The Lightning Academy

The Lightning Academy’s aim is to find and grow competitive players and coaches with the aspirations and ability to compete at an elite level.

The Pathway Structure

Competition squads - U21/U19/U17 

Training and competition: October - March

Self-led S&C programme: August-September

U21/U19/U17 Programme is centralised in Loughborough


U15 (Summer Competition only)

Training and competition: June – August (Comp

Programme is centralised in Loughborough


U15 Futures 

Training: January – April

Programme is centralised in Loughborough


Lightning Academy - U17 & U15 

Each Academy (Hub) will consist of between 18-24 athletes

Self-led preparation programme: July-September

Training: September - April

U17/U15 Programmes will take place in hubs across the region and part centralised for education days and match play.

The Pathway Structure

Below is our current performance pathway structure:

Academy Training

The Academy programme provides performance training and a pathway for athletes to develop, progress and strengthen their understanding of the game within a team environment. We aim to provide the athletes with a high standard of coaching, education, and an enjoyable training environment with the addition of high quality match play to support the athletes learning and progression.


A small group of athletes will be selected to represent Loughborough Lighting in competition.

The competition season is split into two parts:

  1. NPL League Season (September – April roughly)
  2. NPL Tournament Season (May – August roughly)

The Lighting teams provide an opportunity for players to develop within competition and as part of a team. We have teams competing in the U21 and U19 Netball Performance League (NPL) as well as U17 and U15 teams who play training games against other Franchises during the league season. U21, U19, and U17 teams will also compete in the NPL tournament in the summer. The U15 team will compete in the School Games competition. Each team will consist of 12-15 players depending on the rules of the competition.

Athletes selected for a team will have an additional session and therefore train up to twice a week.

Trials and Selection

Loughborough Lightning U19 & U21 Academy Trials

To register for U19 or U21 trials all boxes below must be completed on the registration form and a payment of £10 made. Upon submission of your online registration form you will be redirected to our online payment platform. 

If payment is not made, your place will not be confirmed at trials.

Trials are open for both age groups and athletes DO NOT require a referral or nomination from a club or county coach to attend. 


U19 Lightning Academy Trials

8th October 2019
6-9pm (sign in will be available from 5.30pm)
Venue: Netball Centre, Loughborough University

U19 Eligibility: Aged under 19 at 23:59 on 31st December 2019 (i.e. for the 2019/20 season players must have a date of birth from 2001 or later). 

Click HERE to register for U19 trials


U21 Lightning Academy Trials

10th October 2019
6-9pm (sign in will be available from 5.30pm)
Venue: Netball Centre, Loughborough University

U21 Eligibility: Aged under 21 at 23:59 on 31st December 2019 (i.e. for the 2019/20 season players must have a date of birth from 1999 or later).

Click HERE to register U21 trials






Selection notes:

U15 Futures and the U17 Competition team - players will be selected from our U17 and U15 Academy (Hubs). 

U19 and U21 teams, players will be selected from an open trial.

We have a number of opportunities for potential athletes to be invited into the Lightning pathway for trial throughout the season:   

  • County coach referral
  • Lightning Masterclasses
  • Lightning Camps
  • Opportunity to be scouted within competition

Selection is done in line with England Netball guidelines and our Loughborough Lightning Selection Policy.

Through out the season and in between trials, players can be invited to train at the next level of the pathway by a Lightning Coach. This is to ensure we are able to support the needs of individual athletes.

For a more comprehensive understanding of the process please read the selection policy below:

Lightning selection policy - netball