DARWEN Aldridge Community Academy have proved that they just keep on getting better and better when it comes to netball.

And that certainly applies to the school’s Year Nine team who have finally won the Blackburn with Darwen Schools Netball League.

The team, who have played together since joining the Academy in year 7 have progressed in their leagues – finishing third in year seven, second in year 8 and finally winning in year 9.

The team are thrilled to finally win the title with the team putting the winning performance down to regular training both in and out of school time.

The team train at Shadsworth Leisure Centre with division Three and Two players – coached by Lauren Davies – playing in the local leagues outside of school.

The Year Eight team finished second this year and are following the same pattern as the current Year Nines.

The Year Sevens are also looking a strong group and are expected to replicate this pattern also.

The girls are inspired by working with passionate teachers who compete in netball locally with Lauren Davies and Jessica Coy and now with the inspiration of working with an international netball player in Emma Dovey who is Sixth Form head coach and also supports the coaching programme for the lower school players.

DACA recently took students to watch the Manchester Thunder home games where they got to see elite players in action and take away with them a realisation of what they can achieve.

The Sixth form are currently at the top of the local indoor league and are driving for promotion for next season so all levels of the participation in netball is exceptionally successful.

DACA currently has 50 students within the netball Academy from yr7 – 6th form training twice a week during school time and additional sessions mentioned earlier.

DACA is currently in the middle of planning a national tour to compete against its family of Aldridge Academies and internationally for our senior players.

DACA has also enjoyed some individual success with Holly Ballantyne and Lauren Ashworth, scooping top prizes at the Blackburn Netball League awards night.

Holly, 17, and 15-year-old Lauren are both members of DACA’s successful netball academy and under the guidance of head coach Emma Dovey – who plays for Manchester Thunder and England – have shown off their talents on the court.

Holly, who is a senior member of of the DACA Netball Academy, received the Blackburn Netball Summer League Division Four player Nominated Player of the Year, the Division Four Umpire Nominated Player of the Year and she was the overall most nominated Player of the Year from all divisions in the league.

Meanwhile, The boys year nine football team were crowned Blackburn and Darwen Schools champions after a thrilling extra time win against St Wilfrid’s.

n Anyone interested in applying for a place on the Netball Academy should contact Lauren Davies on 01254 819500.