Athlete Spotlight – Brand Ambassador Niala

Here at Elite, we’re all about empowering and improving the confidence of the players on and off the court. This year, for the first time, we have player Brand Ambassadors at Elite Netball Academy.

Our Ambassadors will help raise awareness of Elite Netball Academy through their own stories and achievements within the game and amongst their peer group. Being an ambassador will give players additional skills off the court and give them a taste of what it’s like having additional responsibility within a team. We hope this programme helps develop players and creates responsible leaders who represent everything Elite is passionate about.

Our ambassadors nominated themselves to be selected and then a group of Elite Netball Academy coaches got together to pick an ambassador for each High-Performance Centre class. In this blog, we meet defender and North East U15 Ambassador Niala.

Name: Niala

Age: 12

School/Club: Rye Hills Academy, Oaksway and North Durham County

Time playing netball: Two and a half years

Favourite netball players: Funmi Fadoju and Shaquanda Greene-Noel

Aspirations in netball: To have a career in netball and wear the red dress!

Pre-match food of choice: – I love making overnight oats the day before a big match! 

Training with Elite Netball Academy: Since October 2022

What keeps you motivated: New experiences and opportunities within the sport

Why did you want to be a Brand Ambassador?

I really want to make a career in netball and be the best I can be, Elite has already helped me to improve my own skills and work towards my goals. So I wanted to be able to tell other girls like me all about Elite.

What are you most looking forward to doing in your role as an Elite Brand Ambassador?

I am looking forward to connecting with new people, sharing my experiences and using this opportunity to grow my confidence on and off the court.

How long have you been training with Elite?

I was lucky enough to be in the first-ever North East performance academy session in October 2022!

meet elite netball athlete niala

What do you enjoy about training with Elite?

That they push us all to our full potential in every session and this is done for all girls regardless of the position they play. The sessions are full of fun and a variety of activities!

What are your favourite sessions at Elite?

I love the technical sessions where we work on the basics but at the same time, it’s advanced enough to challenge us and is at our level. I also love working as a team with the other girls at the academy.

Meet u13 Leeds brand ambassador Tallulah

Tell us about the friends you have made at Elite

I love that I have met girls that have the same interests as me, that we push each other to do better and progress and laugh with each other especially when we get things wrong! I love the competitive spirit (nothing better than beating your friends!)

What would you say to anyone considering joining Elite?

I would 100% recommend it to anyone who loves the sport and wants to develop themselves individually as a player, have fun and meet new friends! 

meet elite netball athlete niala

Aspirations in netball

To one day wear the “red dress”. It is my dream to have a career in netball and reach the very top playing for the Roses! 

What keeps you motivated

Every new opportunity and experience I grab helps me improve and get closer to my goals!

What’s it like getting training and support from Superleague players Natalie Metcalf, Nat Panagarry and Paige Reed?

Inspirational! It is amazing to not only meet my heroes but to also learn from them and hear about their journey to the top of the sport. They are so lovely and make time for us as a group and individually. 

To enquire about how Elite Netball Academy could progress your netball training, please fill out the contact form below a member of the Elite team will be in touch:

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Find out how IZZY trained with Elite Netball Academy to get into the Leeds Rhinos Netball hub. Read Izzy’s story here.

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