Young Athletes Fight Their Way to Netball Championship

More than 480 athletes from 15 schools flocked to GEMS Wellington Academy — Silicon Oasis for the third annual GEMS Netball Cup.

This season saw five age categories competing, and unsurprisingly there were some exceptional individual and team performances across the U8, U10, U12, U14 and U16 categories. There was no shortage of talent at the third GEMS Netball Cup, as top schools across the UAE battled for glory in Dubai.

With the competition much stronger than in previous cups the tournament saw 186 netball matches across five courts and around 1466 goals scored. Every match was a delight to watch, as talented players from all schools showcased why the sport is increasing in popularity across the GEMS Education network.

Jumeirah Primary School (JPS) carried their dominant form from the group stages and retained their champion status by winning the U8, U10 and U12 category. Similarly, GEMS Wellington Academy — Silicon Oasis (WSO) put in a strong performance and beat Cambridge International School (CIS) 12-2 to retain their U16 title.

The story was different in the U14 final, where Jumeirah College Dubai (JCD) battled it out with defending champions WSO. However, it wasn’t enough as the girls from JCD brought their best game on the day and were deservedly crowned U14 GEMS Netball Champions.

Among the Most Valuable Players to impress in the tournament, Sara Latif from JPS was the star player in the U8 category while her schoolmate Holly Fernandez was named Most Valuable Player in the U10 category. A member of the U12 JCD squad, Orlaith McAndrews played a crucial role in the victories for her team. In the U14 and U16 category, Michaella Kajo from GEMS Wellington International School and Caron Rose George from CIS were the standout players by defending several goal attempts with some match-winning interceptions.

Another special highlight of the third GEMS Netball Cup was having Charlotte Drury, Roosmarijn Burkens, and Teresa Werner from WIS, and Megan Robinson and Azargol Cholmaghani from WSO umpire the netball cup. They are the only five students who passed the umpiring course organised by the GEMS Sports Series together with RU Active. The girls did an incredible job at umpiring. Participants also had the immense pleasure of seeing Zoe Stapley, who is a member of the first U17 UAE Netball team, umpire and attend the awards for the U14 and U16 matches.

The event was organised by ESM (East Sports Management), while RU Active Netball was the technical partners of the GEMS Netball Cup, supported by Monviso and Easy Truck.

James Bowring, Managing Director at ESM, says: “It was great to see so many schools and children involved this year. The rise in the number of participants shows that netball as a sport is growing. We look forward to making the GEMS Netball Cup a signature event and providing the participants the right platform to pursue their journey as netball champions.”