Severn Stars netball franchise confirmed The Crypt School as a Nova centre, involved in the Severn Stars U17 pathway, in 2020. As a school, our ambition is to support the development of young netball talent within the school and across the region, equipping our athletes with the skills required to compete against strong regional and national talent. We believe our U17 partnership with Severn Stars will not only further strengthen School's ties with the local universities involved in the franchise, but will also provide our students with an elite level goal that is both accessible to them at school and highly visible.
The Crypt School offers netball to all pupils in Years 7 to 13, and this plays a pivotal role in enhancing the activity levels of our students. Girls in Under 15 and Under 18 age groups, have the opportunity to qualify for the National School Finals, and as the quality of play increases in school, we are hoping that our school teams will advance to play in these prestigious tournaments.
Severn Stars currently runs Nova academies in educational centres across the West Midlands and South West region, including in Worcestershire, Herefordshire, Staffordshire, Gloucestershire and Shropshire. At Crypt, our aim is to engage with the surrounding areas, and develop a pool of young talent. It is also a pleasure to share our fantastic facilities and expertise with the local community and those students who do not attending the School.
The Crypt School Nova centre provides their talented athletes with weekly 2 hour training sessions, and a weekly 1.5 hour strength and conditioning session. Luckily, we are able to use the expertise of talented S and C coaches from Athletes Academy. This local business, owned by Ed Archer, has provided the centre with top level coaching and engaging workshops, on areas such as the menstrual cycle and training. We are very lucky to provide our athletes with this provision and athletes take the coaching expertise in working with elite level performers incredibly seriously and thoroughly enjoy this provision .
Players attending the Nova Academies will be working towards competing in the Severn Stars Under 17 National Performance League team and, beyond that, the Under 19, Under 21 and professional side. They have the opportunity to put what they have learned into practice when all Nova academies compete against each other each month. The season usually culminates in the Supernova Tournament in May. As part of the programme, the players receive Severn Stars training kit, a training journal and a ticket to a Severn Stars home game.
Rebecca Cantin, previous Head of Girls' Sport at The Crypt School and a former England U17/ 19, Bath NPL U17/19 and English Universities netball player, is the Head Coach of the centre. Miss Cantin works alongside Sue Walton, as team manager, to create a lovely atmosphere and working environment for the athletes. As a school, we are incredibly grateful to Sue and appreciate the time she dedicates to our performance centre.
Miss Cantin notes, “Netball is going from strength to strength at The Crypt School. As we are now fully co-educational, we are excited about the opportunities the girls will receive in netball through this partnership with Nova academy. We hope that as our girls mature, we will increase the numbers of Crypt students in the Nova centre, and as the head coach, I am keen to promote this and offer elite level opportunities. We are 1 of only 2 state schools that offer this opportunity, and so far, we are really seeing the benefits. We are creating brilliant role models in school and further engaging female athletes. In a generation where it is possible to become a professional female athlete, my aim is to provide our students with an insight into this lifestyle, through links with the Superleague side, and also give them the confidence and aspirations to get there!"
Mr Dyer adds, "I was delighted when the School became a Nova Netball Centre, working with Severn stars and thank Miss Cantin, colleagues from Athlete Academy and Severn Stars for their work and support in establishing the centre in school. I can see for myself the positive impact that this partnership has already had, not only on the girls involved directly in the centre, but also on many other girls who enjoy playing netball for the School, and who aspire to become members of the academy themselves. The standard of netball in school, the huge numbers playing it, is testimony to the work of Miss Cantin and the wider team who support her work. With the academy providing further opportunities for our girls to enhance their skills and athleticism, I can only see netball at The Crypt strengthening further in the years to come."