Perse netballers enjoy masterclass with Superleague star

International netballer Rhea Dixon put Perse players through their paces with super skills masterclasses during a special visit to the school.

Rhea, who plays for Vitality Superleague team Loughborough Lightning and has represented England at U21 level, worked on attacking drills with the Perse U14, U16 and 1st and 2nd VII teams.

They particularly focused on driving on to the ball with intent and feeding shooters from the edge of the circle before putting what they had learned into practice with small matches.

Zara Absar and Aimee Reed (both Year 11) said they thoroughly enjoyed the experience and gained a lot from working with Rhea.

“It was really good,” said Zara. “It was great to hear from an England player talking about the things she does and seeing the kinds of things she uses in her own play.”

Aimee, who is involved in the youth programme at Superleague side Saracens Mavericks, added: “She gave us a lot of advice and it was really enjoyable. It was really helpful and I’ll definitely take what we learned from these drills going forward as I want to keep improving.”

Perse Assistant Director of Sport (Operations) Emma Jones, who trained Rhea between the ages of 14 to 19 in Surrey Storm’s performance pathway squad, was thrilled to have her coach the school’s netballers.

She said: “It was fantastic to have Rhea join us for the day and deliver three attacking masterclasses to our pupils.

“Rhea got them thinking about their movement and attacking play and our staff also really benefited from her knowledge, experience and passion.

“It was a brilliant day of netball and we feel very privileged to have a player of Rhea’s calibre spend time with our pupils and pass on her knowledge.

“All our players learned so much about their attacking game and I’m looking forward to seeing them implement it in their future matches.”

Rhea’s visit followed on from the Perse teams taking part in the England Netball regional schools finals at Welwyn Garden City.

The U16 and U14 teams had both qualified as Cambridgeshire champions and went on to reach the semi-finals at the regionals, with the U16 side finishing third overall and the U14 team fourth.

Meanwhile, the 1st VII went into the tournament as U18 county runners-up and came seventh overall, winning three matches and losing three.

Mrs Jones said: “The atmosphere was excellent and the work ethic and team spirit from every single Perse player was exceptional.

“I was incredibly proud of all the girls and how they stepped up their game at such a hotly-contested competition.

“We’re looking forward to putting into place everything we’ve learned from the day as we embark on the rest of our regular season.”

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