The First Step onto the International Stage

There are so many journeys that can be made as a dodgeballer. Whether you dream of playing with friends as a pastime, to competing on the world stage, it is all there in this sport. Dodgeball is a sport that develops many physical skills, but also grows confidence, motivation, determination and many elements to mental wellbeing.

At British Dodgeball, we look to develop players from the the very grassroots, to the the very top levels. Wherever your ambitions lie, we are pleased to support you.

This weekend we are proud to host the first ever Northern European Dodgeball Championships at Middlesbrough Sports Village. Without a doubt we will see the most incredible matches, as over 2 days England, France, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and Wales will compete across Men's, Women's and Mixed categories to prove who is the best in a round-robin tournament. Alongside this, we are pioneering a Junior Invitational beside the adult tournaments to really show the sport's eclectic age range of top level play.

It is easy to get wrapped up in the excitement of the teams, as you watch them work as an incredible sporting unit. But within each team is a whole load of players, and within those players is a story of hardwork and aspirations to compete for their country.

We spoke to 2 players making their debuts to the international stage, Holly Foubister, Granite City Guerrillas & Scotland, and Joe Brown, Lutterworth Meteors, Birmingham Lions, and England

Holly Foubister
How does it feel to be making your debut for your country at the NEC?
So exciting! I was so happy to be selected to be part of the squad, just getting into the Highlanders Training Academy this year was a huge step for me, so I really am thrilled.

What has the journey been to being in the international team?
I have been playing dodgeball for about 2 and a half years now with one of my local teams The Granite City Guerrillas. I started after my friend Laura Penny (also a Highlander) suggested I come along as she already played. One session and I was hooked! Since then I have had the honour of playing with our ladies team for several competitions including the Scottish Champs, UK Champs and our ongoing Scottish League.

What are you most excited about for the upcoming NEC?
Representing my country and playing with the ladies in the team. After seeing them at the Euros and training with them it has pushed me to be a better player and challenge myself. I am excited to learn and develop as a player from this opportunity. Without the passion and support of The Granite City Guerrillas and our coaches always providing extra training and development I wouldn't have this opportunity. The talent of our players inspires me to be a better player. Extra training with the Highlanders this year has enabled me to improve and the Academy pushes me to challenge myself each session.

Joe Brown
How does it feel to be making your debut for your country at the NEC?
I’m really looking forward to be playing with and against some of the best players in the sport. I’m proud to have been selected, but I also know that I’ll have to be on top of my game for it to be a success.

What has the journey been to being in the international team?
It has been challenging but also very rewarding. I’ve had to improve and adapt all aspects of my game in order to compete at this level, but the support from the rest of the squad has made this a lot easier. Training sessions have been tough and intense, but this has only helped push me to the next level.

What are you most excited about for the upcoming NEC?
Playing at the highest level in an extremely competitive environment. I love competitive matches where everything is on the line and I know this will be the case at the NEC.

The NEC is a stage for players to rise to the challenge and be the best they can be. This weekend promises to be an epic one.

If you wish to view the action unfurl we have tickets available here: http://britishdodgeball.org/northern-european-dodgeball-championships/

Also, if you would like to vote on who you think will come out on top, we have launched a poll, get involved: http://britishdodgeball.org/nec-champions/