January News

All rested and raring to go? Five months into our programme, a firmly established Academy, higher participation at our training classes and several match wins later, you bet we are!

Before we plow forward, it’s a good time to take stock on our journey from September to now, with a great deal having happened during those few months since England Netball awarded us the Pathway last summer. Of course, our number one task back then was to very quickly formalise and embed an Academy programme to attract talented netballers to compete nationally on behalf of the Rhinos. We’re really pleased with all we have achieved here, not to mention humbled by the 200+ athletes who train with us and choose to represent our club. The Rhinos Rugby squad often talk about the pride which comes from being a Rhino and our netball athletes can feel equally as proud as their rugby peers.

Speaking of pride, our match play season could not have started any better with some fantastic on-court action reflecting all of the hard work happening at training week on week. We’ve had quite a few game opportunities for our Academy and Elite squads, with some great results and learning to bring back to base camp, and we’re looking forward to more in the second half of the season. It does feel as though the wind’s in our sails currently, which is all we could wish for ahead of our first ever Home game this February. On that note, we would love your support at the EIS in Sheffield on the 9th when we take on North East. Tickets are free – all you need do is register online here to reserve your seat and come along with your cheering hat on!

Coincidently, February 9 is also our first ever Coaches Conference – again, at the EIS – where we’re partnering with Yorkshire Netball and the UK’s most successful domestic coach, Tamsin Greenway, to deliver a session packed with technique, tactics, game analysis and more. On top of the educational benefits you’ll find this session provides a fantastic opportunity to network with like-minded peers from within your region and beyond. In short, if you’re coaching a team and want to learn from our industry’s best, this is a must-attend session. We currently have spaces available so, if you plan to join us, sign up here today and it’s job done.

Now, you’ll appreciate our world is one on a permanent tilt towards netball but it has to be said, there is a slight feeling of ‘netball fever’ at the minute. Undoubtedly, the Roses’ Comm Games Gold win started things off and netball has been gaining in momentum ever since; not one but TWO wins at this year’s SPOTY spoke volumes on how we’re currently seen by the wider sporting community. It certainly appears the Roses are on the crest of a wave right now, with their performance in the recent Quad series one to be proud of and placing them in great stead for this year’s World Cup! Superleague is well underway and we’re all watching with a keen eye, hoping we’ll be there competing against these amazing athletes next season with our very own Rhinos team! Besides the national activity, there’s more happening locally with podcasts like Netball Nation coming to the party; where lead coach Maggie Birkinshaw and I were pleased to share our thoughts on the current state of play earlier this month.

Back at HQ, we have plenty to celebrate aside to our match results – like U19 NPL competition squad members Laura Kelly and Nat Karkoszka being selected for British College, and our own Pathway Coach, Emily Perry, asked to help England Futures with the Quad Series preparation and warm-up games against the Diamonds, Silver Ferns and SPAR Proteas. We recently recruited our first ever Netball Development Officer and are extremely pleased to welcome Rachel Dauber to the Rhinos family. Rachel will be driving our programme’s expansion into new areas across the region to increase participation in netball – or, should we say, further increase participation since wherever we turn – Pathway, Hubs and Minis classes – our numbers are well and truly climbing. With this in mind, we are on a quest for volunteers to help us form a Talent Management Group to manage our ongoing growth and set some policies in place for delivery; it’s open to anybody, whatever their netball experience, and you’ll find details of the types of roles we need to fill on our website here.

Well, we did tell you it’s all systems go this year!

