HAS Greater Bank Netballers Up Against State’s Best in Regional Tournament
6th May 2021
By Bianca Smith
It was a weekend of experience and development for the Hunter Academy of Sport Greater Bank Netball Squad and Umpires at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, where we saw 26 netballers, 7 umpires and 11 coaches representing the host Academy.
The HAS Division 1 and Division 2 teams matched their skills against the best of the state’s up and coming talent. The focus of the netball competition differs from others within the Academy Games format, as it concentrates on player and umpire development in an elite sporting environment, opposed to on competition ladders.
Head Coach of Division 1 team, Kel Huggins was impressed both on and off the court over the weekend, particularly with the sportsmanship amongst the whole squad.
“It was great to see the girls back on court in such a competitive environment. The group had been training hard in the lead up to the games, developing strong connections both on and off the court. I think they were as excited as we were as coaches to see them pull it all together.”
“Our youngest squad members were particularly impressive throughout their first Academy Games Tournament, showcasing exceptional growth across the weekend.”
Academy Games is not just an opportunity for the Netballers to develop their skills on the court, but also for the Coaches to be mentored, participate in discussions, and develop their coaching skills.
“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 coaching skills.”
The HAS Division 1 team won eight of their ten games with a few nail-biting matches and narrow wins against close rivals Central Coast Academy and Sydney Academy setting the benchmark for expectations at Academy Challenge in Orange later this year.
Division 2 had a terrific weekend, winning six of their eight games with some notable performances against strong metro teams.
Following the tournament two Merit Teams are selected, big congratulations to Charlee Belcher (Division 1) and Paulini-Fi Davies (Division 2) on their MVP selections. A further congratulations to all our umpires on gaining new National Badges.
Kimberley Clement was awarded her National B, and Emily Milton received her National C Badges.