A group of 30 students from Loreto College enjoyed a very successful weekend Netball tour on April 12th and 13th, accompanied by their coaches and teachers, Mrs Maureen McCullough and Ms Julie Wilson.

On Friday 12 April, the girls travelled to the Antrim Forum, where they had the opportunity to take part in a Netball training session, run by Gemma Toland and Dawn Baxter from Netball NI. Both these young woman are excellent role models for the Loreto Netball players, having played at a high standard in NI Netball and now coaching and umpiring matches at Senior level. 

The training, which was an excellent preparation for the 2013-2014 season, was a mixture of skills and games and the coaches were impressed by the Loreto girls’ determination and fitness.

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The Loreto group then travelled to Belfast to settle into a hostel on the Malone Road. Following some retail therapy, a pizza night and some sleep, the team-members and their teachers spent Saturday 13 April at Lisburn Racquets Club, to watch the Netball Northern Ireland Shield and Plate Finals. The team supported their local club, Causeway Netball, in the final of the Valeria Walsh Plate; the Loreto contingent helped to motivate the Causeway team by singing and waving posters.

After an exciting match, Causeway pulled ahead in the final quarter, emerging as Plate winners, to the delight of the supporters from Loreto College. Although the Causeway U14 team were not so successful in a later match, the Loreto teachers hoped that the excellent performances by both teams would inspire the Loreto girls to join their local club as well as playing for their school teams. The day ended with a late lunch in Lisburn, followed by the long journey home to Coleraine.

Loreto PE teachers Mrs Maureen McCullough and Ms Julie Wilson commented that the tour had been a great success, and that the girls who took part had greatly benefited from training and watching Netball at such a high level.

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