Semester 1 2021/2022: Successes
To kick off semester 1 at Saints Netball, we ran our first in person preseason since 2019 for our performance players. Our preseason focused on getting our girls physically and mentally prepared to get back on court ahead of a busy season. We ran strength and conditioning sessions, technical and skill-focused sessions, and even a beach workout all with the aim of getting match fit for our entrance into the 2021/22 BUCS season. To wind down after a tough week, the girls ran some socials where they could all catch up and relax before the beginning of orientation week!
Orientation week was a busy one here at Saints Netball. Our committee members attended sports fayre where we attracted many sign-ups for our Give it A Go sessions. We had 64 sign-ups in total. We also hosted an online welcome for those who couldn’t make the in person GIAG to answer any questions. Our trials were very popular this year with 70 returning club members trialling at the club session and 58 players signed up to the freshers session. Following from those two sessions, we had a total of 98 call backs for our final trials where we selected a total of 83 players to make up our performance squad, competitive teams and training partners. By the end of orientation week, we were ready to begin our training in week 1 of teaching.
Our recreational programme has been a huge success, thanks to our Vice President, Sophia Hudson, who has created a welcoming and encouraging atmosphere for our players to learn, play and enhance their netball skills. We had a total of 180 sign-ups for our recreational programme and now have 100 full-paying members to our programme. These sessions occur every Wednesday with every third week focusing on match play and the others on coaching. We couldn’t have run our recreational programme without our wonderful volunteer coaches who have dedicated their time to delivering sessions to the players. As such we also could not have done this without our recreational members, so a huge thank you to all that have signed up and we hope that you have had a fantastic first semester at Saints Netball.
Our workforce development has been hugely successful this year with more to look forward to in Semester 2. This term we have 7 of our players pass their level 1 coaching qualification. Huge congratulations to Sophia Hudson, Jacqui Kelly, Cassie Smillie, Harriet White, Cara Philipson, Amelia Roberts and Charlotte Lane. Another huge congratulations to Chloe Squire who has successfully passed her level 2 coaching qualification. They are a huge asset to the club, and we are super proud of their achievements. Through this success, we now have a total of 28 active level 1 qualified coaches contributing to either our competitive, recreational or local schools programme. Another massive thank you goes to our coaches, especially this year, as the club could not have run without your help throughout the semester. We appreciate all the time you have dedicated to your fellow members, and we hope it has been an enjoyable experience for you all!
Our fundraising efforts this year have been a huge success thanks to our fundraising officer, Emma Rutherford. On the 14th of November, we ran our first mixed league tournament since 2019 which was an enormous success to say the least. We had 9 teams participate with around 90 players involved. In total, we raised £400 for our charity of the year Fife Rape and Sexual Assault Charity (FRASAC). A big thank you to all of those who participated and congratulations to the winning team; we hope you enjoyed your Mozza! Alongside the fundraising towards our chosen charity, we also raised £90 for Movember through hosting a bake sale at mixed league and raising money at our Christmas tournament. Our Chillys bottles continue to raise funds for the club which we can contribute towards our workforce development.
We ran our first ever Alumni panel this year, thanks to our alumni officer, Amy Roberts, for organising. We hosted 3 alumni from a range of employers which gave us all an insight to life after university and how we can use what we have learnt at Saints netball in our future career ventures. Massive thank you to the alumni who attended and gave us some very useful career and life advice.
Our socials returned with a bang this semester with the Rugby Varsity kicking us off, one to remember for all! We hosted our annual Saints or Sinners social, Tulsi meal with a special pyjama theme, and our Christmas meal at Mitchells which was a lovely finish to a busy term. Huge shoutout to our social reps, Eva Grant and Sarah Millar, for bringing the club together and who reminded us of what we had been missing in the last two years.
Looking ahead to semester 2, we have many things to look forward too. We have 7 trainee umpires undertaking their assessment. A further 5 coaches undertaking their level 2 coaching qualifications. We will run our second mixed league tournament in April, with hopefully some sunshine and the opportunity for outdoor netball again. Our social reps have many exciting things planned for our final socials of the year. Alumni tournament will run in March where we will welcome back our Saints Netball alumni. We will begin a brand-new junior saints programme, with the help of the Saints Sport Development Team. Our AGM is coming up where will introduce a whole new committee. Sadly, we will be saying goodbye to many of our players who have been with us over the past four years however we hope they make the most of their last semester with Saints Netball. There is LOTS to look forward to as we enter 2022 and we can’t wait to see you all again soon!!