A RIPLEY Netball team player is one of just 24 girls from across the East Midlands to be selected successfully to join an elite squad of players based at Loughborough University.
Sixteen-year-old Sophie Matthews from Breadsall Village, was chosen to represent Derbyshire at the East Midlands Regional Excel Talent Programme trials for netball.
Her talent stood out and she was selected from a total of 61 players to join the Regional Academy based at Loughborough University.
An excited Sophie said: “I started playing netball at Ockbrook and it became something that I really enjoyed. I joined Allestree Netball Club in 2010 so I could play more regularly, then moved to Ripley Netball Club and was successful at the Derbyshire County Academy trials in 2010 and 2011.
This season, the county coaches put me forward for the Regional Academy trials and I was so excited when I got in!”
Sophie continues: “Playing in the Regional Netball Academy is a huge commitment: we have one six-hour training session every fortnight and we are also expected to complete 15 hours of physical training each week, but the coaches are fantastic.”