Pitch perfect

The sporting power of the GDST family network was on full display on the Select Hockey and Netball Tour to Loughborough University

In early February, students from across the GDST family of schools came together to demonstrate the power of its sporting network. Sport stars in the GDST’s Hockey and Netball Select Teams assembled at one of the country’s most prominent sporting arenas, Loughborough University, to take on other elite teams from across the UK.

The GDST Select Teams are unique in girls’ education. No other schools provide such opportunities to play representative sport outside of national player pathways. As leaders in girls’ education, the aim of the weekend was to give top athletes at the GDST the chance to pit themselves against the best of the best; a chance for the girls to work collaboratively in a relaxed but competitive atmosphere. The GDST is where girls learn without limits and sport is a integral to girls to developing the skills, character and resilience they will need in the future.

The Select Hockey Team’s first competitive fixture was against Repton School U16. It was very tight; the game was heading for a draw, but with 10 seconds left, a reverse stick effort from Lauren (Nottingham Girls’ High) meant a win, a great first result. The next day the hockey team faced very experienced opponents in Leicester Hockey Club but still emerged victorious with a comfortable win of 6-0.

Not to be outdone by the hockey team, the netballers took on Loughborough Lightening U17s. Some strong defensive work from Taren (Streatham & Clapham) and Mia (Royal High Bath), coupled with excellent shooting from Liana (South Hampstead), ensured a comfortable 59-29 victory. They faced stiffer competition the next day though, playing Loughborough Lightening U19, but despite being down at half time, they fought back to win 58-49.

The teams left with a 100%-win record for the GDST, lifelong memories and invaluable experience; the weekend was an immense success. The approach from both the coaches and the girls was an inspiration and unequivocally demonstrated the power of the GDST’s sporting network. Above all, the weekend showed what it means to be a GDST girl: positive, confident, dedicated and fearless.