Our NEW Elite Netball Academy league kicked off recently at Lightcliffe Academy, Halifax, with six very excited u12s teams competing in the first round of our friendly Autumn tournament.

Teams from Leeds Athletic Netball Club, Birkinshaw Bells and Netbombs played in the league’s inaugural three matches with Bells taking on the Leopards, Netbombs facing the Bears and Lions playing the Flamingos. It was great to see an excellent standard of netball on display throughout each game played, with lots of goals and plenty of skills on show too – clearly, the recent training happening at each of these clubs paying off on the court. 

The feedback received from players and parents after week one was extremely positive, everyone very happy to see netball matchplay back in their diaries. We were extremely pleased to welcome a further two teams by our second week – another from Birkinshaw Bells and one from Team Random – both also relishing the opportunity to play. 

The league’s brainchild, Elite coach Mark Boocock, had this to say on the event’s first round:“It was an incredible afternoon. It’s just so good seeing these players have something to work for again and apply the skills many are learning week in, week out at club or their Elite training sessions. It’s really important to keep this age group engaged, as it’s when many have just begun to develop that real passion for the sport. 

“Obviously, it’s difficult at the minute for some to facilitate this type of event but after our summer of camps and ongoing classes, we have the safety part down pat now and always use England Netball’s roadmap for guidance.”

Based on the league’s early success, ENA has since created two more for u14s and u16s where LANC, Birkinshaw Bells and Rothwell have two teams apiece in the u14s, and the same again in the u16s alongside East Riding Diamonds and Grangetown who make a total of eight.

Any clubs who are keen to enter a team into one of the age categories are invited to contact info@elitenetballacademy.co.uk for information.