Young netball players chosen to play for Scotland after impressing the coaches

TWO Lerwick girls have been short-listed for the under-17 Scotland netball team.

Inga Woods, 15, and Emma Leask, also 15, were selected from among 80 players when they went down to Glasgow for trials at Glasgow Caledonian University two weeks ago after having been picked by their coach. The demanding trial involved a fitness test and drills to test their skill level and game play.

Inga and Emma were successful in making the squad of 37 players which was announced at the end of the day. A second trial was organised for last weekend to cut the squad down further to 25. However the Shetland girls were unable to make this date due to the late notice for travel arrangements. They were happy when they received a phone call from the under-17 Scottish coach Leigh-Anne Carracher last Saturday to tell them that the selectors had been very impressed, especially with their fitness levels, and that they had been successful in making the squad. They will continue going to Glasgow at regular intervals from now on to train with the Scottish team with national coach Denise Holland, with a view to being shortlisted for a team to play in Gibraltar in March. By Christmas the number of trainees will be cut back as the final team selection is made.

The two girls, both Anderson High School pupils who play in the school team, are delighted about the chance this has given them. Inga, who plays as wing attack and centre, said: “I’m really thrilled and really pleased and really looking forward to training with the Scottish team.”

Inga comes from a sporting family – her father Paul Woods is a PE teacher and her mother Karen Craigie is a personal trainer and fitness instructor. She said of her daughter: “It must be in the genes.” Inga, she said, has been playing netball since P6 and is now in the junior county team as well as the AHS team. “She’s really been going for it this year.” Ms Craigie said both girls have done particularly well to be selected as they are “competing up” in their age group.

Emma, who plays in goal defence position, said: “It was a big surprise to be picked. It’s really good.” She also comes from a sporting family, she said, with her brother and parents all being involved in various sports.

A spokeswoman for the Shetland Junior Netball development group said she was delighted with the news and would like to congratulate Inga and Emma in making the squad. “This will be a great opportunity for the lasses in developing their netball and hopefully they can bring back what they have learnt to help develop junior netball in Shetland,” she said.

If anyone is interested in spon­soring Inga and Emma or can help out with the cost of travel to and from Glasgow, please contact Vicki Henderson, Secretary of the Shet­land Junior Netball development group, on (01595) 695122.

In addition to being shortlisted for the Scotland team, both Inga and Emma have recently been selected for the athletics squad for next year’s NatWest Island Games which will take place in Åland. Emma said she was delighted to be taking part and hopes she will do so again in future years. Meanwhile her sporting ambition is just to “keep on improving”.

The girls also achieved an impressive tally of placings in the under-17 women final of the HIPPO (Highlands and Islands Performance Participation Opportunity) in Inverness last month. Inga came first in the 100m, third in the 300m and second in the javelin.

Emma came first in the 200m and 300m and second in the high jump. In April a team from the An­der­son High School won the Scot­tish Schools Netball A cup, defeat­ing Robert Gordons at the Lynwood Sports Centre in Glasgow.

And Inga’s and Emma’s success follows that of Christine Jamieson, who last year became the first person from Shetland to represent Scotland at netball in the under-17 age group.


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