x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Hard work pays off for BSAK sides

White Team clinch third place while Blue qualify for last eight at an inter-school netball competition in Beijing.

ABU DHABI // Netball players from the British School Al Khubairat (BSAK) made a successful debut in an international tournament in China this month.

The Abu Dhabi school's White Team made it to the semi-finals of the competition at the Dulwich International College in Beijing while its Blue Team also got to the knockout stages.

Sixteen teams from 12 schools took part in the tournament.

"I am extremely proud of each and every one of the girls who was on tour, for putting BSAK Netball on the map once again - this time in China," BSAK teacher Kellie Pomeroy said.

In the group section, the Whites played seven games in total, winning six times, while the Blues got through their respective group with three wins, two draws and two defeats. Both played against schools from Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The two BSAK sides met each other in the knockout stages, with the Whites winning. That put them into the semi-final, which they lost to the Australian School, Hong Kong, but victory over Dulwich Shanghai saw them finish in third spot overall.

"We really pulled together as a team against some good players. We wanted to win, but third place was pretty good," Georgia Barber, the 13-year-old White Team co-captain said.

Ellie Wolfe, her fellow captain, said: "I'm so glad we got the chance to go there. I would go back in a minute because we had such an amazing time. It also gave everyone an opportunity to really gel and that wouldn't have happened before.

"Both teams played really well. We scored a lot of points and to be co-captain was a great experience for me."

Pomeroy said: "I'm also delighted that the girls enjoyed every minute of it and can now take away fond memories of what was a fantastic trip.

"It is especially rewarding for any coach to see players commit to pre-tournament training and then show off their skills when it counts.

"The eight weeks of intense training leading up to the tour certainly paid off and you could see the team spirit shine throughout the week."

Barber added: "China was a really special place.…We saw so many amazing sights and I think everybody agreed that standing on the Great Wall of China was a real was the highlight."

The netball teams were in China with the school's Under 13s boys rugby team who defended their title at the Dulwich College tournament.