Thu, 26 Apr 2018
PLAYING at a good level in a sport that you love is something that most people dream about when they’re growing up.
Sisters Mitzi and Darcey Scott are no different as both St Gabriel’s students are aiming to achieve success in netball.
Mitzi, the older out of the two at 18, has recently been selected to represent England at under-21 level in Nets – a variation of indoor netball
Nets is fast, non-stop and very tactical and the game is played with an enclosed high-tension cage, or ‘nets’.
Although it has been a difficult few years for Mitzi, she believes her hard work is starting to pay off.
She said: “At the beginning of the season, I’d had quite a tricky time and a knock to my confidence, when I didn’t get selected for a team which I had trialled for.
“A year ago I never would have thought I would be in this position and now I need to just keep working hard to make the squad of 12 that will go to the World Cup in 2019.”
Although the selection has come early in her career, Mitzi knows they’ll be plenty of opportunities for herself in the future.
“I will be incredibly excited if I get the opportunity to represent my country,” she said. “I know that this is just the start of my journey and I need to remember how far I have come this season.”
Mitzi is determined to make the World Cup squad and intends to increase her fitness levels and speed in order to give herself the best possible chance at playing the intense sport.
The 18-year-old has ambitions to go to either Loughborough or Birmingham University to study Sport & Exercise Science, as well as continuing her development in netball.
She said: “I’d also like to play in a National Performance League (NPL) under-21 side, but ultimately I just want to keep learning and improving.”
Mitzi’s younger sister, Darcey has also enjoyed success in her netball career and will be competing at the under-16s National Club finals this weekend.
Darcey represents Hucclecote under-16s in Gloucestershire and they have enjoyed a strong season, going undefeated in the South West Region.
Despite the heavy competition, the 16-year-old believes her team have a great chance of going all the way at the finals in Nottingham.
She said: “We know it will be tough, especially against some of the northern teams and from the London area.
“You never quite know how the draw is going to pan out at Nationals – we just have to go and give it our best shot.”
Darcey has had experience with Severn Stars in the NPL Division and she believes that experience can help her progress.
She said: “I’m definitely going to go into this competition with more confidence having got an NPL season under my belt myself, as have another couple of players in the team, but we are really going to have to come together and trust in each other as a team.”
Former England selector and honorary lifetime member of England Netball Gilly Salter is Darcey’s coach.
Darcey said: “She coached me in a Severn Stars team last summer in an under-17 tournament and has given me fantastic support ever since. Having a coach who believes in you is a huge help.”
Like her older sister, Darcey also had a mixed start to her career.
She lacked confidence a few years ago when she wasn’t playing as many games as she’d hope when she joined a ‘performance’ club.
In 2016, Darcey started with her original club which allowed her to have a great foundation to build on before joining the Matrix team in Abingdon.
She said: “I trained with them and played friendlies at under-19 level, which really allowed me to build up my confidence again.
“Around that time, I had fantastic support from the then Performance Pathway coach for the South Region, Elly Moore and I progressed into the South Regional Academy.”
Darcey moved to Hucclecote before trialling for Stars and she admitted it’s been a challenge to stay focussed on netball with her GCSE year.
Darcey also praised her mother, Su, for the commitment she has provided for both herself and Mitzi.
She said: “She takes my sister and I to training and matches, and does it all pretty single-handedly, so we couldn’t do it without her.”
Speaking about the relationship the pair have, Mitzi said: “It would be good if we could play together at a higher level, but it can be hard if we’re both in competition for a place.”
Darcey added: “It’s great to have someone else at home who understands the pressures and understands the game.
“We do end up watching videos of our games together and analysing each other’s performance.”