Academy Success for Sedbergh Sportswomen

Three Sixth Form pupils at Sedbergh School have recently enjoyed academy selection in netball and cricket, as we start to see a return to competitive sport.

Emily (Year 13), who is part of the Manchester Thunder Under 19 Pathway squad in netball, with Old Sedberghian Chess Cooke, has recently been called up to the Under 21 Pathway squad. Understandably, there has not been a lot of matches in the last 12 months but back in February of this year, Emily joined the U21s for her first session.

“The sessions are intense, and the rest of the girls are a few years older than me, so have that bit more experience,” explained Emily, who has been encouraged by the coaching staff at Sedbergh. “Miss Leach & Miss Magee have both been really helpful and supportive over the last year. Miss Magee plays the same position [Goal Attack] as me, so the one-on-one sessions with her are relatable. She is a very good coach,” said Emily.

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Brianna (Year 13) has been working tirelessly with Mr Speight, Head of Cricket, throughout her time here at Sedbergh. Some footage of Brianna, captured and used by Mr Speight as part of his analysis work, was sent over to Lancashire Thunder Academy and they invited her to take part in training. Over Easter, Brianna impressed the coaches and was then selected to be a part of the Academy.

Having spent most of last year at home in Bermuda, Brianna managed to keep up her training with the help of Mr Speight and another Bermudian pupil, Logan (Year 13). “It has been really hard missing a whole term of cricket, which is normally the term where I develop the most,” said Brianna. “Mr Speight has been really good in helping me get back on track, following almost over a year off cricket.”

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Harriet (Year 12) only joined Sedbergh in September 2020 but has already made a big impression both on and off the cricket field. Harriet has been named in the Northern Diamonds’ Academy squad for the upcoming season. Players between the ages of 15 to 19, predominantly from the Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland regions, make up the 15-player squad, which was formed following observation sessions and match practice scenarios last year. Initially starting with 37 players, the squad was reduced to 23 and then, following some outdoor observations, the final 15 were selected.

Alongside Brianna, Mr Speight has been supporting Harriet throughout the year and sharing his ideas and thoughts from his own experiences. “Because he [Mr Speight] has been through the professional system, he understands how to manage your way through academy cricket,” Harriet explained.

So far this term, both Brianna and Harriet have featured in the School’s 2nd XI Cricket team, as well as playing in the Girls’ Cricket team. “He [Mr Speight] just wants us to get as much experience and play as many matches as possible,” said Brianna. “He doesn’t matter that we are girls,” Harriet added. “He will put us in the team and we train with the boys as well.”


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