Busy weekend for youth Netball hosting visiting UK school teams
Gibraltar netball had a busy weekend with matches played across the Tercentenary Sports Hall and MUGA on both Saturday and Sunday as they hosted visiting UK school teams to Rock.
The association, who has been known in recent years to attract over 50 school teams a year and has sought support for a School Rocks tournament, saw both Ballyclare and Gowtown school teams playing against their youth teams this weekend.
Both UK schools had arrived on the Rock coinciding with the school midterms, this seeing the Gibraltar youth teams playing at the start of their own school midterm break whilst most youth leagues across all sports have paused for the break.
With Gibraltar now looking towards the 2025 Netball Youth World Championships, the continued arrival of school teams to the Rock continues to provide much needed opportunities for local players to gain additional experience, whilst at the same time making their bid for selection.
Under the guidance of national team coaches and senior players the youth players had a chance to try out different blends and mixes of formations which saw a varied result. On Saturday the two local selections were to find themselves trailing against Ballyclare before lifting their games in the latter part of the matches to come within a handful of points of make a comeback in one of the matches, whilst winning in the other.
Gibraltar Netball was also to see a welcomed unofficial presence of newly elected Minister for Sport Leslie Bruzon, who attended the matches in his personal capacity. His presence provided the association with an opportunity for him to see how the association continues to attract schools to Gibraltar, playing an important role in developing the potentials of Gibraltar having a sports tourism sector.
With both Netball and hockey benefitting from recent arrivals, with rugby among the other sports that has seen UK school teams using Gibraltar this weekend’s visits highlighted the benefits of a continued close link with UK schools these sports have developed in recent years and which continues to attract teams to the Rock.