10 Feb 2018
Match Day vs. Exiles and Cultural Understanding

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All the girls were looking forward to their first match after an enjoyable training session on Friday at Dubai English Speaking College....

Our first match on the Dubai surface in 7he Sevens Stadium. As for most of the girls this would be our first time in Dubai. Our enthusiasm and determination in the first game was apparent. A solid combination in the shooting circle of Grace and Honor and Chloe and Izzy, to rack up the goals. In attack we had Phoebe and Flora who stayed calm on court to move the ball down efficiently. Their competitive spirit shone through, with a few contests for the ball and some incredible acrobats from Grace tripping over, performing an elegant forward roll before catching the ball and scoring!!! Mary and Cordelia took control of the pace and dictated the play into the D. Finally the mighty defence, protecting the circle and making some beautiful interceptions turning over the ball to create a counter-attack. We quickly developed our understanding of each others style of play and worked as an efficient team to score the goals. Well done to all the girls great work!

Meggie Onuh, Team Yas

Our first match was great. After a very intense warm up, we ran onto the court with lots of energy. in the first quarter, our defence was strong. Despite a few obstructions and contacts. Emily and Erhuore kept the pressure on, intercepting the majority of their centre passes and staying on their players. In the second quarter, thanks to Mary and Cordelia, we picked up on their attack, the ball trailed down the court and we scored. Grace and Izzy took Mrs Jefferson's advice, and hung back near the post, allowing them to catch the rebounds and stop the other team from scoring. Cordelia was especiallyy good at staying on her defender when needed, as well as getting free for the ball. Making it incredibly difficult for her defender's to mark her. In the defending D, Tobe and Emily employed the swapping drills they practiced yesterday, which worked very well in terms of making it harder for Exiles to get the ball. In the 3rd quarter, we started to catch up. Nabila, Flora, Grace and Honor joined to help pick up the speed of the game. Nabila and Flora helped to keep the pressure on, which allowed for Emily and Cordelia to get free and drive for the ball, helping to clear space. Not to forget that she made sure that Honor was receiving the ball in great time. We definitely made it harder for them to get the ball. The 4th quarter was the best, everyone put their all into it, Erhuore had some amazing drives and interceptions. Mary joined us back on court and played a big role on bringing the ball down the court, and making sure it stayed there. Honor was great at making sure that she got free, and made space for herself in order to get the ball straight into the goal. Even though it was a tough game, we played fantastically well. Our main goal was to make sure that we all enjoyed our time on the court, no matter what happened, which we did! Going into the next game, we'll take what we learned from this and use it to improve. Nonetheless, I'm incredibly proud of all of us, this team was very strong, and we put up an amazing fight, we can only get better from here!

Tobe Chima, Team Palm

Today, we went to the Centre for Cultural Understanding. It was such an enlightening experience, especially to get some clarity about women’s role in predominantly Muslim communities. It brought to light the everyday traditions of UAE and other Muslim communities, as well as common misconceptions made in the media about them. Dubai is a lot more liberal than many think. Our PR team, made some connections with the community. We learnt that Dubai especially has very many expats, and London itself is a very popular destination for those who live over in the UAE. They take a huge liking to oxford street. After the cultural understanding lunch, we went over to the Dubai Creek to explore the souks. Inside the market, the team encountered many interesting people. They were selling things from crystals to ‘authentic’ designer bags. Those that didn’t know how, learnt how to haggle, and picked up a few things along the way. We ended the day with a nice meal, and some jokes to enlighten us. Overall, the experience we all thought today was unforgettable, we all learnt so much and had a good laugh.