Anna Carter, Director of Netball

November Netball News

Here we are in November, a whole three months since we were asked by England Netball to deliver the formal pathway for the Yorkshire region. Talk about busy bees! Since our trials – which now feel a lifetime ago – we’ve successfully run a series of half-term camps and masterclasses, established our Academy groups from U13 up to U19, expanded our regional Hubs and Minis classes (all of which are growing in numbers week on week) AND we’ve had our first fixtures! All this, plus an extremely well-received coaches’ education class week delivered by ex-Roses player and one of the UK’s most successful players and coach, Tamsin Greenway! We’ll provide a full report on this session in the coming weeks; in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for some amazing video footage of Tamsin and the coaches in action being released shortly…

Speaking of video, for anyone who missed our recent Rhinos TV clip filmed when Roses player Natalie Haythornthwaite ran our Doncaster hub one Friday evening, here it is again https://youtu.be/NuWldJ27NCY It was great to see similar footage appearing on our local BBC and ITV news channels too, helping to spread the good word on our nation’s fastest growing female sport. Nat was always going to have an impact on our younger players and we’re thrilled to say how participation at this Hub and others in the region have increased since her visiting Yorkshire.

Elsewhere, I am delighted to welcome Emily Perry to Leeds Rhinos Netball as our first formal head pathway coach. Emily comes with an envious track record and will be a great addition to our team. A big thanks also to Francine Hall for her recent interim role as our pathway coach prior to Emily’s arrival. Francine’s experience has been vital to our smooth transition from Yorkshire and she helped us enormously with coaching during the initial days of our programme.

I am also delighted to welcome Diane Guy and Lee Davis into their roles as Hub coaches for Wakefield and Leeds respectively, and extremely pleased that Jo Hodgkiss has taken on a new role leading our U19/17s Academy. You’ll find our list of coaches and their credentials on our website here. It gives you an idea of the range, depth and breadth of the coaching team we have in place, which is brilliant in itself and of huge benefit to our athletes.

Whilst we formally announced our Academy and Elite Squads this month – here’s the media release, in case you missed it – in reality, our athletes have been training hard since September in preparation for this season’s fixtures. We’ll be announcing our U19 NPL competition squad over the coming days so watch this space! You will, of course, be kept up to speed on all of our fixtures, particularly the home games, where we encourage spectators to come and cheer us on!

We’ve also been busy promoting Hubs to engage with athletes across a wider range of locations, and the numbers at each continue in the right direction – upward! We’ve had a growing interest in our Mini Netball classes too, which is fabulous since it introduces girls into the game during primary school. We have spaces available at both our Hubs and our Minis classes, with some offering a free introductory taster session; you’ll find more information on all of our classes on our Hubs and Minis pages.

Next week’s review meeting with England Netball on 3 December is an exciting prospect for us all, to ensure we are making progress with our performance pathway delivery. This includes a visit from the former England U19 coach and current head of England’s performance pathway, who will be observing Emily as she coaches an U19 Elite session, as well as discussing our programme in full. We’re proud of all we’re doing to make our game accessible to more young people and the feedback we have received to date on the programme has been nothing but positive. We’re confident on more of the same if we stay focused, determined and hard-working; and thanks to all of you, our followers, for the support you’re giving us on our journey together  – it means a lot.

Anna Carter

Director of Leeds Rhinos Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball – October News

We’ve been a little quiet posting to our news page lately. Rest assured, it has been anything but quiet in the background! Trials, trips away, and some brand-new venues launching hubs and classes this term – all in the space of a few weeks! What a busy and massively exciting time for us. And…there’s a very special netballer joining us for some of our half-term classes, too… (One guess who it is!)

Starting with trials, though,  and I have to say how completely blown away I felt this year. Some of the talent the selectors and I were privy to was remarkable; so much so, we’re pleased to have taken many more athletes onto our Elite and Academy programmes this season than originally planned (final squads will be posted on our website soon) – it’s great for the athletes and great for our sport. Our programme is designed not only to assist athletes with their netball but to improve overall fitness, strength and conditioning, giving them opportunities way beyond our game alone. With Leeds Rhinos Netball now responsible for delivering the pathway for Yorkshire, we are confident in helping those prepared to put in the hard yards now to progress through to top-level netball.  Whilst a handful of our U19 and U17 trialists were unlucky not to progress through from final screening, each has been provided with formal feedback they can use to re-assess their game and make improvements for club or next year’s trials with Rhinos.

