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Netball at primary school - rant

(15 Posts)
6860 Mon 03-Nov-14 22:44:50

Dd2 is at local state primary. They ran trials for a netball development squad when she was in year 4. A handful of the usual suspects were picked along with quite a few boys. This is now a year 5/6 netball development squad which they are Presumably hoping will go forth and win lots of matches.

I'm all for competitive sport and a meritocracy (she wasn't good enough so she didn't get picked, that's life etc etc) but also this is primary school and not the Olympics.

There's no general netball club other than this elite squad so the other y5 girls don't get a chance to learn how to play and build their skills, and possibly get better so that they too could have a chance to represent the school. Presumably sporting prowess/skill develops over time in some kids with practice/encouragement etc?

Don't get why boys are included (this is a borough wide thing for us apparently so we can't be the only school who don't as we'd be disadvantaged). Dd1 has incidentally just started at secondary school and where she reports that not a single boy plays netball. I'm all for equal opps but it's the only mixed team at our school. Netball is a main sport at the local comp that she'll move onto.

I asked the school if they'd be putting on a general netball club this term and was told that they didn't have enough teacher resources so might have to bring in an external agency (at a cost of £70 per term to us vs £10 for the school squad).

It's a 3 form school with only 1 netball court so resources are limited but still......can't get my head around why a school would switch an 8 year old off a/any sport. She's totally despondent and has switched off netball now �� so even if there was a general club I'm not sure she'd join. And there's talk of running more trials for current year 4/5. What if she goes for it and doesn't get picked again?!

Debating whether to talk to school again or just leave it. She's started paying football this term.

hmc Mon 03-Nov-14 22:50:07

It cuts both ways re the boys being included in primary school netball - there are primary school football tournaments where it is mandatory to include some girls.

When my dd was at primary school and was overlooked for a couple of school teams, we joined some sports clubs outside school.

Crouchendmumoftwo Mon 03-Nov-14 23:19:23

I would take it further. There is a real issue with girls in the UK not being encouraged enough in sports. We have the same thing at our school. Selective netball when I really think it needs to be more inclusive and inviting for everyone, especially girls, many of whom are switching off from sports as they hurtle towards puberty. Not sure how you do it, but is is something i would do and feel very strongly about. I think girls need much more encouragement where sports are concerned. For example there are only 2 girls doing football in my daughters 2 classes in her year (including her) and nearly 50 boys from my sons 2 classes in the year above. I think the girls could do with a bit more encouragement, its not looking good! Goodluck.

Thatssofunny Tue 04-Nov-14 07:03:28

Primary schools tend to play High 5 Netball, not the proper thing. That also means, that teams are meant to be mixed. I think it's a shame that boys aren't encouraged to play netball at secondary level (after all, I manage to encourage my girls at primary to do football and rugby...and most of my hockey team are boys - there's no selection process, though...whoever turns up gets to play).
The issue isn't so much with the boys playing, but it find it odd that there's no general netball club. Ours is run by a parent, because we've run out of teachers to do clubs (btw. all our clubs are free of charge, if they are run by teachers or parents). Could that be an option?

hmc Tue 04-Nov-14 15:12:34

Just to reiterate - you encourage your dc into sport without relying on school. DD joined the local cricket club (all welcome, non-selective) and plays in primarily a boys' team over the summer cricket season (well its mixed but for some reason parents don't encourage their daughters to join) She is also a member of an athletics club - again all welcome, and she joined a girls football team.

