"Life-changing experience" awaits University of Bath students past and present in Zambia

University of Bath students past and present have flown out to Zambia to take part in this year’s “life-changing” UK Sport IDEALS programme.

It is the tenth anniversary of the scheme, which sees aspiring coaches spend six weeks delivering PE lessons in schools and villages, as well as set up sporting competitions between neighbouring communities.

Footballer Alice Evans, a Wales international goalkeeper, and netballer Jade Traynor – second-year students in Sports Performance and Sports Science respectively – arrived in Africa on Tuesday,...

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Grace McCatty taking part in the Zambia IDEALS project

Bessie Manu

Sport/Event: Netball

Date of Birth: 16 September 1986

Height: 176cm

Position: Wing Defence, Goal Defence, Goal Keeper

Coached by: Jess Thirlby, Denise Ellis

Occupation: Teacher, Kingswood School

Representational honours: New Zealand U21


Bessie joins the 2015 squad with a wealth of ANZ experience playing alongside the likes of Silver Ferns Captain Casey Kopua. Known for her ability to read the game and versatility in defence, our new Kiwi, Bath’s first “import”, is sure to add an extra special dimension. Bessie will also look to develop her...

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Claire Brownie

Sport/Event: Netball

Date of Birth: 10 August 1988

Height: 174cm

Position: Wing Defence, Centre, Goal Defence

Coached by: Jess Thirlby, Denise Ellis

Occupation: PE Teacher, Aberdeen

Representational honours: Scotland


Scottish Thistle captain, Claire Brownie, joins us this year after some time away from the Superleague. The PE Teacher from Aberdeen last played SL from 2008-2011 for Glasgow Wildcats but has a wealth of international experience with 69 caps for Scotland, most recently leading the home nation at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Her feisty ‘go hard or go...

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Rachel Shaw

Sport/Event: Netball

Date of Birth: 29.4.1992

Height: 178cm

Position: Goal Attack, Wing Attack

Coached by: Jess Thirlby, Denise Ellis

Occupation: Works at the Royal High School, Bath


Some people have all the bad luck.  Rachel ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament at the 2013 World Youth Championships only to rupture it again five months into rehab. Rachel had to dig deep and showed huge grit and determination to get back to fitness. Then, a week before the 2014 pre-season, she dislocated her ankle. No wonder that...

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Kyra Jones

Sport/Event > Netball

Position > Centre, Wing Defence, Wing Attack

Date and Place of Birth > September 1985

Height > 175.6cm

Weight >

Coached by > Jess Thirlby

Date Arrived at Team Bath > 2014/15

Occupation >

Biography >

Kyra changes scene this year with the move to Team Bath after five years at Celtic Dragons. Australian born, with dual citizenship, Kyra has become an established player within the national Welsh side, making her debut in 2012 vs. Northern Ireland and most recently competing at the Commonwealth Games. The...

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