Dubai’s Repton School are set to welcome 29 senior girls teams to campus when they host this year’s DASSA Senior Netball tournament.
The school netball season runs from January to April with most schools training from September onwards. This weekend’s tournament is the highlight of the season for U16 and U18 teams and it’s set to be DASSA’s biggest senior netball event in recent history.
The matches will be played over seven courts at Repton School, allowing both age groups to compete alongside one another at the same venue. DESC’s Laura Mitchell – who moved to Dubai from Sheffield, UK in 2012 – is very much looking forward to the event and she believes there are many positives to come out of a tournament like this weekend's.
“It will be an action-packed day with a great atmosphere. Positives include the pride of representing your school, working in a team with others who you would not normally work with and the chance to set a physical challenge for yourself.”
As Saturday is the senior leg of the DASSA netball competition, many of the girls who are taking part will be nearing the end of their school netball careers.
Mitchell said: “Many of the girls will leave Dubai this year to go onto universities, they will be competing for places in their university teams and some will play to a high club level in the UK. Many of the girls in U18 already play in the Dubai netball league and hold their own against experienced adult sides so that will have prepared them very well for this.”
Gulf Youth Sport recently visited DESC to document the impressive football development programme which is run as part of the school curriculum with coach Paul Barratt.
The sport certainly doesn’t stop at football and in fact DESC have an impressive 16 netball teams which all play in the DASSA league as well as a development netball club.
“We have a specialist netball programme run by our full-time coach Louise Vickery (ex-England Netball) which is offered to students who show talent and potential to play at a high level. The programme is in its first year and currently involves students from Years 7-9,” she said.
Mitchell continued: “The students are put through two intense coaching sessions per week during curriculum time in addition to the after-school netball training they receive in their squad.”
The first matches of an action packed morning are due to get underway at 8.30am, with the winners set to be crowned at 1.00pm.