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HomeNETBALLA Young Rose with Bethany Ecuyer-Dale

A Young Rose with Bethany Ecuyer-Dale

Meet Bethany. Bethany is from Ightham. Bethany is 18 years old. Bethany plays in the Vitality National Netball League. Bethany has just returned from a two week tour of Australia. Bethany is studying Sports Science at Hertfordshire University. Want to learn more about Bethany? Want to be like Bethany? Read on to find out why this young lady is simply enjoying life playing a sport she loves.

So now we know the name, let’s get to know the person a little better. We met up with Bethany just after she returned from Australia with England’s Young Roses where they enjoyed a successful tour.

Bethany started Netball when she was just nine years old where she played for Otford Netball Club from that age until she was 15. She still helps out where time allows with coaching and umpiring at the club, and can only speak of the great things the club has done for her and others growing up.

Rising star
When Bethany was 14 she was selected into the Netball Satellite programme, a county system which progresses to a Regional Performance Academy.

Bethany got to enjoy a two-week tour of Australia with England’s Young Roses in July, after making the Benecos Mavericks first team squad

From there she was then selected into the under 19 National Performance League for Surrey Storm at just 16 years old, and this was quickly followed by selection into the England under 19 National Academy.

In 2016 she moved to the Benecos Mavericks who are based in Hertfordshire, where she was selected as captain for their under 19 National Performance League (NPL) squad and went on in 2017 to be selected into the under 21 Benecos Mavericks NPL squad. Last September, she was then selected into the Benecos Mavericks Super League Squad who play in the Vitality Super League which is screened live on Sky Sports.

Now that’s a lot to take in, especially for someone so young, but Bethany has taken it all in her stride. She commented “When I first started at Otford [Netball Club], I hadn’t even given it a thought that I would be playing in the National Super League. I knew I loved playing the sport, but I wasn’t aware how far you could go. When I joined Knole Academy in Sevenoaks, it was a decision based purely on education, not sport.

Bethany would eventually play Netball for Knole Academy as well, however the opportunities were slim compared to those those arose from Otford.

She added: “I started with Surrey Storm when I was in year 11 and there was a lot of travelling involved. I can’t thank my mum enough for all the time and effort she put in. I wouldn’t be doing what I am today without her help.”

Bethany also dabbled with Basketball in her early teens, playing for Sevenoaks Suns. She joined the club because her sister nagged her to go along with her and she eventually ended up playing for the women’s section for three years. Why leave? Bethany said: “I loved Basketball, but I’d been playing Netball since I was nine and it kept pulling me back”.

Tour of Australia – July 2018
This was the first time Bethany had been abroad on her own, but she wasn’t afraid of that as she had already bonded with the squad that were travelling to Australia. However the arduous flight via Asia left her feeling a little bit lethargic, but this was something that the coaching staff had prepared for as they started training just 24 hours after arriving.

England Netball held trials back in April this year at Loughborough University, and having been selected, Bethany was now part of the England under-19’s two week tour. They were based at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and had the opportunity to test themselves in a number of matches against under-19 teams from Australia.

Bethany has enjoyed her success to date, but is still hungry for more after getting a taste of high-profile Netball around the globe

Before the tour, a statement from England Netball said: “The tour will be a fantastic opportunity for the Young Roses to gain invaluable international experience – for some of the athletes, this will be their first tour with England – and also allow them to put into practise everything they’ve been working on in training and benchmark where they’re at”.

Hester Fletcher, an Assistant Coach at Otford Netball Club said: “It is a huge accolade [for Bethany] and very encouraging for our club members to see one of their teammates go on to play at such a high level of Netball, playing in the Vitality Superleague which is broadcast by Sky Sports, and it’s a great celebration of all of her hard work and determination.”

Where to next?
Bethany has aspirations to play for England’s senior squad one day and to play at the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, emulating the success Team England enjoyed back in April this year in Australia where they won the Gold medal.

She also wants to go into coaching. Bethany is studying Sports Science at Herfordshire University and has already undertaken a number of coaching courses.

Bethany said of her plans: “What can I do to make a difference? I have the chance to give something back. I love the girls that come up to me at Otford and ask how they can be better. I simply tell them that they must try their best”.

We wish Bethany all the very best for her future career in Netball and we’ll be keeping a close eye on the senior England squad selections. Congratulations should be given to Bethany’s mum, not only did she sacrifice a lot of time and effort, but she has also brought up a very well mannered and ambitious young rose.

If you want to follow in Bethany’s footsteps and want to give Netball a go, then visit www.englandnetball.co.uk to find your nearest club.

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