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Christina Shaw representing EUNC in BUCS

Super League signings for University of Exeter Netball alumnae

Five University of Exeter alumnae and one current student have been named in training squads for 2021 Vitality Netball Super League across a number of the franchises. With the majority of the 2020 league cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic the squads have been training hard in a very long pre-season ahead of the anticipated start date for the 2021 league.

Clare Jones, Betsy Creak (PGCE Biology Secondary 2017-2018), Izzy Stibbs, Christina Shaw, Ashleigh Jay and Ellie Gibbons have all made the step up to Super League having been part of the University of Exeter Netball Performance Programme during their time at University of Exeter.

Head of Netball Denise Ellis commented “It is fantastic that the University of Exeter Netball Performance Programme has been able to assist with the development of these netballers and help them to reach the elite level. Huge congratulations to all the girls selected and best of luck to them and their respective franchises this season”.

We caught up with some of the newly signed 2021 Super League players to get their thoughts on their selection success and to look ahead to the season….

 “I’m really excited to have signed with a Super League team this year. Having had 2 years away, I’ve spent the time wisely, wanting to work on and continue to develop elements of my game. I felt ready to challenge myself back on the Super League court and so I was really pleased an opportunity arose to sign with Celtic Dragons. I feel incredibly proud to continue to represent Exeter in all my sporting accolades. Exeter will forever be the platform that helped me develop into the athlete I am today”.

Clare Jones (Doctor of Clinical Psychology, current), signed with Celtic Dragons for the 2020-2021 Vitality Netball Super League season.

I am beyond excited for the upcoming season, so much has gone into making sure it can go ahead and now that it is here I can’t wait to see what we can do. This is my first season with a Super League side, I played NTL with Surrey Storm before coming to University of Exeter, so it means a lot that they were the franchise to give me this opportunity as a senior player! Netball has been such a pillar of strength for me during this difficult time and I have never felt more grateful for the sport than I do now”.

Ashleigh Jay (BSc Exercise and Sport Sciences, 2012-2015)

As a fresher Denise (Denise Ellis, University of Exeter Head of Netball) took a chance on me and put me in the University 1st team. At the end of that year we were lucky enough to attend a netball tour to La Manga, where Sam Bird, CEO and Head Coach of London Pulse first spotted me. After 3 years of superb coaching and a great S&C programme at Exeter I was invited to attend some training sessions with Pulse which led to my selection”.

Izzy Stibbs (BSc Geography, 2017-2020), signed with London Pulse for the 2020-2021 Vitality Netball Super League season.

Having graduated from Exeter this year I couldn’t be happier to take the next step in my netball career. To get a Super League franchise contract has always been a sporting goal of mine and I can’t wait for the season to start with Celtic Dragons in 2021, especially with last season ending so abruptly. My development throughout my time on the University of Exeter High Performance Programme and as a Sports Scholar has been key to getting me to this stage and I can’t thank the University enough for all of their support over the years. I look forward to seeing what the Celtic Dragons team can achieve this season!”.

Christina Shaw (BSc Biological Sciences, 2016-2020), signed with Celtic Dragons for the 2020-2021 Vitality Netball Super League season.

“I am so excited to be a part of Severn Stars again for the 2021 season. It has been a challenging 8 months of rehab and I can’t wait to get back on court. I am so thankful to everyone at the University of Exeter & the HP netball programme for their support and guidance in helping me transition from a young player into an athlete - forever grateful & forever green!”

Ellie Gibbons (BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences, 2013-2016), signed with Severn Stars for the 2020-2021 Vitality Netball Super League season.

Alongside the Super League squads a number of our current University of Exeter netballers are named in the Team Bath U21 Netball Performance League squad. Congratulations to Carys Llewellyn, Emily Becconsall, Kaitlin Lawrence and Rachael Fee.

Netball is part of the University of Exeter Performance Programme and offers quality coaching from Head of Netball Denise Ellis, a comprehensive support services package (S&C, physio, athlete lifestyle support) and the opportunity to play England Netball Premier League 3 with partner club Exeter Netball Club as well as represent University of Exeter in the BUCS premier league.

Date: 12 February 2021