Another great day was had by all today. The team was hosted by Loreto College, Coleraine who also hosted the football team last year. The girls started the day by attending classes with the some of the girls from Loreto’s netball team. The Sports Academy girls were very shy at the start but soon started loving all of the attention they were getting. The girls attended dance, Irish language, Spanish and maths classes which they loved. The match today was very good with the girls really starting to bond more as a team, encouraging and motivating each other. Final score was 22-16, with the girls working very hard right up to the final whistle. Tonight Bentleys restaurant in Portrush provided dinner for us, which was delicious, the girls especially loved the chocolate cake for dessert! We have finished the day off with a beauty night, all the girls are getting lovely manicures!
Here is a quick message from Xola (GS) on the day;
Today is my third day to be in Europe, a beautiful continent, so that means a lot to me. I miss my family but to be with my teammates and coaches is the best thing for me. We went to Loreto College today which was great. Everyone welcomed us with open arms and a good heart. We went to classes I was so frightened because everyone was looking at me. Then the teachers asked me to introduce myself and talk about South Africa. Then we went to Assembly, the principal welcomed us and we sang our national anthem. Something different here than with my country like people are not rude they are nice and respectful even in school. After school we played a game and my stomach was sore but I say I am here to prove myself and to do my job, the girls from Loreto were tall and tough but we have to make our coaches, sponsors and fans proud of us, so we won the game 22-16. That made my day very happy.
Thursday started off early with the team having to get up at 5:00am to travel down to Belfast for our visit to Methodist College. We started the day off by visiting a choir rehearsal, which the girls were very impressed with. After that we headed off to take some morning RE classes, where the girls spoke and we talked about the Sports Academy and what we aim to do. At lunchtime we drove over to Fisherwick Parish Church for their student lunches and then it was back to Methody for the match. This match was a little different as each quarter the team played against a different methody team. So although the Sports Academy girls were playing a a very good match they struggled against a team that was constantly changing. In the end the score was 27-26, the girls were disappointed with the loss, but they played well and never let their heads go down. After the match they headed over to Pirrie Park for a dance class, which they enjoyed. Then it was off to Coach Victoria’s mum’s house for dinner before bed.
A message from Danel (WA);
Today we had to wake up early to hit the road. A beautiful team with a great and awesome vision, lets call it a winning team. Today we went to visit Methody. It’s our coach’s old school so we had to show them why we are in Ireland. When we arrived at the school they took us to a music class were the choir was busy practicing. After that we had an assembly and a tour round the school, and in the classes we sang for the students. After school we had a match. I told myself that I’m here to play netball, win every game and keep my head up and never let it go down. Although the girls are tall and we are small it doesn’t mean that we can’t play the game and show them why we are here. The whole trip wasn’t all about us, but also to make our coaches proud and show them that we appreciate what they do for us. Although we lost by one point 27-26 we tell ourselves that this was the last loss. Although it was by one point we don’t like to lose or even draw. The students and teachers were very kind at Methody and the juniors even gave us some presents which was very nice of them.