Jump to main content
Sophie Drakeford-Lewis shoots for goa

Sophie Drakeford-Lewis shoots for goal. Image: Ben Lumley

Sophie Drakeford-Lewis watched England win Commonwealth gold in her uni room in 2018, but now the Team Bath attacker is part of the squad looking to make it back-to-back titles.

The 23-year-old goal attack is one of seven 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague stars selected by Jess Thirlby for this summer’s Games in Birmingham.

And Drakeford-Lewis admits it’s still hard to believe she’s now part of the squad that made such an impact on her four years ago.

“It felt a bit surreal to be selected into this squad because I remember four years ago,” reflected Drakeford-Lewis.

“I was sat in my first year uni halls, got up at I think it was 4am to watch the gold medal match and just being completely inspired by the girls and the way in which they completely elevated the game of netball as a result in the UK and just seeing the buzz.

“I just really wanted to be a part of that. It was really inspiring, over the past three, four years, to want to be involved this time – that was a massive inspiration for me.”

Drakeford-Lewis will be making her Commonwealth Games debut off the back of an impressive season for Team Bath, as the Blue & Gold took third at the Grand Final in June.

But the Reading-born attacker believes all of the new additions from four years ago will be able to seamlessly join their more experienced colleagues.

“There are some of us that are debutants at this Commonwealth Games and I think we can just come in with absolutely no fear.

“We don’t really know what to expect, it’s going to be a really exciting time for us.

“I hope that alongside the massive experience the other girls had at the Gold Coast, we’ve got a good mix of experience and youth – it should be really exciting, it should be a good mix and hopefully a successful one.”

Representing her nation at the Commonwealth Games will be the latest peak in an already impressive career for the 23-year-old.

But it hasn’t always been easy, with Drakeford-Lewis having overcome a number of rejections early on in her netball career, something that only made her even more determined.

“I had some unsuccessful trials to get into the regional set up and I went two years in a row and didn’t get selected,” she added.

“It really just pushed me to work even harder, it really fuels the fire inside me to try to give my all every day to try and get better so I know next time around I couldn’t have done anymore.

“Fortunately for me it did pay dividends in the end. I did get seen and got selected as a result but they were definitely tough patches, especially being a youngster, but it’s definitely all been worth it.”

And as Drakeford-Lewis lines up alongside her other England stars this summer in Birmingham, she hopes it can inspire the next generation of netballers.

“If it’s anything like the last Commonwealth Games and then the World Cup that was in Liverpool in 2019, it’s just going to do such good things for the sport in the UK but also women’s sport as a whole,” said Drakeford-Lewis.

“It’s such a great stage for us to show how great women’s sport is and how great netball is, and inspire other people to get involved.

“As a youngster growing up and seeing the England girls made me want to get involved and hopefully we can do the same thing for the next generation.”

Previous Story Sweet dreams the key for Rhinos’ Clarke
Next Story Signing Window 2023 to open this August

More News

Lenize Potgieter
12th Aug 2022

The First Interview: Lenize Potgieter talks Thunder, pressure, and weather

Reading: 5 mins
Potgieter of Manchester Thunder.
12th Aug 2022

Manchester Thunder sign South Africa star Lenize Potgieter

Reading: 3 mins
Taylor McKevitt of Manchester Thunder during this Signing Window.
12th Aug 2022

2023 Signing Window explained: How do VNSL transfers work?

Reading: 4 mins
Catherine Tuivaiti of Severn Stars.
8th Aug 2022

The five biggest transfers from the 2022 Signing Window

Reading: 5 mins
Drakeford-Lewis hoping to make Commonwealths mark after being inspired by 2018 gold
7th Aug 2022

Commonwealth Games: Legacy Netball

Reading: 4 mins

Google Ad – MPU – Right Column