“Hi there, my name is Sarah Pretty and I am the Assistant Regional Academy Coach and will be temporarily Lead Regional Academy Coach until April. The Academy trains once a week as a squad for 3 hours at University of Gloucestershire’s Oxstalls campus. They take part in 1 hour of Strength and Conditioning training and 2 hours on the court learning and practicing technical and tactical skills. The players range from 14 – 17 years old and have true aspirations of becoming an Elite Performing Athlete. Its a tough group to get in and even tougher to stay in as selections and deselections are made continuously throughout the season. As a Regional Academy, we have a great history of catapulting players to the next rung up the ladder with many appearances in current RPA Academies and Team Bath NPL squads. I work full time as Hartpury College Netball Academy’s elite programme as Manager and Head Coach. I also coach and play Netball for Randwick Netball Club so it is a good job I am passionate about my sport and put a lot of my time in to it. When I do get free time, I travel everywhere and anywhere to satisfy my need for adventure and fun!”
The focus is on working within units and aerobic conditioning. At this stage there is a greater individualisation of fitness and technical training. The emphasis remains on training with competition used to test and refined skills. Athletes should be competing in appropriate club (regional leagues) and school competitions. Athletes may also be selected to play for a Franchise team competing in the new England Netball Foundational League, which will act as a platform for the Netball Performance League.
The recommended age group for the Regional Academy is U17 years old, however age range is flexible to cater for individual needs and maturation.