After a four-year break, Cobham Hall finally returned to Barbados for our eagerly awaited netball tour. After an early morning start and an eight-hour flight, those travelling were
delighted to be met with warm Caribbean sunshine. Florence (Year 12) spoke with us about the trip:
“During the October half term, Years 7-12 enjoyed a trip to Barbados. We stayed in the
Butterfly Beach Hotel, located to the southeast of the island, making the most of the
pool, refreshments and sea located right on our doorstep.
During the first day, we explored the island on a truck safari, followed by stopping off for
lunch at a hotel. From Tuesday to Thursday, we took part in a netball training session for
an hour and a half with a professional coach, followed by three matches – with the Junior
team winning all of them! There was an excellent effort from both the Junior and Senior
team, and on the last day we were all treated to a day trip on a catamaran. During the
trip we were able to snorkel around coral reefs, a shipwreck and even went to Barbados’
Turtle Bay, where we swam with stingrays in the crystal-clear blue waters and enjoyed a
traditional Barbadian lunch. Overall, the trip was a fantastic experience for all of us, and
we came back with a new determination to bring to our own netball practice.”
BARBADOS NETBALL REPORT
The girls’ experience of netball in Barbados began early on Monday morning with an 8:00am training session with one of the local Barbados
netball coaches, Tracy. She put them through a long warm up, basic skills and then coached them through game play. It soon became clear that the Barbados way of training and playing netball was going to be tough, physical, and competitive, which took some girls by surprise.
Taking on board everything Tracy had said about being tough, jumping and throwing the ball ahead, the girls headed to their first match against The Lodge School. The Juniors started positively and quickly got themselves into a good passing rhythm, linking together well – considering it was their first time as a team. They came out with a 13-2 win, and Cordelia (Year 9) was awarded Player of the Match by her teammates and staff. The Seniors had a much harder challenge than the Juniors. Their opponents were considerably taller than the Cobham Hall girls and used this to their advantage all over the court. Despite a super effort, the girls lost 26-3, but their spirits remained high. The Player of
the Match was Emily (Year 10).
The following day, we played against a club called Clapham. Both their Junior and Senior teams were highly competitive, determined and focused on winning. The Juniors had their toughest match so far and had to really step up their game. Player of the Match was Jessica (Year 7), who showed great athleticism in her interceptions all over the court and made a huge difference to the team winning 10-6. The Seniors were beaten 28-4 but matched the physicality of the Clapham side and showed true determination. Player of the Match was shared between Rutendo (Year 10) and Daniella (Year 12) who were outstanding in defence as a pair.
The final match was at a club called Bico. The Seniors this time had a far more competitive match and had taken the experience of playing Clapham into this game and held their own. Despite losing 17-3 it was a much closer game for the Seniors, and the girls came away from the match with a renewed sense of purpose for their netball back at Cobham. Player of the Match was awarded to Jinnie (Year 10) who worked tirelessly throughout the court and had shown a big improvement in her understanding of the game. The Juniors got their third win, with a result of 10-8. The game was end-to-end, with Cobham having to work hard to keep the ball in attack through Scarlett (Year 9), Milly (Year 7), Dhvani (Year 9) and Cordelia (Year 9). Player of the Match was award to Dhvani.
At the end of the netball, the girls were given certificates and badges to celebrate the tour. We awarded a Player of the Tour Cup and a Most Improved Player Cup to the following:
Junior Player of the Tour: Cordelia (Year 9)
Junior Most Improved: Jessica (Year 7)
Senior Player of the Tour: Daniella (Year 12)
Senior Most Improved: Millie (Year 10)
We look forward to returning for another netball tour to Barbados in 2025.