It has been announced that three netballers from Perth have been selected to represent Scotland in the prestigious under-17 European Netball Championships this March, in Huddersfield, England. Nina Mowatt, Cerys Cairns and Imogen McMichael will play as part of Scotland’s under 17 squad for netball.
Chatting to Nina, who has been selected as captain of the squad, she tells me that she feels both excited and honoured. “I’ve been working on a lot of strength and conditioning at the gym in the run-up to the big game, and the Academy of Sport and Wellbeing have been really supportive of me in the past 18 months.”
As the captain of the team, Nina is well aware of the importance of fostering strong relationships. “We’ve participated in a lot of team bonding activities: it is so important to have that bond with your fellow team players.”
“I volunteer as an assistant coach for the P&K under-13’s, and I absolutely love coaching the girls – they’re so enthusiastic and it feels great to give something back after all the years of being coached myself to get me where I am.”
Playing in the European Netball Championships is the culmination of years of hard work and persistence.You may remember Cerys from our past article on her great achievements within netball - this is yet another under her belt. “Representing Scotland again will be another amazing experience I will remember forever”, she tells me. “I’m practicing my shooting daily so I can achieve the goals I have set myself.”
For Imogen too, this is an opportunity that she described to me as a mixture of exciting – and a bit nerve-wracking too! “Finding out I was on the long squad of 32 netballers was really incredible, and it was a tense wait to eventually hearing that once this was narrowed down, I had been picked for the short squad – down to the final 12.”
The girls were selected for the short squad following an intensive weekend of fitness testing and match play. Playing in the European Netball Championships is the culmination of years of hard work and persistence. “I’ve been playing netball since I was 10”, she tells me. “All of my family are all so excited to come down to Huddersfield to watch the match!”
Indeed, all of the girls’ families are incredibly supportive. “Myself and our family are so proud”, Cerys’ mum, Nicola tells me. “Cerys has worked hard, is committed to her training and always gives 100%.”
All three girls stick to a rigorous training routine, balancing school-work with regularly making trips down to Glasgow where some larger netball teams are based, to compete and train. It’s just further testament to their devotion to the sport.
“Yes”, Nina’s mum, Nicky agrees. “They’ve been dreaming about a moment like this from a young age. The girls’ focus and hard work is definitely paying off.”
We’re really excited to continue watching their progress – and who knows, perhaps we’ll be seeing them in the future in the senior representative netball team for Scotland, the Scottish Thistles. Good luck from all of Team Small City!
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