Showcasing netball for the first time this year, the School Games will provide a fantastic opportunity for the UK’s brightest young netballers to experience a large, multi-sport competition. Although netball remains a popular sport amongst school-age athletes, pathways into elite netball are still limited and the inclusion of netball in the School Games hopes to heighten the sport’s reputation.

Inspired by the Commonwealth gold performance of the England Roses earlier this year, there is no doubt that our School Games athletes will descend on Loughborough University with their eyes on the prize: we took a look at through our squads to see if we can spot any future ones to watch…

Team London’s Ziana Butt is one athlete who promises to bring her best to the court; the 15-year-old plays for Leyton Netball Club, competing in Division 1 and 3 Essex Met League, but has also been successfully selected for the London Pulse U15 and U17 Long Squads. Alongside this, her talent has led to her selection for the England Nets U21 Long Squad, training for the 2019 World Cup in South Africa.

Ziana, a GS/GA, describes one of her sporting highlights as competing in the U14 London Youth Games, and winning bronze first time for Waltham Forest: the team was consequently recognised at the Waltham Forest Feel Good Sports Awards 2017.

Manchester Thunder’s Niamh Taylor, 15, will also prove tough competition on the court. Now a member of Bury YWCA Netball Club, the WA/C star was previously a U14 Club National winner with Oldham Netball Club in 2017. With the U14 Parrenthorn High School netball team, she became a National Schools champion too. Having also been selected for the Manchester Thunder Academy, it is clear that there are big things in store for Niamh!

Nada Hawela, 15, will be representing Northern Ireland at the School Games this summer. Playing for Ballyclare Ladies Netball Club, Nada plays WA or C. She trained with the U13 Regional Development Academy (RDA) throughout the 2016-17 season, alongside playing for the Belfast Royal Academy A Team who came second in the national school league.

Last season, Nada balanced playing for the U15 RDA Belfast Squad and Belfast Royal Academy Premier Team; alongside this, Nada and her teammates at Ballyclare Netball Club came second in the A League. Nada has now been accepted onto the Belfast U15 Future Internationals Squad.

Emma Latto, 15, will play for team Scotland. The Peebles Netball Club player was selected for National U17 Squad and received her first national U17 cap in May of this year. The GD/GK/WD was also selected to compete in Netball Europe Championships 2018.

Emma’s Scotland teammate, 14-year-old Sophia Paterson, is also a name to look out for. She has had a long history of sporting success, having won the Schools Scottish Cup 2016, before coming second in the Scottish Cup Final 2018. The Paisley Juniors Netball Club GA was also successful in being selected for both the U15 and U17 Netball Scotland long squads.

Also in team Scotland, 15-year-old Lia McGrath is bound to make an impact on the court; she is talented in many positions, playing WA, C, WD and GA. She has an impressive record of success, being G84 U15 Scottish Cup champion, G84 U15 & U17 League champion, U15 District A Final champion, Development League Champion and S3 Gold Scottish Schools champion! Her treble success in one year led to her acceptance to the Scotland U15 Long Squad and U17 trial.

At 15-year-old, Ellie Oswick will represent Wasps Netball. A member of Turnford Netball Club, the WA/C is a key player to look out for. Ellie recently won Netball Club Nationals 2018, as well winning the 2018 Wasps Netball Hub Tournament, 2018 Pontins Netball Tournament and succeeding at Satellite County Netball. A keen athlete off the court, Ellie is also District Discus Champion 2018.

With an abundance of talent display at this year’s School Games National Finals, you won’t want to miss a second. Buy your tickets here