Student Selected for English Universities Netball Squad

Renee Powell
Student and netball player Renée Powell

Renée Powell was one of just 12 players studying at universities around the country to be picked for the national side.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “It’s really good exposure and just great to get that experience and get to learn and see how different countries and units play. It gives more people the opportunity to play internationally.”

Renée, 20, took part in the three-hour selection trials, along with 90 other hopefuls, after being put forward for consideration by the University’s Director of Netball. The English Universities team takes part in matches against other universities teams from home nations like Wales and Scotland, but also other sides like national youth teams. They are due to take on Scottish Universities in February next year. Players from the Superleague have often played in the English Universities side, and Renée will be playing alongside some players from this professional league.

Second year Psychology student Renée moved to Worcester this year from another university, as she wanted to be part of a more intensive netball programme again, having taken a step back from elite netball for a couple of years. It was watching the Superleague matches with her mother during lockdown after play restarted that reignited her interest in pursuing it again at an elite level. She currently trains about 10 hours a week, including matches.

She currently plays in the University of Worcester Netball’s first team. She is also part of the Under 21s squad for Severn Stars, the University’s professional Netball Superleague franchise side, where she is also a training partner with the senior squad. Alongside this she plays for Gloucestershire-based Hucclecote Netball Club.

Renée, of Barking, east London, has been passionate about netball from a young age, encouraged by her mother. “I’m very competitive,” she said. “I like that netball is not what it’s expected to be, I like that when people watch elite netball they’re shocked at how physical and fast paced it is. I also like the social aspect of it. It’s a nice way to makes friends with people with similar interests, people you wouldn’t normally meet.”

She is on the University’s Sports Scholarship programme, which gives elite athlete students financial and academic support, as well as access to specialist lifestyle advice and support services like physiotherapy, nutrition, strength and conditioning, and psychology.

Louisa-Jayne Walker, Director of Netball at the University of Worcester and Head Coach of the English Universities team, said: “We are delighted to have University of Worcester netball scholar Renee Powell as part of the English Universities National Netball team for the 2021/22 season. Renee brings agility, speed as well as her fantastic defensive intercepts, which will really add to our English Universities mid court and defensive circle.”