Published on: Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Over half term, our U12 and U14 netball teams embarked on an unforgettable netball tour, interspersed with the enchantment of Disneyland Paris. They returned victorious, with the U12s crowned champions, following a series of masterclasses and support that embodied true team spirit.

Travelling by coach, our pupils headed just outside of Paris for a busy few days. An early start led to a sleepy few hours as they travelled to Dover to catch the ferry. On arrival at Calais, they were ahead of schedule, meaning there was a spare hour to visit the Disney village and start the trip off with Disney music and a chance to get an idea of all the things on offer to the pupils throughout the trip. The next stop was the accommodation and dinner. An early night was needed after a long day of travel.

The first full day began at Val D’Europe, a large shopping centre on the outskirts of Paris. It was here we visited the Sea Life aquarium and got up close and personal in the ‘penguin pods’ and saw the turtles being fed. It was then time for some shopping and lunch before heading to the netball courts for a busy afternoon of coaching masterclasses. The Elite Netball Academy ran six masterclasses covering all things netball, including shooting, attacking, defending, ball handling, a skills zone and a question and answer session with an England international and Welsh international. The coaches commented on how hard the King’s pupils worked and their coachability throughout the sessions. The international players were also impressed with the group’s questions and engagement. After a busy day, the group finished with some fun games at the accommodation and the big reveal of the brand-new King’s College Prep netball dresses ready for the tournament.

The following day was an early start, heading to ‘The Chelles’ netball venue for the tournament. With over 40 teams competing who have travelled across the channel from all over the UK, there was a busy day ahead. King’s entered two U14 teams, Team Red and Team Black and one U12 team, Team Navy. The U14’s competed in pool matches in the morning and both progressed as winners of their pools into the showdown cup finals. The coaches were very impressed with the teamwork and skill on show as the goals kept coming. Both teams won their next matches in the showdown cup taking them into the quarter-finals. Sadly, for both teams, their winning streak came to an end against tough competition. However, there was still a chance to play for 5th place overall in the remaining playoffs. The next game Team Red and Team Black faced each other. This game was played in great spirits with all players showing support for their opposition and all doing so with big smiles on their faces. Team Red progressed onto the next game and finished 6th overall and Team Black finishing 8th. Team Black narrowly missed out with their final match going to golden goal with a large crowd on the edge of their seats! A valiant effort from both teams placing 6th and 8th out of 27 U14 teams.

The U12’s began their tournament slightly later in the day, which gave them a chance to pick up a few pointers from watching and supporting the U14’s. The U12’s made a good start but had some challenging matches in their pool, narrowly missing out on two occasions. However, they soon found their rhythm, winning both the quarter-final and the semi-final. There was just one match to go… the final! With all of the U14’s cheering on Team Navy, it was their chance to show the opposition what they could do after previously losing to them in the early stages. At half-time, it was 3-3, and they only had seven minutes to get ahead. It was a nail-biting match. Vital interceptions and accurate shooting increased the score-line with King’s winning 9-7 and being crowned the U12 champions. It was wonderful to see how much it meant to the team with lots of happy tears and dancing to celebrate. The U14’s played a pivotal role in supporting the U12’s and shared their excitement throughout.

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