With players competing above their age groups, Newmarket-based Ultimate Dodge travelled to last month’s British Open simply looking to gain some experience.
Given that the majority of the two Under-16 teams were made up of players aged 14 and under, while the bulk of the Under-13s would qualify to play at Under-12 level, there was no pressure to win at the Derby Arena.
However, much to the delight of coach Michael Grant, he saw the Under-16 Blues clinch gold medals — coming from 5-1 down in the final to win 7-5 — with the Under-16 Reds finishing third.
The Under-13s came away from the home of the England Lions dodgeball team with runner-up medals, while the Under-11s just missed out on the final and had to settle for third place.
Grant said: “We were very pleased. The majority of the players are stepping up, so to be in the top positions at every age group is really good.
“We maybe expected to come in and around third position, but to finish higher in some of the categories is fantastic.
“We were thinking they would come of age next season, but they look good now.
“There are teams at three age groups and hopefully this will create a bit of a conveyor belt going forward.
“It points to a very promising and exciting future.”
Aside from his coaching duties, Grant was also in action himself at the British Dodgeball-organised event.
He featured for the East Anglian Vikings — a team that is made up of players from the region and one that trains at Newmarket Leisure Centre.
And they impressed, getting all the way through to the final of a competition containing 40 teams before being beaten 10-5 by Leamington Spartans.
Meanwhile, the East Anglian Valkyries, who included Newmarket’s Scotland Highlanders International Lisa McMaster in their ranks, finished joint fifth after losing to eventual champions Lutterworth Meteors in the quarter-finals.
l Ultimate Dodge train three times a week at Newmarket Leisure and the Ellesmere Centre — for more information on how to join the club visit www.facebook.com/ultimatedodge