If At First You Don't Succeed...

...then try, try and try again. Judy Murray has recently acquired a spider tattoo to signify her love of the legendary Robert the Bruce tale. The S2 Girls at Craigmount High School fully embraced this mantra by winning the 2017 National Schools Netball finals. Defeated in the S1 final last year they bounced back to beat St Andrew’s Academy (Coatbridge) in this year’s final 26-18.

While Andy and Jamie have their mother to thank for inspiring their success, there is also a strong female presence behind the triumph of the Craigmount girls. Firstly, their school coaches - Catriona Salton, Lana Henderson and Holly Maxey and secondly Hannah Gaunt, the West Edinburgh Netball Club Coach and Assistant Coach with the City of Edinburgh Schools Academy. Netball was introduced to the City of Edinburgh Schools Sports Academy in August 2016 and several of the girls who attend the Sports Academy were part of the Craigmount triumph.

craigmount girls netball team group photo

Hannah has played netball since the age of eight but in her teenage years she had to travel across the city to find a club to play for. She longed for there to be a club in West Edinburgh but none existed.

Hannah, a pupil at Forrester High School was determined not to give up on this and while still at school, along with her mother Rosie set up the West of Edinburgh Netball Club. At first, they started with one team, since then the club has flourished and next season it will offer girls in the area an under 13, two under 15, and two under 17 teams.

In recognition of her coaching with schools and the West Edinburgh Netball club, Hannah last year received national recognition as Netball Scotland’s ‘Young Coach of the Year’.

Hannah says ‘It is great to see Netball start to flourish in this city’

'A few years back there were only two junior clubs and next season it looks like there will be six. I must thank the Council’s Sports and Outdoor Learning Unit for their help with the behind the scenes administration needed to set up a new club and for assisting me to gain my UKCC Level 2 coaching qualification. It has been a great journey’.

Note: Although participation in netball mainly starts at school, the City of Edinburgh Netball Association (CENA) organises competitive and recreational netball in Edinburgh, and offer the best way to get involved through their website. Their website details all the senior and junior clubs’ contact information, and has a list of trial dates ahead of the new season. If players aren’t at first considered to be club standard, then they are still encouraged to come and train in the recreational sessions. After a year in the recreational programme, many players develop into club standard.

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