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Elite Sports Alumni Selected for Netball World Cup England Roses Squad

Posted: 22nd May 2023 - 1:19pm

Nine former Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) and Diploma in Sporting Excellence (DiSE) netball athletes have been named as part of the England Roses squad that will be flying out to compete in the Vitality Netball World Cup in South Africa later this year.

Players Imogen Allison, Ellie Cardwell, Funmi Fadoju, Helen Housby, Natalie Metcalf, Olivia Tchine, and Fran Williams, along with reserves Sophie Drakeford-Lewis and Amy Carter will make their way to South Africa this summer, facing off against Barbados in the first pool match in July.

Having studied through the AASE and DiSE programmes with Loughborough College, all nine alumni have gone on to play in the UK’s Netball Super League and Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball league.

Studying AASE and DiSE programmes through the College has set up our alumni for international success. For Funmi and Olivia, this will be their first major senior tournament with the Roses, whilst a first senior World Cup tournament beckons for Imogen Allison and Ellie Cardwell. For Loughborough Lightning wing and goal defence Fran Williams returns to the squad for the first major tournament with England since the last World Cup in 2019.

Helen Housby helped cinch England’s first gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, earning her the nickname the ‘David Beckham of Netball’ from Give Me Sport. Natalie Metcalf also competed in the Commonwealth Games, captaining the side in the 2022 tournament.

For reserve Amy Carter, the trip to South Africa marks her first senior World Cup tournament, having debuted for the senior Roses team at 2020’s Vitality Nations Cup, and Sophie Drakeford-Lewis receives her first World Cup squad call-up, after being selected into the Roses Academy in 2016.

Elite Sport Deputy Manager at Loughborough College, Tom Boxall said, “Once again it is fantastic to see our netball athletes so well represented in their sport. Not only do we see a number of athletes competing at Netball Super League level, but also each year, ex-DiSE learners are picked for the Roses National squad.

“This will be a great opportunity for these athletes to test themselves against the best in the world at the World Cup,”.

The DiSE programme at Loughborough College allows athletes access to industry-experienced experts, elite training from National Governing Bodies (NGBs), and education in career planning, nutrition, dual career workshops, and lifestyle awareness among others. Former DiSE athletes who have progressed with NGB pathways include British Athletics members Matthew Hudson-Smith, Jemma Reekie, and Olivia Breen, and Motorsport UK racers Sandy Mitchell, Luke Browning, Harry King, and Katie Milner.

The Vitality Roses begin their World Cup campaign against Barbados on Friday 28 July, followed by the Malawi Queens, and an exciting home nations clash with the Scottish Thistles. The tournament’s final match will take place Sunday 6 August.

Image: England Netball