Netting Overseas Lessons
Netball Overseas Training Exposure
Bukit Jalil International Under 16 Net Challenge
Contributions by Hannah Gan Jia En, Megan Low Wen Qi, Nur Syarah Syazwina Salleh, Sofie Abdullah and Tisha Jeffrey Lee
All Netball, Secondary 1
Ten Secondary 1 netballers set off from 1 Champions Way to Bukit Jalil Sports School in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 1 November for the 3rd BJSS International Under 16 Net Challenge. Having to play shortly after the long bus ride up to BJSS gave us little time to adapt to the new playing environment. We had six matches lined up for us over three days in a mini competition, from 1 to 3 November, organised by our hosts. There were five other participating teams: Four Malaysian sports schools and a Thai team.
We played against Kuala Lumpur Sports School and Thailand’s Trianudomsuksanomklao Samutprakan School on the first day. Both were very challenging teams to play against as they were one age-group up from us, but it was good exposure for our team. We had to learn quickly from each game and the team was able to win one game in our subsequent three.
It was great experience playing against overseas teams because they were physically bigger than us and brought different strategies to the court, forcing us to think quickly on our feet to get around them. We learnt that perseverance and staying strong mentally is very important whether win or lose. Being able to play with older and stronger players also helped prepare us for the 2019 Sneakers Netball Challenge on 9 November.
Melbourne Overseas Training
By Wilone Wong Khee Fhee (Secondary 2) and Ho Sue-Ann (Secondary 3)
Eighteen Secondary 2 and 3 Netball Academy student-athletes flew to Melbourne, Australia, for a seven-day training stint from 8 to 15 November 2019. Through this trip, we gained many new experiences from training with the locals. Being able to train with the physically taller and stronger Australian players pushed us to our limits which brought out our strengths.
Utilising our strengths, such as our speed and agility, we learnt many new strategic set-ups to counter our opponents on court. We also had the opportunity to watch and learn how a top netball club, Collingwood Magpies, trains at the elite level. This revealed to us a new perspective about our sport – practising and refining basic skills such as ball handling, passing and landing is still very important even at the professional level. We learnt that having strong fundamentals is extremely important because without it, no matter how much we train, we will not be able to maximise our potential.
During the trip, we had the opportunity to experience cross-training in other sports with transferrable skills to netball, like boxing for agility and hot pilates for endurance.
Good character is important in sport and Netball Academy coaches Ms Lindsay Filiata, Miss Jocelyn Tan and General Manager Mdm Lee Min Li who were in Melbourne with us reminded us repeatedly on our “above and below the line” behavior, especially off-court. “Above behavior” being ownership, responsibility and accountability was heavily emphasised to develop us as individuals, because no matter how good we are in netball, without the correct attitude and behaviour towards simple things around us we will not achieve much in life.
This trip was an extremely fruitful one and brought us closer together as a team. Going through the same experiences and lessons, both skillwise and in character development, strengthened our bonds. We’re excited to apply what we’ve learnt at the upcoming International Youth Netball Challenge organised by Singapore Sports School. Many teams from netball powerhouses like Australia and South Africa will be participating which is a great opportunity to test our new set plays.