As the numbers playing netball continue to go up at Harrodian, so does the quality of performance, explains Head of Netball, Hannah Pullen.
When Hannah Pullen, (below), was appointed Harrodian Head of Senior Netball at the start of this term, her immediate goal was a straightforward one. 'The first priority was to get as many players taking part as possible and we're achieving that,' says Mrs Pullen, a former Wales netball international. 'This term pretty much every single player in age groups from PP3 (Year 4) to the 14s (Year 10) who wanted to play netball will have got a game in a school fixture and in the senior squads we've been able to put out five school teams regularly for the first time ever. '
According to Mrs Pullen, as well as allowing more pupils to discover the joys of what is one of the UK's fastest growing team sports, the growth in the player pool is also boosting the performance of Harrodian teams (such as the the 13s shown in action in this article). 'All our teams are competing strongly both in their regular fixtures and in the Surrey competition with the Under 15s narrowly missing out on the Surrey finals' says Mrs Pullen. 'We're also seeing a lot more Harrodian players playing in out-of-school clubs and winning places in club first teams and county sides too.'
Hazel Lovegrove, Head of Prep Sport, reports that a similar surge both in team performance and individual achievement is also taking place at Harrodian's younger age levels with Prep age teams, such as the Under 9s, (above), winning medals in inter school tournaments and more than holding their own in 'the Surreys'. She believes the future of Harrodian netball is in good hands. 'You couldn't ask for a better Head of Netball than Hannah. She knows the game inside out, she's clear about what she wants to achieve and she's a former international,' she says. 'The Prep girls really take inspiration from that and look up to her as a role model.'
And as well as playing better, Harrodian netballers are also looking the part thanks to the arrival of new kit. 'They're looking great in their new netball dresses,' says Mrs Pullen, 'The look is modern, up-to-date and stylish. It should help our players feel that little bit more on top of their game.'