From education to employment

Cardiff and Vale College Netball Academy players selected at county level and beyond

(l-r) CAVC students and Netball Academy players Heather Bowkett, Harriet Powell, Megan Jones and Essence Gayle

Cardiff and Vale College’s Netball Academy has only been running since September, and already four of the players have been selected to play at county level and above.

Seventeen-year-old Level 3 Sports Performance and Excellence student Megan Jones from Cardiff has been selected to play in the U19 Severn Stars Nova Academy – the next step towards Wales U21s, and a step up from county netball and the Regional Training Centres.

Severn Stars is a newly created Vitality Netball Super League Franchise with its inaugural season starting in 2017. Owned by the University of Gloucestershire and the University of Worcester, it is designed to boost young people and engage with communities.

“It was wicked to be selected; it was very unexpected and such a privilege,” Megan said. “We don’t really have anything like it around here in Wales so it’s a really good opportunity for me.”

Cardiff and Vale College’s Netball Academy is designed to provide a supportive and specialist environment that combines first-class coaching and sports facilities with the College’s expanding portfolio of courses. Players can study A Levels or vocational courses while training to become the netball stars of the future.

The Academy, which trains and plays its home games at Cardiff City House of Sport, is coached by Welsh international player Kyra Jones, who has represented Wales at the Netball World Cup and Commonwealth Games.

“The CAVC Netball Academy is a great opportunity for girls to show that netball is just as good as any of the other sports in Wales,” Megan said. “We can promote it through the College and it’s just a really good opportunity for girls who like sport.”

Meanwhile, Megan’s fellow players Heather Bowkett, Essence Gayle and Harriet Powell have been selected for the Cardiff and Vale County U18 netball team.

PE and IT A Level student Heather, who is 17 and from Barry, said: “I’m really pleased to be selected – it’s fun. I’ve been playing in County for the past four years so I play outside of the College as well. I’d like to pursue netball as a career.


“The Netball Academy is really good and it’s great fun – the coach and the facilities are brilliant.”

Essence Gayle, 17 and from Cardiff, studies Level 3 Sports Performance and Excellence at CAVC. She said: “I feel very privileged to be selected for the U18 team – we’ve got a game coming up on 15th November and I’m looking forward to that. I’ve been playing for the county for three years now. I definitely want to pursue netball.


“I really like the Netball Academy. I enjoy it, it’s good for your fitness and it’s helping me meet more people with an interest in the sport while I develop as a player.”

Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport learner Harriet Powell is 17 and from Blackwood.

“It’s excellent news and I’m excited. I’ve played with the U16s before,” she said. “I really like netball and I am looking to go on and be as professional as I can get. The Netball Academy is really good and the coach Kyra is excellent – you couldn’t ask for a better coach.”

Related Articles