Top Notch Coaching Skills
Top Notch Coaching Skills
On Thursday 23rd March Akeley Wood was incredibly fortunate to welcome ex-England Captain, and current Director of Netball at Severn Stars, Pamela Cookey, into School for a day of ‘All Things Netball’.
Pamela was first called up to play for her country in the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002 at just 17 years of age, although unfortunately had to withdraw due to injury. She eventually made her senior debut with England in 2004 against Australia, and two years later won a Bronze medal with the England team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. She won a second Commonwealth Games Bronze medal in 2010 and later that year won Silver at the World Netball Series. Returning to UK soil with a Bronze medal in hand following the Netball World Cup in Sydney in August 2015 where she gained her 100th cap; her second World Cup Bronze medal. This meant a huge amount to Pamela after being ruled out of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games due to an Achilles injury. Pamela Cookey is widely recognised as one of the world’s best attacking players and as well as her role in the International team she has played for Team Bath and Surrey Storm in the Super League. She has recently retired from International Netball to take on the role of Director of Netball at the Severn Stars Super League Club.
A small number of girls were invited to attend and joined us at Akeley Wood House at the beginning of the day. It began with an inspirational talk by Pamela where she talked about her journey from school and club netball, through to her highlights in the England Squad. She discussed the various challenges she faced , including balancing school and her social life, with training for her country at only 17 years old. She also spoke about her particular struggles with injury and how she remained motivated to recover properly and get back in the game. As well as some quotes and role models which inspired her to not only be the best athlete she could be, but also the best captain. The students then had the opportunity to pick Pamela’s brains with some questions such as ‘how many hours a week would you have to train? Did you always get on with your team mates? How did you cope playing against players in the Super league and then on the same team for International games?’ Students then had the opportunity to take photos with Pamela and get her autograph.
After a short break group one (Year 7 and 8) moved onto the netball court and were put through their paces with some drills and conditioned games on how to effectively move the ball down the court. During periods 5 and 6, group two (Year 11,12 and 13) had their session with a close look at the tactical partnership between the shooters and the support from WA and C on the circle edge. After lunch during periods 7 and 8, group three (Year 9 and 10) had the final session again looking at effective and tactical play down the court with the main focus being on balancing out the court and reading off your team mates movement.
Throughout the day Pamela was watching closely at the levels of ability as well as the effort and determination displayed by our students. This was in order to choose who she would like to mentor over the next 6 month period. CONGRATULATIONS to Katie Richards (8CAF) and Izzy Byron (12LDA) who were selected. At the end of the day Pamela met individually with Katie and Izzy. Both students will have fortnightly contact with Pamela over Skype where they will be supported through their development in netball as well as the opportunity to ask any further questions or for support on balancing school and sport.
‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!!!’
Thank you very much to Pamela for an incredible day, one which I believe our students will remember for a very long time!
Head of Year 10
Head of Girls PE and Games
Deputy Designated Safeguarding Lead
Akeley Wood Senior School
Published on: 27th March 2017