Onto our Hub programme next, where we had big plans this year to expand further across Yorkshire to offer even more U15/U13 athletes access to high-quality netball training on a weekly basis. Due to popularity and it’s being something of a flagship, the Leeds Hub is trial-based and it was amazing to see almost everyone in our initial round successful in gaining a place. Athletes can still try out so if you’re interested, contact info@leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk to arrange your trial session. Bishop Burton, another long-established Hub, started as it left off last term – very busy!! – and our three new Hubs in Bradford, Doncaster and Wakefield are all off to a flying start with numbers growing weekly. You can sign up to these four Hubs at any time with places currently available at each one. Our Hayfield School (Doncaster) Hub is offering two FREE taster sessions for all new players and you will not want to miss this Friday’s session, 19th October, as we have a very special guest coach, England Roses and international league player, Natalie Haythornthwaite! It’s her first in a number of Rhinos sessions this Autumn and will be an absolute cracker with Nat on the court! There’s no need to book ahead of Friday’s session, just come along.  See venue details and times for all of our Hubs, including Doncaster, online here

Mini Netball has also recommenced and kicked off early September with a brand-new class at Woodhouse Grove School. We’ve had some great feedback from our coach and our players to say this has been lots of fun and we already have people asking to sign up for block 2 which starts after the half-term break! Our regular sessions at Beckett are also up and running again, where we have restructured our age groupings this term to accommodate even more players. If you’re unsure whether Mini Netball will suit your child, our classes are aimed at young people yet to experience netball in primary school, or those who have and simply want to play more in a fun and inclusive environment. Take a look at our website for more details; better still, come along for a taster session before signing up and see how much fun it can be!

Speaking of half-term, we’ve some amazing options at both ends of the netball scale. First, our Fun Camp for our 8-14year olds who want to spend their break from school on court (and who would blame them?!). What’s extra special this time is having the Roses’ Haythornthwaite on hand at Wednesday’s session to inspire our players with her skills and stories from playing netball the world-over. Book for four days to get the most out of the camp AND gain a great deal! Sessions run from 10am-3pm and all your child needs is a packed lunch, drinks and runners. Too easy! Come Friday, it’s no rest for Natalie as she runs our Masterclass for those who are completely netball-focused. 13-16year olds already playing netball at club level and looking for a day’s valuable training would do great to book on – and do so now as spaces are filling fast! We’ve also two other day camp options the following week at Gateways – one a Fun Camp, the second for Minis. In short, we have netball for all abilities and ages this half-term!

Back at HQ, it’s been extremely busy for Rhinos Rugby too, with the Foundation scooping a prestigious award at the Rugby League’s annual ‘Man of Steel’ event recently and the women’s team competing in the first ever Grand Final. It’s great to see those in our wider family achieving major milestones and we continue to feel super proud to stand beside them as Rhinos.

I could speak at length about my recent trip to Australia with Leeds Athletic Netball Club – perhaps its best saved for its own update another time! What I will mention here is the positivity surrounding netball in Oz. The community engagement from schools and clubs, plus the support they receive at games whether they’re grassroots or performance, is really impressive. No wonder many of our own players – including the likes of Natalie – aspire to play down under. The best place to start your journey is at home, of course. So, if you’re already playing then well done to you because you’re on your way. For those still to pick up a netball for the very first time, why not do so this half-term at one of our sessions and see how much fun it can be? You’ll find everything you need to know regarding our holiday classes online here!

Anna Carter

Director of Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball – Summer News


What a cracking summer we’re having at Leeds Rhinos Netball! We couldn’t be more pleased with how everything is panning out – camp participation is on the rise, we have current athletes on the Leeds Athletic tour ‘down under’, and then there’s that small matter of our being awarded the Performance Pathway for Yorkshire… Plenty to celebrate!


