Special guest coach for Rydal Penrhos netball trip

Rydal Penrhos to be joined by alumni and Welsh netball captain, Suzy Drane on Greek tour

A group of netball stars at Rydal Penrhos will be joined by a special guest on their upcoming tour to Greece.

The 16 pupils will depart on 19 October and will be joined by Welsh netball captain and former pupil Suzy Drane, who will be part of the coaching staff during the trip.

They will be staying at the Loutraki Sportcamp near Athens, where they will be training and playing competitive matches against various teams from the region.

Suzy has recently received her 75th senior cap as part of the Wales netball squad, as well as playing for the Celtic Dragons and lecturing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She said: “I’m very excited to be coming back to Rydal Penrhos, after all this is where it all began for me, only this time I will be part of the coaching team that is heading away with some talented young players.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to work with the staff and players, learning from them and hopefully passing on some of my knowledge and experiences I have gained since leaving.”

During the tour, pupils will also spend a day sightseeing around the ancient city of Athens, which will see them take a trip to Acropolis, visit the Olympic sites from the 2004 games and learn more about legacy programmes in the country.

A number of pupils have secured sponsorship for the trip, with companies such as Supertemps, Local Dragon and Vinnie Martin lending their support.

Head of Girls’ Games, Nicky Head, said: “This is the first girls’ tour overseas since 2007, when we went to Holland to attend a netball camp.

“It should be a fantastic experience for all concerned, with so many of our experienced year 13 players moving on to pastures new, it will be an opportunity for the girls to bond as a squad and allow early preparation for the county tournament which take place in November.“

Mark Gardner, of MGS Tours, who organised the trip, added: “Our selection of Sportcamp as a school netball tour venue is based on two factors:  the excellent training, leisure and recreational facilities at the gated sports complex and the proximity to Loutraki’s nearby beaches and beautiful lakes. 

“Whilst netball is a new sport in Greece, we are delighted to support their development with the provision of British opposition and resources.  Results typically go in the Greek teams’ favour, thus demonstrating the test that awaits the girls on the court. “