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denise u21 feature

Denise coaching Team Bath U21 at the end of season tournament (August 2017)

Team Bath Partnership helps University of Exeter to take Netball to the next level

Exeter-based athletes, from U15s to U21s, are benefitting from significantly more high quality coaching and support services now that the University has become one of only two hosts of the newly-launched Team Bath Netball Futures performance pathway across the South West.

As part of this Team Bath initiative Denise Ellis has joined the University’s performance coaching team as Head of Student Netball and takes responsibility for coaching the University 1st team and the Exeter based Team Bath Academy including the Team Bath National Premier League U21 squad.

Denise has been Head Coach of England U17 and U19 netball age group squads and England National Academy Assistant coach, winning many Netball Europe competitions across a period of 15 years. Having always been heavily involved with Team Bath her most recent roles include head coach of the Team Bath National Performance League U21 squad 2016-2017 and running the Team Bath Apprentice Coach Scheme.

Reflecting on her recent appointment Denise commented ““I am excited to be coming back to my roots in Devon and becoming part of the coaching staff at Exeter University. I am very much looking forward to working with the players across all the University squads, and those in the High Performance Programme. It is great to be a member of staff at a great sporting university like Exeter and I am keen to meet up with the coach’s from the other High Performance sports to share and develop sport further at the University”.

Joining Denise in the Team Bath Futures Programme coaching staff is University of Exeter 2nd team coach Salli Byrne who takes on the role of Assistant Coach with the Exeter based Team Bath Academy. Salli also joins the Team Bath Apprentice Coach Scheme at the “Perform” level. Salli commented “It’s a real privilege to be given the opportunity to work in such a successful and forward looking Superleague franchise in Team Bath. I am excited to be working with such an experienced coach in Denise Ellis and thrilled to be working with so many talented athletes here in the South West region.”

With recent trials for the Team Bath Age Group Competition squads a number of University of Exeter athletes and Exeter based Team Bath Academy players attended. The below athletes were selected into the following:


Team Bath NPL U19 Long Squad

Emily Porter (University of Exeter)

Lauren Wood (Exeter based Team Bath Academy)

Sophie Orchard (Exeter based Team Bath Academy)

Rachel Fee (Exeter based Team Bath Academy) 


Team Bath NPL U21 Long Squad

Christina Shaw (University of Exeter)

Hannah Blackman (University of Exeter)

Maisie Sharp (University of Exeter)

Amy Omakobia (University of Exeter)

Hannah Barnes (Exeter based Team Bath Academy)

Jade Richards (Exeter based Team Bath Academy)


First year BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences student Emily makes the step up to a Team Bath age group squad for the first time. Reflecting on her achievement Emily commented “I am excited for this new opportunity with Team Bath to further improve my netball. Being at Exeter University has helped me with the coaches giving me the confidence and training for me to be able to trial and be successful”.

University of Exeter 1st team captain Christina, who has also received her first senior cap for Wales this year continues as part of the Team Bath U21 NPL long squad and added “The standard of netball being played by all of the University teams this year is really high. Having 5 of our 1st team players selected into the Team Bath Netball U19 and U21 NPL long squads definitely highlights this. Not only has the High Performance Programme developed returning players but two of our 1st team freshers have been given this opportunity as well and we are all really excited to get started!”

With the BUCS season well underway the University of Exeter 1st team are currently top of Western 1A and are undefeated with a draw against Gloucester being their closest game. Netball is one of the nine focus sports at the University of Exeter and all top athletes receive support from the High Performance Programme to compete at the highest level as student athletes. Looking ahead Exeter look to continue their progress in the trophy knockout competition and retain their top of the league status, with all Team Bath age group fixtures starting in the new year.

Date: 28 November 2017