On Wednesday 31st May 2017, Team Bath Netball Captain Eboni Beckford – Chambers joined the Mintridge team to travel to the beautiful Dorset setting of Canford School.
Upon arrival, Eboni was greeted by some rather excitable U12 to U14 Wimborne Netball Club squad members.
Eboni had prepared a short presentation for the girls before stepping onto the netball court, she shared her sporting journey as well as the importance of perseverance and role models. After a short video of Eboni’s daily routine that consists of training as well as her dual career in law, it was soon time for questions from the floor. Shy at first, a few hands began to rise:
“Were you able to balance your school work and netball commitments?”
“Do you have any advice on what I should do at my netball trials?”
Eboni answered the questions and encouraged the girls to ask more throughout the day in order to maximise the opportunity of having an England superstar with them. The girls did just that!
On moving into the sports hall, Eboni got the girls warmed up and ready for a busy day ahead. Individual ball skills were up first before moving into pairs for some challenging passing sessions. The girls soon learnt the strength of Eboni’s passes in the demonstrations and she encouraged the girls to push each other to better their team mates with strong, accurate passing.
The bronze programme was split into four sessions across the day with breaks and lunch. Keen to draw from one of the country’s best defenders, the coaches set a focus on defence. Eboni however, delivered elements for many aspects of the game in order for the girls to understand more than just their position. This worked very well with game like situations created throughout the day to keep testing the girls. It’s safe to say that Wimborne have some competitive players in there!
Body position and movement was a key attacking focus throughout the day, notably in the second session with Eboni always increasing the pressure with an increased number of defenders and so on. Even Eboni herself stepped in as a defender for one group!
Once the attacking sessions were understood, Eboni began to introduce more on defence (ideas that could be taken into the rest of the season). Protecting cones while using short, sharp footwork patterns were gradually moved into short games before eventual match play at the end of the day (following much demand from the girls!).
The day drew to a close, but not before the very important photo and autograph opportunity for everyone. Eboni had prepared an autograph card for everyone and posed in a group photo before the highly sought after twitter frame was brought out. Before heading home, Eboni presented one of the U12 players a Mintridge medal for her attitude throughout the day.
Well done to all the girls involved, you played so well and we are sure that you slept very, very well on Wednesday evening after Eboni put you all to the test and you responded in such a positive way!
Thank you very much to the Wimborne coaches and players, and the Canford Sports Centre staff for your hospitality throughout the day, we really enjoyed ourselves and hope to work with such a fantastic club again in the future.
If you would like to see the video footage from the day, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEYJc6Jt9z4&t=3s
To see the full album of Mintridge photographs, please ask the Wimborne coaches.
If your school or club is interested in a mentoring programme led by Eboni or any of the other Mintridge ambassadors, please contact the Mintridge team ([email protected]).