Speaking of the Pathway, the sign up for forthcoming trials on September 8/9 has been phenomenal. Bookings have been open for a week and already, we have around 200 athletes keen to join the Rhinos family to continue their netball journey. There have been many questions from our community in terms of days/times for the Academy and Hubs moving forward; please bear with us whilst the finer details are set in stone and in the meantime, do read through our FAQs since many answers to your queries can be found therein. NOTE THIS NOW INCLUDES TIMES FOR EACH AGE GROUP TRIAL!


Our recent 4-day Summer Fun Camp at Gateways was a huge success, with Tuesday the clear winner when we hosted close to 60 aspiring netballers for the day. As well as picking up game skills, our campers also benefit from the many social skills which sport can offer, from working as a team to following instructions and much more. Many of our campers told us how eager they were to continue with netball after the summer break which speaks much for the programme and our top-level coaches, who are paramount to our running a successful camp. Hats off to all who came along to assist or to play.


We’re now mid-way through the summer break, and there’s still so much more to look forward to with not one but TWO of our camps remaining! First, our 4-day Boot Camp and Fun Camps at Woodhouse Grove School, running 20-23 August. There are still a few residential places available and more again for day campers. Either option is perfect for game preparation for the season ahead; Boot Camp, in particular, is recommended for those planning to try out for our U15 or U13 Academies this September – and with top performing coaches like Jan Helmsley, Rachel and Jess Shaw, Paul Harper and our very own Anna Carter, it will prove a boost to any player’s development. Full details and booking forms are on our website – note that bookings will close mid next week so, if you’re keen, get signed up quickly! http://www.leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk/events/summercamps/


At the younger end, our Minis camp at Gateways school on August 28-29 also has availability. Aimed at 6-10 year olds it’s perfect for whether your child is continuing with netball or playing the game for the first time. Information and your booking form can be found here http://www.leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk/events/netball-minis-camp-gateways/


We’ll have lots more to share with you as the month continues, including stories from the LANC tour to Australia which several of us were lucky enough to be a part of!


Leeds Rhinos Netball

Information Evening and Yorkshire Pathway

It was a full Lewis Jones Suite at the iconic Emerald Stadium in Headingley on Tuesday evening, as Leeds Rhinos Netball presented their vision for the 2018/19 season at the club’s Information Evening.

People from within the netball community and beyond turned out to hear how next year’s programme delivery will look in practice, since the club having been given the nod from England Netball to deliver the sport’s performance pathway for Yorkshire.

Led by Rhinos Foundation Trustee, Mariana Pexton – who kicked off proceedings with a now infamous video clip of the England Roses’ winning Commonwealth Gold this year – several key stakeholders from within the Rhinos family had the opportunity to explain what this means for netball within the Yorkshire region and also for the club. CEO for Leeds Rhinos, Gary Hetherington, spoke of the club’s history and long-standing objective for increased community participation, a goal it clearly shares with the latest addition to the organization. Another video followed, presented by the Head of Community for Leeds Rhinos Foundation, Gareth Cook, which showcased the fantastic work the Foundation delivers within the community.  Rhino’s first team player and current Ambassador for Leeds Rhinos Netball, Ashton Golding, was next up and spoke of everything it means to be a Rhino and, ultimately, the pride gained through wearing a Rhinos shirt.

Leeds Rhinos Director for Netball, Anna Carter, with assistance from Pexton, took her time to explain how the pathway will look in terms of the provision of performance netball, access points, and the participation structure moving forward. Whilst much of the detail is still being finalised, the dates for next season’s trials were amongst the items Leeds Rhinos Netball gave some clarity – those being 8&9 September 2018 – with further details to follow during the forthcoming days and weeks as to the full application process.

In the short-term, a series of Frequently Asked Questions has been posted on the Leeds Rhinos Netball website: http://www.leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk/frequently-asked-questions/ Athletes, parents and teachers are also encouraged to sign up for news updates at http://www.leedsrhinosnetball.co.uk/enewsletter/ and to follow Leeds Rhinos Netball on Facebook and Twitter.


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