Hannah & Christina Team Bath Feature

Hannah Blackman & Christina Shaw

Netball selection success - University of Exeter Netball players feature in Wales and Team Bath age group squads

University of Exeter Sports Scholars Hannah Blackman and Christina Shaw have been named in the Team Bath U21 squad for the final Netball Performance League (NPL) tournament in Nottingham. High Performance Bursar Betsy Creak trialled successfully for the Wales Senior long squad, with Christina named in the Wales U21 squad.

This year, Team Bath U21 NPL squad enjoyed a successful year in the regular season, losing just 2 games and finishing the final weekend of the season in style with victories over Severn Stars (67-31) and Team Northumbria (71-35). This secured 3rd place in the table, missing out on 2nd due to goal difference and bringing home the bronze medal. Now preparing for the NPL tournament, which has an U17, U19 and U21 competition and involves teams from the Superleague franchises, home nations and other high performance programmes, Team Bath have finalised the final squads of 12 for each age group.

As well as University of Exeter Netball and Exeter Netball Club players Hannah Blackman and Christina Shaw being represented in the U21 competition, a number of athletes from the Exeter based Team Bath Academy have also been selected. In the U19s captain Hannah Barnes, Charlie Plumridge and Rachael Fee are all part of the Exeter based Academy with Hannah and Rachel also representing Exeter Netball Club Regional 1 side. Similarly Sophie Orchard, Sophie Ewin, Meg Connabeare, Rosie Bartlett and Isla May from the Exeter based academy are selected for the U17 side, with Sophie Orchard and Sophie Ewin having represented the Exeter Netball Club Regional 3 side this year.

Looking ahead to the upcoming NPL tournament Christina Shaw commented “I’m really excited to get back on court with the U21 Team Bath squad after such a successful season. Coming 3rd in the league we’re hoping to better that in Nottingham at the end of July”. Hannah Blackman added “I can’t wait to represent Team Bath at the tournament. It’s an amazing opportunity to play with such a talented group and compete against quality opposition”.

Welsh Netball held open trials for their senior squad on 24th June where they were looking to identify fresh talent for their long term goal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. University of Exeter PGCE student and High Performance Bursar Betsy Creak was one of the 12 new players named to join the senior long squad. A valuable member of the University of Exeter Netball 1st team Betsy was also selected earlier in the year for the English Universities South squad. Reflecting on her recent selection Betsy commented “I’m really looking forward to being part of the Welsh Senior long squad as of the upcoming season. It’s a really exciting opportunity for me to develop my own game and meet some amazing players along the way”.

Also part of a Welsh Netball Long squad is current University of Exeter Netball 1st team captain Christina Shaw who has been named in the U21 long squad ahead of preparations for Netball Europe in October. Christina will be hoping to make the final 12 for the tournament and also has a late trial for the Wales Seniors long squad.

The 2018 NPL Tournament will take place from the 26th to 29th July 2018 at the University of Nottingham. Team Bath U21s have been drawn against Loughborough Lightning, Manchester Thunder and Surrey Storm in Pool A and kick off their competition against Surrey Storm U21 on Thursday 26th July.

Netball is a performance sport at the University of Exeter with all netball performance athletes receiving support services as part of the Performance Programme. At the start of the academic year University of Exeter was named as one of the first two Team Bath Academies. The Team Bath Futures Programme includes both a hub and academy based at Exeter, which are part of the new Superleague Franchise Performance Pathway as directed by England Netball. Talented athletes aged U15 through to U21 are part of the Exeter hub and academy, providing Exeter based athletes, including University students, access to the Team Bath performance pathway and high quality coaching in Exeter. Head of Netball at University of Exeter Denise Elllis is also the Head Coach for the Exeter Academy with University of Exeter Netball Club 2nd team Salli Byrne supporting as an assistant coach.

Date: 11 July 2018

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