With the International Netball Series 2013 just around the corner, we thought we would provide you with a short interview with one of the England Netball Team’s brightest young players, Sophia Candappa. Juggling a psychology course at Loughborough University with training for her position as Centre/Wing Attack, here she describes everything from her sporting highlights and match warm ups, to a typical routine, and how she likes to celebrate!
Name: Sophia Candappa
Positions Played: C/WA
Many of our readers are currently playing netball at a competitive level; what’s the best advice you have ever been given regarding competitions?
“Failing and getting back up is what brings you success”. This has been really evident in my netball career (and I think in most elite athletes careers), it isn’t an easy journey, there are ups and downs all the way, it is the perseverance and strength to pick yourself up when you get knocked back and to ‘prove them wrong’.
How do you generally prepare for a big tournament?
It’s important to make sure you eat and sleep well before a game or tournament. Snacks throughout a tournament are key in ensuring that you have enough energy to last you for the day. I always have a banana during a game.
Favourite pre-match meal?
I love tomato pasta with tuna or a jacket potato with beans and coleslaw. It’s very important to have a meal containing carbohydrates, as this will provide you with the sufficient energy to play a game.
Sport Lived specialize in Sports-based gap years for students who compete at a high level. Have you ever trained abroad, and if not is this something you would consider doing in the future?
I haven’t trained abroad, but have been on a number of tours to Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. I would love to play out in New Zealand in the ANZ league, as it would be amazing to play for the top netball league in the world and I love the country.
What were you doing when you found out you had been given your first international cap? How did you celebrate?
I found out that I got selected into the international squad for the upcoming tour to Australia and New Zealand 2011 at the end of trials in Bath. The selectors called out the names of the selected athletes, and this was a very nerve racking experience, I was just praying to hear my name. I remember calling my mum straight away, and she was screaming down the phone to me with joy, it was a very special moment.
What sort of thing do your training sessions typically involve? And how often do you train per week?
I train twice a day during the weekdays and the weekends are game days. My training week includes: 3 weights sessions, 2 endurance sessions, 5 wall works, 3 netball specific sessions and 3 games a week. So a LOT of training and playing!!!
How do you find the balance between university life and your sporting commitments?
Naturally it is hard to balance my studies and netball, but I am quite an organized person and this helps a lot. It’s just about making sure I have enough time to study, train/play and time to relax and socialize.
Most memorable match?
Most memorable match would have to be the World Universities Final against South Africa last year. It was an exciting finish as the game went into extra time, but Great Britain clinched it at the end. It was one of the best feelings knowing that my team and I were WORLD CHAMPIONS!!!!
Highlight of your netball career to date?
Highlight of my netball career would be getting my first International cap against Australia in Canberra, 2011. It was an extremely nerve racking experience, but one that I will never forget!
How do you think England will fare against Australia in the upcoming series?
As a squad we have learnt a lot from the recent Quad series in October 2012, and we hope to have corrected our errors and consolidated on our strengths and it should be an exciting test series.
Most exciting upcoming event for 2013?
The most exciting upcoming event is the World Youth Championships in August that are being held in Glasgow. I missed out on the last World Youth’s in 2009, when I was only 15 years old, but my birthday was lucky to sit on the right side of the year so that I was eligible for the 2013 Championships. So I have pretty much been training for this for the last 5 years.