Shropshire County School Games
By Kathy Gardner

Having qualified as U16 Girls’ North Shropshire Dodgeball Champions we headed off to Shrewsbury Sports Village for the County School Games. The girls were all decked out in their North Shropshire representative t-shirts and upon registering, received participants wrist bands. The event was then officially opened by a GB athlete. At this point our girls were a little overawed: “I didn’t think it was a proper event,” said Freya.

We had a few games off to start. When we finally took to the court the girls were not prepared for what was to come. Has anyone seen the movie “Dodgeball”? If not, then that is your half-term homework, just so you can understand how the girls felt during that first game.

First up was Oldbury Wells. Each match consisted of 5 x 2 minute games. We started remarkably well, eliminating one of their team early. Well that was it! One after another our girls was bombarded and, within one minute, we had all fallen. Ready for the next game? “NO…” came the answer. Again we were destroyed. The girls were mesmerised by how hard the opposition could throw the ball. I must admit, I was a little scared of their teacher. “We are a little dodgeball mad at school” she said…..”
“A little?!?” I wanted to reply but managed to stop myself. The pummelling continued.

Next came Priory. More on our level. We won the first game 6-0. A little bit too confident going into game 2? Maybe, as we lost that one 0-6. The next game, both teams realised this was game on and we managed a draw 2-2. Third game dramas meant we had to get the tournament referee’s decision….yes…3-2 to us. We were down to the final game….and we lost 2-5. That meant a draw but unfortunately Priory won on count back.

Charleton were next up. Matches were now reduced to 3 games – 2 games down the girls then decided that maybe they were better than they had playing and we won the 3rd game but it was all a bit too late. Another loss.

The final game secured us a win at last but not enough to establish a reputation as dodgeball demons.

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t turn your back on the ball.
  2. Don’t think just because we’re girls we can’t throw a ball hard.
  3. Don’t be scared to catch the ball.
  4. People cheat – we don’t.

It is difficult to chose a player of the day so I am going to give some honourable mentions instead.

  1. Scarlet Ford – she definitely has the “dodge” going – she spent more time on the floor than anyone.
  2. Jess – for her strong throw.
  3. Sabbu – for taking one in the face and not being phased by it.
  4. Eleanor – for her willingness to go for the catch when the ball is travelling at 100mph (maybe a slight exaggeration).