Year 11 student Tara Philby has fulfilled an ambition by winning a place in the regional netball squad and she has played in her first tournament. Tara went for a seven-hour trial at the University of Loughborough where she had to undergo intense fitness tests, coaching and matches before learning she had secured a place. Around 60 girls from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and Rutland were competing for 25 places in the East Midlands team.
Tara said: ‘We did an hour’s warm-up, skill work, then were put with partners and finally did lots of match play at the end. It was mainly fitness training and we had to do bleep tests. It is a big step to move from county to regional, it is a lot harder and our training sessions run for six hours once a fortnight. I was so happy when I got into the squad.’
Tara, who plays with Corby Netball Club three times a week, was soon in action with her regional team-mates in her first fixture; a Tri-Regional Match Day at Cambridge Regional College with players from the London and East regions. Players were split into mixed teams and had a full day of coaching and matches.
‘It was good fun, the competition was really hard, the other players were really good. The best thing was the experience, having to play with people who are more experienced because most of them have been in regionals before and have gone to nationals. That was my first event and it was hard, it showed the level and skills required. Ultimately I want to play at national level.’