishing them a speedy recovery. It feels like we have already had numerous training sessions during 2018.

I hope you follow on Twitter as a way of keeping in touch! Just the usual bit of a round up to keep you posted with Leeds Rhinos Netball developments.

Ambassadors. I am pleased to announce that our three Leeds Rhinos Netball Ambassadors are Jessie Ducker, Erin Hodgkiss and Georgia Pexton, all from the High Performance Academy. All three of these athletes operate at a very high level of netball, and are great role models for the younger athletes, with their work ethic and commitment to the sport and their team mates. All three athletes are in the Loughborough Lightning U21 Squad, and Georgia is also in the Roses Academy U19 Squad and was Vice Captain of England U17 last year at Netball Europe.  Georgia and Jessie have both been national schools champions. Erin has toured New Zealand with her school squad. You will see images of these athletes and see them at events helping out or coaching the younger athletes.  In future, you may also see them with additional bits of kit so that they can show others what is available. We are still waiting for final confirmation to be able to announce our Leeds Rhinos Ambassador, which has taken a lot longer than planned! We hope the Rugby Ambassador, once announced, will get to meet all the Academy athletes. Here is an image of the ambassadors.

Performance I am pleased about the progress of Hub athletes that I am getting from the coaches, with athletes working hard and improving their skills. We continue to develop the Academy Programmes during this our first year of operation and in time, we are keen that Hub athletes can benefit from some of that “wrap around”. We will be advertising our next Festival soon and there will be some different aspects of performance in the programme for that.

Kit. As you know, we have continued to have a few issues with kit. We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the issues with late delivery and some quality issues. Although the kit man had said that delivery would be more like 6 weeks, even now orders are taking longer than that. We continue to work with him to deliver improvements to quality and timeliness.

In another exciting development, we are partnering with Leeds City College to provide netballing opportunities alongside studies at the College in line with other sports such as football and rugby, where the athletes will get wrap around S&C and matchplay etc. The open day is in the Leeds Half Term. Here is an image of the flier.

 

 

Other opportunities We have other high quality coaching opportunities coming up for these talented athletes to experience.

I am running a 10-3pm masterclass on 16 February, where I will be working with the athletes personally on their technique on key aspects of the game and we expect the standard to be high.

We are almost ready to announce our Boot Camp for the summer, in August, where again, the standard will be high and the quality of coaching will be excellent. I would expect that a lot of Academy athletes will want to take part in this, timed perfectly for “pre-season”, before trials and with a residential option that is always great experience. These are opportunities where the athletes can gain hints and tips that help athletes make progress to complement their existing activity.

We are also running a series of position specific Prestige Workshops for U13 athletes, with great coaches, to offer that intensity of learning new techniques to the younger athletes. All these are on our website. Pass them onto others who you know would be interested, especially for those who aren’t on social media!

I hope you have been watching the Quad series and are looking forward to watching the NSL competition and the athletes learning as much as they can from elite athletes.

#netballontherise #thisgirlcan #ANewEraBegins

Anna Carter
Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball Update – December 2017

As we get into December and the countdown to the festive season, here is another update about Leeds Rhinos Netball. Plenty going on! The media release issued this week with the release of the picture of the High Performance Academy, gives an overview of the last few months. This is attached at the end of this update, as it was covered in the Yorkshire Evening Post and social media. The graphic that presented the girls was excellent and shows the professional approach we aim to adopt across all aspects.

In recent and current developments:

  • We held another of our Prestige Workshop Collection last week, a C/WD workshop with Anna Carter and Paul Harper. This was high quality, high intensity and packed with learning for the athletes who attended. Feedback was incredibly positive. We will soon be advertising a circle defence workshop in this series, and are looking to plan more because demand is high. It was great to see so many Rhinos athletes in their kit, from both Hubs and Academies, and interesting that athletes from lots of other areas are also booking on these workshops because of the quality of delivery.
  • Our U13/U15 Academies are having photographs this week, and our Hub Coaches will be taking a photograph of the Hub athletes before Christmas.
  • In another new development, because of our links with Beckett and Rhinos, our High Performance and U15 athletes are having a sports psychology session this week. Our High Performance athletes have mostly had their 121 with the coach and are now moving onto the 121 with the Player Experience Manager.
  • We are looking ahead to the next Festival for Hub and Academy athletes in February and the first set of matches for some of our athletes in Academies are in the diary for January.

Leeds Rhinos Netball – York Hub

Unfortunately we are unable to continue the York Hub into 2018.  Due to low demand in York, we are only running one Hub every other week, which is quite different to most other locations.  York University have allowed us to book their facility alternate weeks so far, but they are unable to continue with this arrangement from January 2018. We considered moving the Hub to train every week, but we are unable to get a quality coach for a weekly session. We have considered alternative facilities, but in the time available have not been able to secure this.

We are bitterly disappointed about this, because we have been working with the university and local schools to encourage more athletes into the programme so we can run more Hubs, make better use of the facility and fulfil the netball ambitions of Leeds Rhinos Netball and York University. Athletes have been offered places in Leeds or Bishop Burton.

 

 

Leeds Rhinos Netball – Development Hubs in East Lancashire and Leeds

Due to demand in these areas, we are putting on Development Hubs, where there are no trials and athletes can sign up on the website and hopefully progress through the Leeds Rhinos Netball pathway. We are also starting an U11 Hub in East Lancashire.

