Westonbirt Community Play Lacrosse at National Level
On Saturday 15th April, three Westonbirt students represented England in the Lacrosse Home Internationals held at the University of Nottingham. Year 13 Head Girl, Carys was selected for the U20 team and Year 11 students, Sophie and Taya competed for the U18s. The competition wasn’t limited to secondary students as current Westonbirt lacrosse coach, Ms Jones also competed for the senior Wales team.
Taya said “The day was inspiring as I got the chance to play with some of the best players in England, some only a couple of years older than me. It was a day I won’t forget and I will continue to work towards competing again next year.”
The Home Internationals is an annual high-level lacrosse competition held by England Lacrosse, bringing together all different age groups and high abilities throughout the UK to centre stage. Both Sophie and Taya’s lacrosse skills earned them a place on a team a year above their age group and they both did exceedingly well.
Sophie said, “It was a great experience because we got to watch and play with the older years, and being involved alongside them all has inspired me to keep going to be at that senior level one day. It was also nice to meet new players from around the UK who had similar inspirations.”
One of those older year girls was Year 13 Carys, who competed flawlessly throughout the day and said, “It was an amazing opportunity for England lacrosse to come together as a country and not just an individual age group. I learnt a lot by being able to watch the seniors play against Wales and Scotland and one day look forward to playing on the senior team for my country.”
Maintaining a professional career, or studying for A levels or GCSEs whilst keeping up with the physical fitness required to compete at the international level isn’t easy. Our Westonbirt staff and students continue to train and play hard, whilst juggling school and work life.
Westonbirt lacrosse coach and Senior Wales player, Ms Jones said “When I have a break between teaching and being a house mistress, I train. It isn’t always easy, but my teammates continue to pick each other up with a positive mindset and the excitement of putting on the Wales jersey and singing to the national anthem before a match.”
But in the end, it is all worthwhile to wear the national jersey for one’s country.
“For me, it was a big achievement as I attained my first senior cap for Wales and it was a moment I won’t forget,” stated Ms Jones. “Especially, playing as a team and experiencing the great atmosphere and environment of the tournament, stepping out onto the pitch with my teammates, and listening to the Wales national anthem being played.”
Although the final results did not go in Ms Jones’ favour for Wales, with England taking first place for the seniors, both the U18 and U20 England teams were victorious on the day.