26 February 2018
At the age of just 16, Withington Girls’ School pupil, Miranda Bate, has been selected to represent England in the first ever U20 Women’s European Lacrosse Championships to be held in August in Poland.
She is part of the England U19 team, placing her in the top 16 lacrosse players in this age category in the country. She has also been selected to represent England at the Home Internationals in Edinburgh in April and a USA tour in July.
A year younger at age 15, Miranda was selected to be part of the U17 national academy which works in parallel with the U19 academy, and is part of the England Lacrosse Talent Pathway. When she took part in trials in January, her aim was to retain her place in the U17 academy, and possibly to be selected for the Home Internationals. “It was with surprise and great delight that I found out I would be travelling to Poland with the U20s!” she said.
Miranda, who plays for Oxton Lacrosse Club and has earned her level one coaching award, explained how she found herself being coached by England International senior player and Withington alumna Sophie Whitehead while taking part in a talent pathway academy training weekend: “Sophie was a great inspiration.”
Miranda, who will be taking her GCSEs this year, is not just a star on the lacrosse pitch, she is also an accomplished pianist, working towards her Grade 7. She is very active in Model United Nations and has been part of Withington’s superb success at various conferences in recent years. She still plays school netball but has withdrawn from playing at county level in order to concentrate on lacrosse. Biology is her favourite subject and she hopes to study biochemistry or natural sciences at university.
Asked how she manages all her commitments, Miranda said: “It’s a great help to be allowed to come into school early and get an hour of homework and study done in the quiet of the library. I’m also able to get an excellent breakfast in the school’s bistro if I haven’t eaten before leaving home.”
Miranda’s mum, Lipi, said: “We’re thrilled for Miranda, who has worked hard and has surprised us with this achievement. We’re so grateful to the school for supporting her from Year 6 in Junior School and for always giving her the opportunity to play alongside the older girls, who have been inspiring.”
Miranda and her teammates are ultimately aiming to reach the U19 Women’s World Cup in Canada next year. “Lacrosse is aiming to become an Olympic sport, which would be the greatest dream!” she concluded.