Coaching team

In the last update, we welcomed Paul Harper to the coaching team and described his excellent credentials. This month, we congratulate Maggie Birkinshaw (U13/15 Academy coach) on her appointment as a national selector with the England Roses. Maggie brings a wealth of knowledge, passion and experience to the role, having been involved in netball since the age of nine. She played at the highest level of the game and represented England U18s, U21s and the senior team, with whom she competed at three World Championships. Since then, as many of us know, she has dedicated her time and energy to giving back to the sport and has held a number of high-profile positions – previously Assistant Coach at Yorkshire Jets and is currently Loughborough Lightning Assistant Coach.

Maggie is looking forward to being part of the National Selectors Team observing and working with the National Coach, her support team and the performance athletes as they transition into the next cycle of their preparation ultimately building to the Netball World Cup.

As a reminder, Anna is also a selector for the England Roses National Academy, as well as head coach at Loughborough Lightning.

We are very lucky to have such a strong and experienced coaching team, who later this week are spending an evening with Brian MacDermott, the Leeds Rhinos Head Coach, who is also a very well regarded coach, so that we ensure our coaches continually learn and develop.

And finally….

Thank you for your ongoing support for Leeds Rhinos, the positive feedback we continue to get about the level of coaching is great and very much appreciated. Please stay tuned into our FaceBook and Twitter accounts to keep up with developments

Think like a Rhino! Train like a Rhino!  Win like a Rhino!  #ANewEraBegins!  #marchingontogether #notjustabitofnetball

 

Anna Carter

Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball

 

Leeds Rhinos Netball launches its High Performance Academy squad

Leeds Rhinos Netball, which launched in July 2017 as part of the Leeds Rhinos family, has revealed its first High Performance Academy squad.

Trials for the Academy squad were held during September and from those who tried out, Director of Netball, Anna Carter, has selected 21 athletes into the programme. The athletes are drawn from Leeds, all parts of Yorkshire and from the North West, with the professional sporting context of Rhinos, and the coaching team, being a magnet for some top-quality players.

Many of the athletes named in the Academy are members of some of the top clubs in the country and with England National Academy experience.

Anna Carter, Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball said, “I am delighted with the player experience these athletes are getting, it will develop them brilliantly. The wrap around support we can access by being a part of the Leeds Rhinos family, the relationship with Leeds Beckett University and its sporting expertise, is exceptional.

“This programme will be a game changer for female sport, as amateur sports learn from professional sports. The girls are accessing specialist strength and conditioning, drug awareness, nutrition, individual development planning and other off court support, as well as a high quality weekly technical session.”

The process of recruiting players and getting more people playing netball will continue through Leeds Rhinos Netball’s partnership with Leeds Rhinos Foundation.  Coaches from Leeds Rhinos Netball will work alongside the charity to build new relationships with schools to find new talent and engage more girls in sporting opportunities, as it also strives to build a platform to deliver the ambition to become a Superleague franchise.

The High Performance Academy is one of three Academies that Leeds Rhinos Netball will run, with an Under-15 and Under-13 Academy also available for aspiring netball players and these athletes will access a less intense programme, appropriate for their age, to get them ready for the next level.  Members of the Academy receive high quality, weekly coaching from well-regarded coaches Maggie Birkinshaw and Gerry Plant.

Alongside the High Performance Academy, Leeds Rhinos Netball also run a series of Netball Hubs in a variety of locations for a range of different ages.  Ranging from Mini Netball for young primary children, through to Hubs in East Lancashire, Leeds, Bishop Burton and York, and the Academies, which means more than 220 athletes are able to access regular netball.

Opportunities for new athletes mid-season will be available through Development Hubs, in East Lancashire and Leeds, for girls who would like to access good coaching and see what Leeds Rhinos Netball has to offer.

In addition to this, Leeds Rhinos Netball is in the middle of a series of prestigious workshops with top quality coaching from international coaches and players, as well as running sell out Netball Camps during the holiday period, that can inspire athletes to want to be their best.

Upcoming opportunities will include a Defence Workshop, an Easter Camp and an Annual Residential Boot Camp.   For more information on Leeds Rhinos Netball and upcoming events visit www.leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk

Notes:

Leeds Rhinos Netball was launched at Emerald Headingley Stadium on 8 July 2017, as part of the Rhinos family.

The Academy Coaching team is Anna Carter, Maggie Birkinshaw, Jan Hemsley and Gerry Plant, all of whom were coaches in Yorkshire Jets Superleague set up. Paul Harper, a top coach from the north west is a technical adviser, delivering guest sessions, and workshops

Leeds Rhinos Netball – Update on York Hub

We are deeply disappointed to announce that our York Hub will be unable to continue into 2018.

Due to low demand in York, we are only running one Hub every other week. York University have allowed us to book their facility alternate weeks so far, but they are unable to continue with this arrangement from January 2018. We considered moving the Hub to train every week, but we are unable to get a quality coach for a weekly session. We have considered alternative facilities, but in the time available have not been able to secure this.

We are bitterly disappointed about this, because we have been working with the university and local schools to encourage more athletes into the programme so we can run more Hubs, make better use of the facility and fulfill the netball ambitions of Leeds Rhinos Netball and York University.

Athletes are able to transfer to another Hub if  they can – but we appreciate this will be hard for many due to the distances involved. We are committed to York and North Yorkshire and the county’s future netball stars – we look forward to being back in the future.