It’s been almost 11 years since Beacons founder Sam Holder’s vision became a reality, at the age of just 18, and all her hard work since has got Beacons firmly on the Netball map. The vision was many things, one being creating a place for young girls to learn new sporting skills, build confidence and encourage a strong teamwork mentality. The result of that, a decade on, is inspirational. We now have close to 200 girls participating in Beacons Academies in Dulwich and Lewisham as well as over 80 girls in the competitive squads and the work ethic and commitment shown is proven in the number of girls that keep coming back year on year.
We now have girls who first arrived at the Academy sessions as 8 year olds, returning to the club between university terms to help out with coaching. We’ve also been fortunate to have four new coaches joining us this September, Lisa, Fiona, Rochelle and Rachel, who have all been a great asset to Beacons. When we talk about the Beacons Family – this is just what we mean.
This term the academies opened their doors on September 30th. It was an exciting day as the Dulwich Academy added a new session to its schedule and welcomed 28 girls across years 2,3 and 4 into the fold. The other two sessions in Dulwich covering Yr 5-9 have been fully booked with 34 new members across the two groups, which means there has been a great surge of new and enthusiastic youngsters, keen to excel at this sport.
Lewisham have had a fantastic start to the term as well, with all of our girls settling into routines, drills, fun activities and match play. We have welcomed 36 new players to the two sessions and the level of enthusiasm is so amazing that we wish we could bottle it!
At the end of every month, our Beacons Bees are awarded at each Academy to the player who has worked hard and shown true commitment to their sport. Bertie and Bobbie were awarded for the first time this season to Eliza and Tessa respectively.
We are very fortunate to have a great netball community in South-East London and we welcomed the opportunity to gain some all important match play experience in some friendly junior fixtures against Hornets Netball at the end of October. The matches were great to watch and the 31 players involved were thrilled to have the chance to put their academy training into action! We have another round of fixtures booked in for the end of November with hopefully more to follow throughout the season.
Keep up the hard work everyone!
Player Match Report #2
Status: Beacons 1 Captain
“The 1st team has had an excellent start to the season, winning both of our first two games! Our first game was against New Edition, a team who had played in the division above us last season, giving them lots of experience and competitive games. The team quickly adjusted to playing together, with Caitlin and Danielle putting up a strong front in defence helping us to win the game convincingly. Our second game was against Westcombe Park, a team that some of us remember playing against, and losing to, last season. Teamwork and perseverance from all players on court meant we were able to pull away towards the end of the game, taking the win. We have continued to work hard in developing our individual skills at training, which will enable us to play more efficiently as a unit in our future games.”
Hermione has shown exactly how grit and determination can achieve your goals! Having joined Beacons in 2011, Hermione trialled out for the squads and gained a place in Beacons 5, just two years later in 2013. Now 5 years on, at 17 and in her final year at school, Hermione has worked hard to move up through the ranks to Beacons 1 where she is a first class Shooter and now Captain in this her 2nd season as part of the team.
Player Match Report #1
Status: U12 Squad Captain
Beacons U12 vs Eclipse White
· Saturday 22nd September
· Beacons U12 vs Eclipse White
· Score: 18-2
“This match was on a cold rainy day. So much in fact, we couldn’t hold
the ball properly! But that didn’t stop us from having a great match. We
had no subs on the day, so everyone played a full 40mins. It warmed us
up! The match went very smoothly and we all played up to standard. The
rain didn’t stop us!”
· Saturday 29th September
· Beacons U12 vs Swanley White
· Score: 48-0
“Today was the opposite weather to last week. The sun was shining, and we
were all determined to play a good, fun game. The other team didn’t have
enough players to play a full team, as one of the players sadly got
injured at the start of the first quarter – one of our team had to step
in for each quarter. I also played GA which I don’t usually play so the
match was fun! Everyone played very, very well.”
Lois joined Beacons when she was in Year 5, and it was clear to see what talent she showed on the court. Her determination to shine through paid off when after a year, Lois was selected, a year early in Year 6, to the U12 squad. Having been in the Squad line up for two years now, Lois has risen to the challenge and is embracing her position as Captain. Not only is Lois a rising Netball Star she is also a U13 County Athlete. GO LOIS!
With the new season starting a few weeks ago, it’s been a fantastic run so far for the Beacons netball squads. They are training hard and having fun at the same time which is what we at Beacons strongly believe in!
The five senior squads have had a busy time since the beginning of the season competing in the North West Kent league. The 1st team had a great opening game on September 8th against New Edition and came out strong with a 47-39 win!
Matches on 29th September saw all the teams working hard and showing a great amount of skill on the court. Beacons 2 gained a win this week after a previous draw, as did Beacons 3 who held their own and secured a win against Abbey Angels, whilst Beacons 4 and Beacons 5 had tough games against Chislehurst and Sabina which meant not a win for either team this time but the experience gained and persistence shown on court was inspiring for all watching and all the girls should be very pleased with how they performed.
Beacons U12 and U14 squads are also completing in the Rising Star junior netball league this year.
Our U12 squad have had a great opening to their first league experience, with two consecutive wins under their belt, they are looking like a force to be reckoned with. The first match against Eclipse saw them win 17-2 and the following week an even more impressive result of 47-0 against Swanley. The girls are truly an inspiration!
The U14s are also showing that hard work plays off with lightening performances resulting in wins against Breakaways (29-2) and Club Langley (42-1) so far.
This was followed by a stunning performance by our U16 Junior County League squad in their Qualifying tournament to secure their league place, winning all three matches played (48-11, 52-13, 44-13).
A staggering 638 goals have been scored so far this season across all our teams and just 381 conceded!!
We are super proud of all the effort and determination that every member puts into both training and competitive match play and we can’t wait to see how the season progresses for all of them.