All this was prompted by my frustration at her primary school games teacher and the way sport was managed at her school. You are right - some children take time to develop their abilities - DD is now netball captain at her secondary school, won Manager's award at the end of season awards in her girls football team, and won bronze in the 200m sprint at the Independent schools National Athletics Finals; that is after being overlooked for many sports teams by her primary school PE teacher

hmc Tue 04-Nov-14 15:12:51

sorry - "you can encourage"

AugustaGloop Tue 04-Nov-14 15:21:28

They do netball at my DC's school. DD1 (y6) is very good and on the squad. DD2 (y5) is, it has to be said, somewhat rubbish but she goes along to the club and really enjoys it. So I would encourage you to push for more inclusion. In relation to the suggestion that you look for something outside school, I have tried to find a local netball club for DD1 to join as she is so keen. Most of them in my area are adults only. I have found one that covers children her age but it is so early on a weekday afternoon that I suspect there is only one school close enough to the venue to enable the children to get there on time, so it is pretty much exclusive to that school (although not officially so). DD would only be able to get there for the last 10 minutes! I have found another than covers from y7 though so she will be able to go next year.

honeysucklejasmine Tue 04-Nov-14 15:29:01

There were only 6 girls in my year at primary school so we were all on the team! The girls in the year below were very competitive for the final spot but they had their own team too. Sometimes the boys would play too to make up the numbers but they didn't really understand the rules well enough.

We used to play impromptu games at lunch time. Just asked for a ball and take it in turns to referee.

BlueStringPudding Tue 04-Nov-14 15:47:25

We had this problem at Primary School too - it effectively ended up that boys were dominating all sport teams and the girls then stopped playing. The school also played the High 5 netball which seemed to involve a lot of swapping in and out.

Because the boys were more aggressive on court, both my DDs dropped Netball and when they went up to the next school found that girls from other schools had been playing 'girls only' 7 a side, which is what this school played. They started enjoying it again, but due to the lack of proper practice and development at primary school, found they weren't good enough to play in the teams.

It turned them both off team games, and it's only now that DD1 is at university that she has started playing Lacrosse regularly. DD2 just goes to the gym.

I'm sad because I loved Netball at their age, and they enjoyed it too, briefly, before the boys were allowed to join in and take over.

I think we have a real problem with making sport attractive for girls, and whilst I have no objection to boys playing netball, I think it would be better if the teams were split by gender..

Toomanyhouseguests Tue 04-Nov-14 16:29:27

I think this sort of thing is all too common. We've joined some after school /weekend sports teams. They are well run and have increased my daughters' circles of friends and acquaintances. Nice for when they move onto secondary school.

junkfoodaddict Thu 06-Nov-14 14:39:59

I did 'netball club' at my school a few years ago and yes, boys ARE allowed in the squad but it isn't actually netball; it's called "high 5s" as each team has 5 on the court at any one time. Also you can have squads of 7,8 or 9 but limited on how many boys you have in the team depending on the number and how many boys are allowed on the court at any one time. Also there are strict rules as to the rotation of the squad. I am sure your DD will be taught netball skills at some point in her games sessions; sometimes it isn't obvious that that is what they are doing. Can she retry when she goes into Y6?

iseenodust Thu 06-Nov-14 14:55:03

I think the school should run a general netball club and you'll have to pay the bigger fee if there is no teacher willing to run it. At DS's last primary there wasn't a male teacher so football club (open to girls & boys) was an outside provider and parents had to pay. Whereas after school netball run by a teacher was free.

chickenfish Thu 06-Nov-14 19:44:40

Surely they do PE at the school, and that's when children will get a chance to learn how to play and build their skills?

6860 Thu 06-Nov-14 21:46:14

thanks all. I think a parent led club is probably the best solution - it's just finding someone to do it. I work. I agree with crouchendmumoftwo and blue string that sport generally should be more inclusive so as not switch them off and we need to get more girls into team sports. External clubs are a great idea. Unfortunately around here (SWLondon) there are really long waiting lists for everything for girls and often the standard is quite high so vicious circle and more barriers. Hurrah for your DD HMC, that's a great success story but it shouldn't be so hard. That is sad bluestring, although I see lots of adult netball clubs starting up locally so perhaps they'll have another go. Wish I could still play but did my knee in 20 years ago.......playing netball!!

mertonmama Fri 07-Nov-14 13:45:30

If you're in SW London you should try 'Let's Play Netball'. They have several sites and run holiday camps. DD started at a less popular site but got option to transfer after a term.

Really good coaching and lovely coaches. DD's school run after school netball but LPN is much better.

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