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BARBADOS - Pine Hill Dairy Primary Schools Netball Tournament 2007

The St Mary's Primary Netball team (from left) Tia Jones, Alisha Gaskin (team Captain), Cleopatra Pierre, Danielle Carmichael, Demara Dawson, Mandissa Cadogan, Mariah Leacock, Nekela Jordan, Mekeda Stuart. Missing is Larien Lynch. (Pictures by Charles Pitt-Grant.)

Hard work pays off for St Mary's

Compliments of the Barbados Nation News

Date June 27, 2007 by ANMARIE BAILEY

ST MARY'S IMPRESSIVE NETBALL championship win could benefit the school in many ways.

Physical education (PE) teacher, and coach of the team Calvin Briggs stressed the significance of this achievement.

"We have now won a major championship and I hope this will boost the morale of the children and improve the profile of the school

"St Mary's has always been a school that was looked down upon. Sometimes the only way we are mentioned is when there is a problem with the sewage plant. For some parents it's a last resort. I hope this will make people take notice and realise that there is lots of potential in the school."
Hail St MaryÕs! Last year, St MaryÕs Primary went to the semi-finals of the Pine Hill Dairy Primary SchoolsÕ Netball Competition, but had to settle for third place. This year, they went all the way, taking the championship trophy with an impressive display of netball skill, defeating All Saints 13-3 at the gymnasium of the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex yesterday afternoon.-

The team dominated the Pine Hill Dairy Primary Schools Netball Tournament, bringing national attention to the school. They won the Aleen Jeffers Moore Challenge Trophy

for the knock out championship, they won Zone 6, they also won the overall competition and they placed third in the team shooting competition. There were seven prizes for the most outstanding players in the tournament, and four of these were awarded to players from the St Mary's team.

The team was impressive, winning all of their games convincingly; some by as wide a margin as 31 goals to zero.

Over the years, the netball team has performed well. According to the coach, this is partly due to the availability of facilities on the school compound.

"There is a plot of land next to the school referred to as Murphy's pasture. This land could be made available to the school much to the benefit of the cricket, football and athletic teams."

In addition to the facilities, the type of training was also cited as a factor in the team's success. A holistic approach to sports was used.

"All coaching was not done on the netball court," Briggs said. "I took them through every aspect of sports. Some practice sessions were dedicated to discussions on the importance of healthy eating, others were dedicated to cardiovascular exercises and others were based strictly on endurance."

EduTech also played a role in the team's success. "We used all of the school's resources. We used the digital camera and also videotaped some of the practice sessions. We then analysed our shooting and passing techniques, our ball movement and our positioning on the court."

Going into the championship game, Briggs was not as confident as in earlier games.

"In the semi-final game, we were heavily penalised for contact. This allowed the opposing team to score their four goals."

This caused Briggs to go back to the drawing board.

"I had to correct this problem as I knew it would be a deciding factor in the final game. I came up with a drill which I thought would help and it worked. This resulted

in a clean free flowing final game. We were only penalised three or four times for contact."

Team chaperone Juliette Stuart said she was impressed with Briggs' dedication and the team's devotion.

"They are eager, they like playing the game," she said. "Mr Briggs can also be credited as he puts in a lot of time with them. He works hard with them."

School principal Orman Warde also had high praise for Briggs and the team.

"Mr Briggs and the netball team must be complimented for demonstrating to St Mary's students that success comes by hard work, commitment, and dedication."

Briggs also noted that the team could not have been this successful without the support of the parents.



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