Izzie Watson and Mia Bradbury, in Year 10, are the latest of our students to be called up to the England volleyball team.
On the recommendation of Urmston Grammar coach, Mr. Ainsworth, Mia and Izzie attended a selection session at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering, on October 21st. Four days later, they were both informed that they had been successful at the trials and that they had been selected to play for the National Under-17 team.
Both girls train 4 days a week after school; and they even have an extra session of training some weeks, as they also represent the North West when playing regional volleyball competitions. In fact, last year, the North West team came third in the national U-17 competition – a very impressive achievement considering both girls are still only 14! A year older and with more experience, they hope to be even more successful next time around. And the signs are very encouraging. Mia recently represented the North West in an Under 15 regional contest in Scotland – and the North West were overall victors! Sadly, Izzie was recovering from a hip injury and was unable to play.
The girls have yet to play for the England team but will be attending an England camp in December for a weekend of training and will continue to do so on a monthly basis.
Both girls put their success down to commitment. They both began playing volleyball in Year 6 as part of a transition scheme ahead of their attending Urmston Grammar. “While lots dropped out, we continued,” said a very determined Mia. Izzie was particularly pleased to have been selected for England Under-17s, saying: “It felt like a real achievement, as we were probably the youngest there.”
Mia and Izzie are in good Urmston Grammar company. They will be joining Frankie Frize who has been previously selected for the England Cadet squad and former student, Jess Tasker, who recently represented England at the NEVZA (Northern European) Championship, and is due to graduate to England Juniors (the Under-19 squad).