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Shiplake College News

Shiplake's Dubai Takeover
NetballTrips & Visits

During the February half-term holiday, 17 of our netball pupils and 2 members of staff headed to Dubai on a netball tour. This report of this trip comes courtesy of Head of Girls’ Sport, Grace Weedon, and Netball Captain Abi Botterill. 

Thank you to Mr Howe who drove all the girls in the minibus to Heathrow, but the travel started off rocky with a 6-hour delay. However, it was worth the wait when we arrived in this beautiful city. After finally arriving at our hotel, we headed to the pool to relax before our amazing jeep safari into the desert - a memory which we will keep forever. Going fast through the sand dunes and arriving at this beautiful place in the middle of desert where we enjoyed quad biking, climbing the sand dunes, hennas, and camel riding. We left following a traditional buffet dinner with belly dancing and watching the sunset in the evening.  

On the second day, we visited the souks where we did a lot of shopping. For lunch, we went to a traditional tea house which was amazing, especially the food in which some of the girls enjoyed a camel burger. After this, we made the long trip to the Sevens Grounds to begin our netball training. Finally, for dinner, we had a buffet on a cruise down the river, where we got to see the amazing views of Dubai as well as dance on top of the boat.  

The girls were itching to play some netball, but due to torrential rain, our first match was cancelled! Our training at the Sevens Sports Ground got us moving instead, where we did some fitness or as we like to call it, bootcamp, and then some fun match play in mixed teams. 

Day 3 came along and there was even more uncertainty if the match would be on due to heavy rain and thunderstorms - we truly brought the UK rain with us to Dubai! However, we were playing some fellow Brits, Cardiff St Martin’s, who were not afraid to play in the rain and the match took place at the Dubai College. Both of our teams were successful and secured wins. The A team won 17-4 and the B team won 12-6. A Botterill and R Acton received Players of the Match, while E Dickson, C Baxter and L Cheek received Players’ Players. E Morris and O Parkin received Coach’s Players of the Match.  

After our match success, we travelled to the Dubai Mall where we all had dinner in Carluccio’s under the amazing Burj Khalifa with a water fountain show. In the Mall we saw the aquarium which was amazing! We also enjoyed some late-night shopping too.  

On the fourth day, the sun was out, and we headed to Kite Beach, which sadly did leave some of us with sunburns. After this, we headed to Abu Dhabi for a netball tournament against 12 teams, finishing with a dinner buffet at the Cricket Grounds before making the 2-hour trip back to the hotel. 

The netball tournament consisted of 12 teams from the UK and Dubai. The A team were successful in winning their first pool, beating St Martin’s 17-0, with O Parkin receiving Player of the Match, followed by another win of 9-3 against Lightning with A Botterill receiving Player of the Match, and finally a 21-1 win against Thunderbirds with L Cheek getting Player of the Match.  

The B team took a 2-0 loss against St. Martin’s, a 3-3 draw against Giants with L Schoenmakers receiving Player of the Match and then a loss against Vixens. Both teams then played in 2 play-off matches with E Morris, O Parkin, A Botterill, and L Cheek getting Players of the Match. The A team managed to come 2nd in the cup and B team came 2nd in the Shield, which was a brilliant achievement all round. E Morris won Player of the Tournament award!  

For the final netball awards from the whole trip, Player of the Trip for the A team went to F Lenthall, and E Flower for the Bs. Coaches’ Player for the A team went to O Parkin and S Woodeson for the B team. 

The final day was spent at the Wild Wadi Waterpark which was a thrilling experience. There were so many different rides and sunlounges for us to enjoy and relax before our long trip home. In the evening, we headed back to the hotel for a dinner buffet and a bit of last-minute shopping and handing out of netball awards. We made our trip to the airport only to then be delayed by over three hours! However, we did get a free McDonald’s out of this. We finally arrived back in England early in the morning with tans and big smiles – thank you to Mr Lawson for waiting and collecting us from Heathrow. It was such a brilliant trip where we have made some amazing memories.  

Thank you to Miss James and Mrs Lovelock for organising the trip and making it possible. 

Flickr album: Girls' Netball Dubai Tour - February 2024 | Height: auto | Theme: Default | Skin: Default Skin