Under-13s claim national crown to continue positive campaign

TOP TEAM: Utlimate Dodge's Under-13s in action. Picture: PhilipJVernonPhotography
TOP TEAM: Utlimate Dodge's Under-13s in action. Picture: PhilipJVernonPhotography
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It has been a season to remember for Ultimate Dodge — with their widespread success being spearheaded by the club’s Under-13 side, writes Liam Apicella.

The Newmarket-based dodgeball side’s youngsters have been in impressive form, winning five of the seven competitions they have contested.

They were crowned champions at the Six Nations Invitational, the English Open, the East Midlands Qualifier, the Essex Tournament and most recently, UK Championships.

The team had to come through a qualifying event to reach the finals at the Leicester Arena, where they were pitted against opposition from London, Manchester and the hosts, whom they overcame to lift the trophy.

“Effectively they are the number one team in the UK at that age,” said head coach Michael Grant, who has been in charge since 2014.

“They have worked together so hard over the last couple of years.

“I am very proud of what they have achieved. It is really special what they have done.”

And that success has spread throughout the club, with the women’s squad winning the East Midlands Tournament and finishing fifth at the English Open.

The men, meanwhile, finished second at the Yorkshire and Essex Tournaments, as well as coming third at the London tournament — results that saw them top the non-league table and gain promotion to Division Two.

“Our adult teams are really starting to make some good progress and win competitions,” added Grant.

“It has been a really good year all round for the club.

“The sport is relatively new, but we are looking to build and are planning to have three youth sides.”

As the popularity of dodgeball grows, Ultimate Dodge are actively seeking new players.

Training takes place at Newmarket Leisure on Tuesdays for the Under-13s (5pm-5.45pm), Under-11s (6pm-6.45pm) and adults (8pm-10pm).

The Under-13s also have a session on Thursdays (5pm-6pm).

On top of that, the club plans to run summer camps at Newmarket Leisure, Burwell Community Sports Centre and Ellesmere Centre.

For more information, contact ultimate.dodge@yahoo.co.uk.