Netball is the major sport for the Lent Term. Most girls in Years 9 and 10 play the sport, and we have up to 8 teams competing from these year groups.
Netball continues to be an extremely popular and successful sport in the senior years, where we have five squads participating. We have a large sports hall where our 1st team matches take place and 6 outdoor courts, three of which have been recently resurfaced, with the other three due to be resurfaced at Easter 2024.
Fixtures are held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Block fixtures involving up to 12 teams ensure that many girls have the opportunity to represent the School at a wide range of levels. All our players access our specialist coaches across all levels from 1st to D teams. This ensures a good standard of netball takes place throughout all the teams and that movement between the teams is fluid. This gives the players a good incentive to work hard and show a great attitude to progress. The matches are played in a highly competitive manner with a large emphasis on a good standard of sport and a good standard of sportsmanship.
We play an extensive range of opponents: Framlingham College, Royal Hospital School, Norwich School, Wymondham College, St Josephs, Wisbech and Ipswich School. We also travel to Oundle, Uppingham and Brentwood School for U19 and U15 tournaments. At these tournaments, we compete against many different schools that we do not meet within our schedule of fixtures, so the girls experience lots of different styles of play. We compete across all three age groups in the Norfolk Schools’ competition, U14, U16 and U19 and have had many teams represent at the East Schools’ tournament. Junior B and C teams play local schools as well as block fixtures. We also have players representing local clubs at regional level and involved in the netball pathways. We also host the U13 and U12 county cup with over 20 schools competing in each age group.
Each Netball team has its own member of staff as a coach and mentor throughout the entire season. We have exceptional staff for Netball at Gresham’s including a former international, specialist coaches and committed academic staff, alongside several qualified umpires. The coaching is led by our Director of Netball, Mrs Helene Buckingham, who has played and coached internationally. Helene has led the coaching at the School for 20 years and was newly appointed in the Director of Netball role in January 2021. The netball programme includes one-to-one sessions, positional specialist sessions and squad sessions all year round. Our fantastic Performance Gym and newly appointed Strength and Conditioning Coach give the girls access to expert advice to develop the fitness side of their game.
Barbados has been a popular choice for touring and has provided our top players with a challenging level of Netball, a once in a lifetime chance to experience a different sporting culture. Tourists played at the National Stadium in Barbados, and in 2011 were the winners of a tightly fought match against Barbados U16 side. Our most recent tour was to Sri Lanka in February 2019; this was an exceptional cultural experience, with excellent netball matches. To find out more information please contact Helene Buckingham [email protected]
“The support and the quality of coaching at Gresham’s gave me the confidence to continue to progress in my netball career. The team at Gresham’s were key to my development as a player. In particular, Mrs Buckingham has helped me achieve my aspiration of playing at club regional/national league level as well as Saracens Mavericks U21s. They contributed to my journey a huge amount and I’d not be where I am today without the time and opportunities given there.”