Cardiff and Vale College’s Netball Academy has hit the ground running in its third year, with players being selected for Wales, Cardiff and Vale County and for Netball Superleague team the Celtic Dragons.
Seven students have been selected for the Celtic Dragons U17 and U19 squads and two have been selected for the Cardiff and vale County team. Based in Cardiff, the Celtic Dragons is the only Welsh team to be part of the Netball Superleague, which consists of the top ten netball teams in Wales, Scotland and England.
Amy Bradbury, Seren Evans, Charlotte Lewis, Jessica Richards-Clode and Elkie Warlow have been selected for the Celtic Dragons U19 squad, while Iola-Belle Lake and Ella Forsyth have selected for the U17 squad.
Amy Bradbury and Celyn Rose have been selected by Cardiff and Vale County.
Iola-Belle Lake, a 16-year-old A Level student from Bridgend, has been selected for the Welsh U17 Netball long squad.
“It’s really exciting to be selected,” Iola said. “I’m very proud to be able to represent my country.
“I’ve been into netball since I was very young – my mum always played netball.”
The College’s Netball Academy is part of CAVC’s growing range of Sport Academies. The academies are designed to provide a supportive and specialist environment that combines first-class coaching and sports facilities with the College’s expanding portfolio of courses. Players can study A Levels or vocational courses while training to be the netball stars of the future.
The Academy, which trains and plays its home matches at Cardiff City house of Sport, is coached by Kyra Jones, who has represented Wales at the Netball World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
“I think the Netball Academy is really good,” Iola said. “I’ve made friends and I’ve developed both my confidence and my netball skills – it’s really good to have Kyra as she is really supportive and has lots of experience.
“I’m really interested in a career in netball and I really think my experience at the Academy will help me with that.”
Another Academy player, 17-year-old Sport student Erin Corcoran from Cardiff, has represented both Wales and Great Britain in fencing.
“Fencing is great fun and very exciting,” she said. “I’ve been doing it for seven years and I really like it.
“I really like the Academy – it’s a nice community; everyone is really nice and supportive. The skills I am learning will really help me in the long run.”
CAVC Head of Netball Kyra Jones said: “Being a part of the Cardiff and vale College Netball Academy is a great opportunity for any young athlete looking to improve their skills both individually and as a team. To have the level of talent that we have already seen this year is exciting, and I know it will only continue to grow.”