Leeds Rhinos enjoyed a weekend packed with netball that saw athletes across all age groups from Minis aged 5 through to the Elite u19s all taking to the court for matchplay.
It was our younger ones, the Minis, who kicked off proceedings on February 15 at Beckett Uni in Headingley with a Play Day, their first of the year. Minis love coming together with their regular Rhinos buddies and other players from around the region to enjoy a Play Day, which gives them the chance to put their weekly training into action through matchplay. This one was no different, with around thirty girls ranging from 5 to 12 years from our Leeds, Woodhouse Grove, Wakefield and Doncaster classes enjoying 3-hours of fun on the court with friends while showing coaches and family members just how much they are improving.
Many of the younger players then remained on site at Beckett to watch the older athletes who were in action against Wasps during the afternoon. Similar to Rhinos' first home game this year on February 1, some two hundred-plus supporters gathered to cheer on the Regional Academy u15s, Elite u17s and Elite u19s as they fought tirelessly against the visiting teams, with each game an absolute cracker! While Wasps earned themselves two wins, team Rhinos were constantly on the charge, challenging the opposition to the end every time with lots of positives to take away as well as a draw (final scores u15s 43-54, u17s 41-41 and u19s 39-53). All matches were thrillers to watch and clearly appreciated by the crowd - which grows in number with every fixture - if the noise levels provide the gauge. The Elite u19s have just two more home games to come on Feb 29 at the Uni of Huddersfield and March 28 at Beckett, against Team Bath and Mavericks respectively, where they will be hoping the crowd once again rallies behind its local team.
Also busy during the NPL fixture was Superleague Head Coach, Dan Ryan, delivering his latest Extra Time session with six coaches from the Yorkshire region. The session focused on the Centre Pass attack and what happens after the first ball is received, with the coaches looking for trends they felt had an impact on the game and discussing their observations afterward as a team. Dan has delivered two Extra Time sessions to date with great feedback from our attendees and has just two remaining - the next one at the game against Team Bath on Feb 29 featuring 'EXTRA' Extra Time bonus pre and post-match sessions exclusive to coaches on the Rhinos' mentorship programme. More information on Extra Time events is available on the website Coaches page.
Come Sunday, it was the u13s turn and over fifty athletes from the Rhinos Academy and network of Hubs came together for a Play Day at Dewsbury College - and what a great day's netball it was! Seven teams in total played match after match over the course of the afternoon, having nothing but fun as they went, wins turning into points and the four top-scoring teams going into the playoffs. In the end, it was Teams 6 & 7 who reached the final, playing an end-to-end thriller which had plenty of action and took 2-minutes of added time to determine Team 6 as the worthy winners.
More information on all current Rhinos' classes and events can be found on our Community page.