Brie Grierson: Leeds netball star, 14, off to Euro Championships

Brie Grierson.

Brie Grierson.

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Athletics, karate and even chess have long been regular features of young Brie Grierson’s sporting life though netball has always been her first love.

And now the sport is more appetising than ever with the Leeds goal-shooter destined for the European Championships at just 14 years of age.

Grierson, of Harrogate Ladies college, is a true sporting all-rounder.

The Year 10 student is also a Harrogate and Craven and West Yorkshire 100m athletics champion, a black belt in karate and unusually a former Yorkshire and West Yorkshire Suprema in chess.

but netball has always been her main passion and now the Yorkshire Jets star is reaping the rewards.

Exciting

Despite being just 14, Grierson has been picked as part of the England under-17s squad that will head to Glasgow in two months’ time to compete in the under-17s European Championships.

Exciting times for the teenager who is delighted about her selection – if only joking that she wished the championships were taking place somewhere slightly more exotic.

“Two years ago the championships were in Malta and I felt like ‘wow, I want to go’,” Grierson told LS1 this week.

“Now I have been selected and it is in Scotland and I am like ‘okay’!

“But I am so excited and to be picked so young is amazing. This time last year I just couldn’t imagine being in this situation.

“I guess it’s only just starting to sink in and nerves haven’t come into it yet but I know I will be so nervous when I get there. However, when I get on court all the nerves will just go away.”

Being a member of the Yorkshire Jets NTL squad, Grierson’s selection does not surprise with the teenager having been first drafted into the England Excel Programme in the spring of last year.

And whether it be netball or a plethora of other sports, success has always come naturally, no doubt down to Grierson’s competitive nature.

“In anything I do I am competitive, I want to be the best,” said Grierson, whose sporting upbringing began at Alcuin School in Chapel Allerton, Leeds.

“Netball for me started at primary school –- it was the school’s main sport for girls and I had a teacher called Mr (John) Hipshon who trained us really hard in our trackies in the snow.

“He had us really well prepared and I just began to love netball more and more.

“Then I got to year six when I was leaving and I felt like ‘oh, no what am I going to do’ but that’s when I ended up joining Leeds Carnegie and head coach Anna Carter has been a massive influence on me there.”

It was also back at Alcuin where another sporting interest began – if chess can be called a sport, that is.

Needless to say, natural-born winner Grierson was also pretty good at that!

“Oh gosh, I knew I would get asked about playing chess!” said Grierson, getting slightly embarrassed.

“But it was just something that we did there and I still play now and again.

“We went on holiday recently and there was one of those big chess boards on the floor. My dad said ‘look’ and the next thing I was giving this guy a game.”

Grierson won that encounter – unsurprisingly – but the Year 10 student’s successes are fully deserved given the hours she puts in.

Every day involves a 7am wake-up call with the weeks split between training in one of her various sports –- Grierson still undertakes karate at Leeds Shotokan Karate Club and athletics training with Skyrac AC.

The teenager also plays lacrosse for her school team but the ultimate ambition is to captain the England senior netball side.

Asked how she copes with the demands of so many activities – not to mention her GCSEs and social life, Grierson pondered: “It can be pretty hectic and the other day I had to miss one of my best friends Maisie’s birthday as I was training.

“it was hard not going as I am very close to her but she understands where I am going.

“And as my mum and dad always tell me preparation and organisation is key and I know what I am doing, where I want to go and what I want to do. My education will also always be key.

“It also helps that I am at such a great school, they are really understanding with everything and I love it there.

“Mr Hipshon actually recommended it as his daughter went there and as soon as I went to look around I loved it.”

Grierson cannot wait for March’s Europeans with netball now becoming infectious within the family.

“Netball has always been the love and the Europeans are going to be amazing,” said Grierson, who also plays the saxophone and piano.

“my dad has even started getting into it now! He loves his football and is a Liverpool supporter but he comes along to my games and he is like ‘Brie, you have got to do this and this’!

“the other day he was even recording the netball.”

Soon it will, no doubt, be his daughter on the box.

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