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Lottie's Blog: May 2010
Lottie Richardson
Lottie writes a monthly blog on the BBC Cornwall website

I am adding the finishing touches to May's blog while driving up to Gatwick with my Dad, before flying off to Malta with the Great Britain U19 squad to compete in the Netball Europe Festival.

But more of that next month.

May has been an unusual month.

Normally, I would be winding down at the end of the netball season, but this year is different.

Knowing I would have to be at my most fit for Great Britain, I had to quickly find another gym for my England training programme, as it was decided by my old club I could no longer attend Truro College with my Cornwall friends in the Regional and National Excel programme.

It was a shame as I had a great relationship with Josh my instructor, who I will miss. This particular decision came at the end of a difficult last season with St Austell Netball Club, when it became obvious it was time to move on. As my parents say, if it's not fun, don't do it! Though I did persevere for 6 months.

England netball
Lottie was first selected for England when she was 14

The search for a gym was difficult, with my Dad and I visiting 4 in the area, before we met Steve Winnan at Tremough Campus in Penryn who really helped us. And what a gym. Clearly, it's the best in the area, with all the equipment I require.

Plus, I even got Dad to join so we train together which helps us both. And particularly his waistline!

I've also started a spinning class given by another Tremough instructor, Rob. I've got to say, it's the hardest workout I have ever done, but superb cardio. Rob leads the class with all of us on special fixed spinning bikes and it is so exhausting. But what a buzz afterwards.

Tremough is also conveniently five miles from my home in Falmouth and the perfect distance for a run after my twice weekly workouts. As a result, I am now the strongest and fittest I have ever been!

Early in the month I met with my Great Britain team mates from England, Wales and Scotland at a training session in Nottingham. I already knew the three other England girls, but after half an hour we all became friends and starting joking about each others accents.

It is amazing how quickly we bonded as a group in the training session before being thrown into the lions den to play the full Scotland National Team, seeded 13th in the world!

We played six periods of 10 minutes and they crushed us at first. But as we found our way, with some great coaching, the GB team started to gel and by the 5th period, we only lost that 10mins by 1 point.

Not bad considering the physical nature of our world ranked opponents. I was certainly marked tightly at Centre. After the game, we all watched the Superleague Final at the Nottingham Arena, which my Bath team mates won. Go Bath!

Truro High School for Girls logo
Lottie attends Truro High School for Girls

I play for Team Bath in the U19 National Talent League, the feeder series to the Sky televised Superleague. I successfully trialled for Bath back in 2008 when I was 13, and was given a special dispensation to play at that age, apparently the youngest ever.

My 2nd Team Bath season, 2009/2010, has seen me regularly start games at Wing Attack, and now at 15, I am feeling much stronger, fitter and more knowledgeable of the game. It also helps having great team mates who work for each other and a superb coach in Denise Ellis. She has really got the best out of me using techniques such as visualisation and just taking the time to explain things 1-to-1. I will keep you updated with my Team Bath travels next season.

My National Excel programme coached by Jo Binns, the Regional Talent Manager who is an ex-England and current Team Bath Superleague player, is another valuable addition to my netball training and education.

It complements my development in a range of areas and is monitored by our Sportplan online diary which we must update regularly. Again, I will explain the specifics of the National Excel Programme once training recommences.

Also unique to this year, I have been getting to know my new club mates at Storm Netball Club in Redruth, watching them play their final games and joining in training sessions, which were great fun and very challenging.

David our coach is innovative, introducing ideas from other countries which are designed to test us and take us out of our comfort zone. And I loved it!

Storm has a real family atmosphere and community spirit. Which is precisely why I joined, because it will allow me to give back to the sport I love. My plan is to share the netball knowledge I am receiving in my development via motivational sessions with David's help to inspire young girls to achieve their potential. These will start in September, so I will keep you posted.

Finally, May has been a very important month for Truro High School for Girls, which I have attended since I was 4 years old. The school has been celebrating its 130th Anniversary this month with a number of events marking its history and success.

I certainly have a great deal to be thankful to Truro High School for as they were the 1st to identify my athletic ability and nurture it. They continue to be incredibly supportive with my studies given the time I am away from school travelling with netball.

Of course, it helps having a Headmistress who was an Olympian!

Lottie's Blog: June 2010
08 Jul 10 |  People & Places
Lottie's Blog: April 2010
04 May 10 |  People & Places
Cornish girl makes England squad
13 Apr 10 |  Netball



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