Michaelmas has been hugely successful for CULNC. The term started with a well-attended pre- season training camp which had over 80 sign ups and 11 training sessions. There was a huge amount of enthusiasm from all participants, returning and new players alike.
Sessions included both indoor and outdoor court sessions with our coach, Helen Stepney. There were also fitness and ball skills sessions run by some CULNC committee members, as well as strength and conditioning sessions run by the team at the University Sports Centre. A particular highlight included the friendly tournament where we were split up into teams and competed in a round-robin style tournament. It was a great way to build fitness and enjoy getting back into playing netball in the sunshine! There were also a variety of social activities that took place throughout the two-week period. These included ice cream from Jack’s Gelato, a swap at Nanna Mexico, dinner at the captain’s house and group nights out! These socials were a nice opportunity to get to know each other better and also to let off some steam before term.
CULNC charity match vs CURUFC for Pink Week Wrens at the CULNC Christmas Dinner
A training session of the newly introduced Development Squad
“No Boys” – Michaelmas 2021 Kit Night and the Swallows after a draw against the Dark Blues
Pre-season was followed by trials, and this was one of CULNC’s biggest trials yet with over 130 people trialling. After a challenging and tight selection process, a squad of 45 was selected and the season got underway.
This is an exciting year full of changes for CULNC, with the introduction of a new competitive 4th team, the Wrens, as well as two new coaches, Vicky Otterburn (Loughborough Lightening Performance Hub coach) for the Jays and Jo Moxham (ex-England captain and Saracens Mavericks Performance Hub coach) for the Swallows and Wrens. The Wrens have made a very strong start as a team by winning almost all their matches, except a draw with Anglia Ruskin 1s and a loss to Warwick’s Mixed Team. Although the Wrens are playing friendly matches this year, CULNC is planning to enter the Wrens into a BUCS league next year.
Another exciting change is the introduction of the Development Squad. This is an open-invitation training session held every Saturday which is run by committee or club members. The aim of the Development Squad is to bridge the gap between college and university netball. The Development Squad has proved very popular, with up to 30 people attending each week. It has also provided opportunities for Development Squad players to be more involved with university netball, as one Development Squad player has been brought into the Wrens, and four other Development Squad players took part in a Wrens match against Warwick Mixed. Warwick Mixed also visited Cambridge a couple of weeks later, and we were delighted to field a full Development Squad team to play them. The final score was 31-17 to Warwick. We are really pleased at how popular this has become and we hope that this will help the club grow in strength and depth.
This term has also been very fun socially, thanks to our Socials Secs Georgia Tooth, Lucy Patchett and Beth Lord. Highlights include a “Princess and the Pea” themed social where the club split into groups and had to choreograph a short dance to a Black-Eyed Peas song, a charity netball match against CURUFC (which CULNC won quite convincingly) in support of Pink Week, and an end-of-term Christmas dinner at Revs.
College netball is also going strong, with a new record of 63 different teams participating across 4 ladies leagues and 4 mixed leagues. The top three Ladies’ teams are St John’s 1s, Selwyn 1s and Churchill 1s, and the top three Mixed teams are Jesus 1s, Churchill 1s, and Trinity 1s. We look forward to exciting Cuppers tournaments next term.
CULNC members will be training hard over the Christmas break in preparation for Lent Term which brings along with it the Varsity matches, including the inaugural 4th team Varsity match. The Jays hope to avenge the final-second draw of last season’s Varsity match, and the Blues arecurrently leading their league and aiming to maintain this position and achieve promotion at the end of the season.
Club Captain 2021-22