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News > School News > Sporting Alumni

Sporting Alumni

26 Sep 2022
Written by Liz O'Riordan
School News
Sporting Alumni
Sporting Alumni

At Lady Barn House School we're continually proud of both our students and staff. We recently said goodbye to Eleanor Cardwell, who worked at Lady Barn House for two years supporting the P.E. Department. Eleanor not only dedicated her time and expertise to supporting the children of Lady Barn, but also managed to be an International netball player as well! She leaves us, and the UK, to join the Adelaide Thunderbirds Netball Team in Australia for the 2023 season. Her spirit, dedication, motivation, and skill, are an inspiration to us all. 

Eleanor! We wish you the best of luck in Australia playing for the Adelaide Thunderbirds Netball Team, and thank you for giving our children the oppportunity to learn from you. A few questions before you go...

1. What's your favourite sporting memory at Lady Barn?

My favourite sporting memory at Lady Barn was last year, when I took a group of Year 4 and 5 girls to a rounders match with Mrs.Massam. The girls were very nervous to play as for many of them this was their first rounders fixture. As the game went on, the girls began to build a lot in confidence especially the Year 4's, as at the time they were a year younger then the opposition. The match finished a draw, so we decided to continue the game for a few more bats. Unfortunately the girls lost by half a rounder, but the stand out performance was Saskia taking a diving catch and impressing not only her team mates but the opposition as well. Even though they didn't win the game, I can't applaud the team enough for the sportsmanship and team work that was shown in this game...it was amazing to watch!

2. Why is sport so important for younger children?

Sport is incredibly important for children; not only physically but mentally. It provides an outlet for children and teaches children to communicate in ways which they would never learn outside of sport. Participating in sport as a child is so much more than the sport. They are learning to build connections with people around them who they may not otherwise have come into contact with outside of sport. They learn respect for their opposition and team mates, and all whilst having fun doing so. Finding a sport you're passionate about can help you find role models to look up to and dream about becoming in the future. 

3. What key skills has netball taught you that can be applied to everyday life?

As a young girl I was very shy. I began netball and instantly I became more confident. I began asking my netball coaches questions and became more inquisitive. I started to communicate with my team mates in a clear way that they could understand, instead of hiding in the background. Netball has taught me how to be a leader, how to respect others, and also taught me that not everything is given and that I have to work hard to reach my targets and goals. I could list many things netball has taught me and I truly believe that in my everyday life I'm a very hard working, yet compassionate individual, and this has all stemmed from netball. You need to be compassionate in a team sport and think about your team mates; not only as sportswoman, but as humans. I'm incredibly hard working as I've had many set backs in my netball career but not once have I given up, even after years of unsuccessful selections, and finally I reached my life goal of going to the Commonwealth Games.

4. Sport has obviously led you to travel as you look forward to going to Australia. What other exciting trips and journeys has sport led you on? 

I'm extremely fortunate to be able to travel the world with my career as a netballer. I've been to New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Jamaica, to name just a few, which are all beautiful countries. But the most exciting trip I've ever been on is recently to Birmingham in the Commonwealth Games. The experience of going to a multi sport competition where my idols from lots of different sports are in the same city, in the same hotel even, eating in the same food hall, and on the table next to me, was the best experience I have ever had! Seeing the boxers train in the hotel was inspiring, and being able to hear other athletes stories on their road to Birmingham was truly breathtaking. Certainly a memory that will last a life time. I'm hoping sport will lead me on many more journeys; another exiting one coming up is that I'm moving to Australia to play in the best netball league in the world. I'm always extremely grateful for the experiences I get through participating in my sport, and am forever thankful for my parents sacrificing a lot when I was younger to get me to where I am today. 

We wish you every success Eleanor! From all of us here at Lady Barn House School. 

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