Former England star gives pre-season boost to Perse netball teams

Perse netballers warmed up for the new season in style after being put through their paces by former England international Sasha Corbin.

Sasha, who represented the Roses from 2007 to 2018, provided an inspiring training session for the 1st VII and U16 A squads during her visit to The Perse.

Perse Acting Head of Netball Millie Diss arranged the session, having previously worked alongside Sasha while coaching with Vitality Superleague side Saracens Mavericks, and felt her “charisma and personality” would give the players a pre-season boost.

The Mavericks captain worked on basic ball handling skills to get the girls back in the swing of things before moving on to developing their defensive and team communication techniques.

She continued the theme of working as a unit with team drills aimed at getting the ball through the court, as well as tactical set plays for centre passes, before watching them put everything together in matches.

Sasha rounded off her visit with some inspirational words for the players about her own netball journey before posing for photos and signing autographs.

Picture: Kevin Diss Photography

Miss Diss said: “As soon as Sasha arrived, she brought smiles to the girls’ faces and they were instantly engaged and eager to work hard.

“The most incredible thing was Sasha gave every girl there something to work on as an individual at one point during the session and praised them when they achieved something great.

“After the session, they had an opportunity to ask Sasha some questions about her career. This is where she instilled thoughts of being positive within the sport they all love and not letting small things knock them back. The drive to go out and achieve was certainly spread across us all.

“All in all, it was an incredible experience for everyone involved and one we would love to repeat should the opportunity ever arise again.”

Among the Perse netballers taking part was Maddy Brooking (Upper Sixth), who was recently named in the Mavericks U19 squad for the current campaign. She was thrilled to have made the grade, having been involved in one of the Superleague franchise’s seven Futures Academies at Bedford for the last three years.

Maddy Brooking

Maddy, who plays goal attack and goal shooter, said: “You get put forward for a trial, but unfortunately I had Covid so I missed it. It meant I then had to go and trial with the actual U19 squad that had already been selected, which was really difficult because I had to match their standard, but my coach said I’d done really well.

“It took a couple of days to sink in when I found out I’d been picked because I never expected it.”

Maddy is now training twice a week with the Hatfield-based side as well as featuring in their team in the national U19 Netball Performance League, where they face the other Superleague clubs’ youth squads.

She said: “It’s been a huge step up, but I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed playing netball as much as I am right now. It’s really great being able to wear the Mavericks dress.”

On Maddy’s achievement, Miss Diss added: “The time and dedication Maddy has put into her training has been second to none. She’s never given up when she’s tired or had a lot of work to do and this commitment has certainly paid off.

“We are immensely proud of what she has achieved and she should be too. We can’t wait to see her progress even further.”


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