The King’s School, Worcester is delighted to announce that it will host one of five Netball ‘Nova’ Academies that Severn Stars Netball Super League Franchise are launching throughout the south of England.
The Severn Stars franchise, which is run in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire and the University of Worcester, is collaborating with King’s Worcester, Hartpury College, Millfield School, Headington School Oxford and Birmingham Metropolitan College to extend the provision of regular, high-level performance training to the next generation of potential netball stars. The Nova Academies will be the next step for players as part of the England Netball Performance Pathway, as they move on from County Academies.

Each education centre will host a Nova Academy, forming a partnership with Severn Stars. King's Worcester will be providing weekly training sessions, strength and conditioning programmes and provision, high-level technical training as well as sports therapy and off court support over the year. Each of the Nova Academies will also have the opportunity to compete against each other with monthly match-play sessions, with the aim to being selected for the NPL squads next year.

Director of Netball with Severn Stars, Pamela Cookey, stated that she was “pleased to be able to establish these Nova Academies as Severn Stars look to develop their pool of players”. She added that by working with educational  centres , with established sporting backgrounds, she felt that the Nova Academies would “be vital in giving players the tools to compete at the next level, while in a nurturing environment”. 

Director of netball with severn stars, pamela cookey

Miss E McKenzie, Director of Netball at King’s said “It is a great opportunity for talented athletes in and around the area to use the  specialised  training facilities that we have here at King’s. Having seen the girls train, they are a talented bunch that  are  all determined to make the U17 and U19 NPL squads next year. It is certainly a very exciting time for Netball in Worcester.” 

Director of Netball, The King's School Worcester, Miss E McKenzie

Players attending the King’s Nova Academy are working towards competing in the U17 National Performance League Severn Stars team, before hoping to be able to progress on to U19, U21 and Senior Severn Stars teams. For further information regarding any of the Nova Academies, the Severn Stars Talent Pathway and how to become a part of it, please visit the Severn Stars website -  


What does NOVA academy status mean to The King’s School?
It is a great opportunity for King’s to showcase their fantastic facilities and what they can offer not only as a school but also to the Worcestershire area. 

How are King’s School Worcester pupils involved and what does it mean for their future?
There are five pupils who have successfully trialed for a place in the KSW NOVA Academy, which allows them to compete against the top athletes in their age group from the area, enabling them to train with the girls who they will be trialing against in a years’ time.

How the sessions are run and what is included?
The girls attend a court based skills session every Wednesday for 2 hours and have a gym based strength and conditioning session every Friday for an hour and a half. From their fitness session, a specific programme will be designed for them to follow and be updated throughout the year. Both sessions are based on targets that the players set, whether fitness related or skill related.

When are matches played?
Matches are played once a month against other NOVA academies with players competing in a Super NOVA tournament at the end of May.

What interaction/ coaching do the pupils get from Severn Stars players?

Each NOVA will sponsor a senior player of which they will have interactions with throughout the year, including visits to the school and training sessions. Stars are also very lucky that their U19 head coach is a new signing to Severn Stars this year, Sam Cooke and so there will be occasions whereby she will come and see the girls whilst training.



Head NOVA Academy Netball Coach: Miss E Mckenzie

What the NOVA Academy means to me:
It is a great opportunity not only for the players but also for me as Head Coach. Working with high-level elite athletes has always been a goal of mine and I couldn’t have asked for a better bunch. Now that I have completed my MA in Education, I am looking to complete my Level 3 in the next 2 years. 

Sporting background:
Performed to a Regional level at Hockey, Gymnastics, and Netball until I was 16. 

Netball background:
Studied Sport Science BSc at the University of Gloucestershire, playing and captaining the 1st team and regularly competing in the BUCS Premier League. Playing days started locally for Carol Anne Diamonds in North Devon and then once I was based in Gloucester I moved to play for Hucclecote. Still playing Regionally when I have time.

Current sporting activities:

Playing Netball when I can and also running. I ran my first marathon last year and hope to continue the longer distances in the future. I also enjoy spending time in the gym, making my netball and running performance better through strength and conditioning – another interest of mine.


My Mantra in life is "If you don't win, you learn"

Miss E McKenzie

I am a Welsh international defender and have played for Severn Stars since its’ inception in 2017. I am also currently studying for a PhD at the University of Worcester.

"I think it is really exciting to see the NOVA academies being set up around the local area. It is an exciting opportunity for local talent to be exposed to high level coaching, strength and conditioning programmes and athlete lifestyle advice. It could be the first steps on these girls’ pathway to professional and international netball success. Hopefully we will see some of them in Severn Stars dresses in the future."

Becky Oatley, Severn stars netball player

Below are photos of Becky Oatley when she came in to meet some of our Netball players.