What a Wednesday we had this week at the amazing Bristol Grammar School, with the senior school staff and students. Team Mintridge had the pleasure of delivering a Bronze netball Programme with the fantastic Commonwealth gold medallist, Eboni Usoro-Brown.
With a full ay of netball planned ahead, Eboni started the morning with a quick introduction and then straight into a netball specific warm up, with the group of senior boys and girls. Some of the skills proved tricky but Eboni explained how at Team Bath and England they spend the beginning of each training session focussing on ball handling skills. It was quickly onto the specific skills and drills Eboni had planned for the group, which were focussing on attacking and defensive moment and denying space through court. It was so great to see all of the students getting stuck into the session and really working on the small changes Eboni was making to each of the individual and group skills.
Towards the end of the session the seniors stayed for group and individual photographs and some fun poses in the Mintridge Twitter frame. As a special token of our day with the students at Bristol Grammar School, each student walked away with a signed autograph card to add to their memories of the day.
After a short break (which included some fabulous homemade cakes), Eboni was back to it with the first of two junior school sessions. With the year 3 and 4 students up first, the girls got quickly into a fun warm up, that used ball handling and movement skills that the girls would need for later in the session. As well as this Eboni and the group had lots of fun playing ‘Rats and Rabbits’ where the girls needed to work hard to steal the tail of their partner. The fun didn’t end there though, with a bit of friendly competition Eboni incorporated a few fun passing relays to really get the girls working. As the games developed, the juniors began working on marking their opponents and beating the ‘gladiator’ using their movement skills. This was a great way to lead into the games that we had time for at the end of the session. After a session full of fun, activity and new skills the years 3 and 4 students posed for a group photograph with Eboni and the Mintridge photo props. Of course, we had to celebrate a great session with a big cheer and a big funny photo. Like all Programmes the students got to take home a signed autograph card, which I am sure will be treasured for a long time!
After a busy morning it was time for lunch, and Team Mintridge enjoyed a specially prepared lunch with the staff and students, before we got ready for an inspirational presentation by Eboni.
As Eboni began her presentation, the students were mesmerised by the clips of the England Netball team winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. As the excitement in the room began to build, the students were also in for a treat, as Eboni revealed the gold medal she had won and passed it around the room, for the students to feel and hold. It was no surprise that the students thought the medal was very heavy but amazing. We hope to see some of Bristol Grammar School’s students striving for one of those in the future, now they know what its like to hold one.
After the presentation the room asked lots of thought-provoking questions. Some of the best ones were:
What age did you join the England team?
What is your favourite position?
What’s your favourite thing about netball?
What’s your favourite team to beat?
How long do you train for each day?
Who has helped you and inspired you the most?
How do you deal with the pressure?
If you lose a game what motivates you to the next one?
With an afternoon of netball still to go, the Year 5 and 6 students joined together for their group photograph with Eboni and the Mintridge photo props. Each student got to take a signed autograph card away to remind them of their day with an England Netball superstar.
As the afternoon progressed and the rain fell, the students were in high spirits as they worked hard to compete against their partner in a defence based activity, working on denying space to the attacker. The students also got the opportunity to work on attacking play, as they worked against their opposing team to reach each of the zones on court to score a point. The students were working hard to play a thinking game and outwit their opponents. With a group full of smiles and rosy pink cheeks, Eboni drew the session to a close with a big Mintridge thank you for the hard work of all the girls involved, and the best wishes for those budding netballers, who she hoped would make future Superleague and England stars.
As we said goodbye to the staff and students at Bristol Grammar School, the students showed their appreciation to Eboni through a big round of applause.
If you would like to see the photos from the day, please contact the staff at Bristol Grammar School.
You can see the video from our day at our YouTube channel, via this link:https://youtu.be/QSXuIbRa3yk
Thank you again to everyone at Bristol Grammar School for a fabulous day and we look forward to working with you again soon.