From lab coats to dodgeballs: science technician scores a spot on England team

Rebecca Platt-Harper, science technician for Shireland Biomedical UTC in West Bromwich by day, celebrates achieving a remarkable milestone in her sporting career after being selected to join England’s Women’s Senior Squad in dodgeball.  

Possessing an exceptional level of skill and dedication for the sport, Rebecca has taken her pursuit of excellence to a new level as she embarks to compete at the highest professional level, where she will be proudly representing her country in a game that is quickly growing to become one of the most popular sports. 

The selection process for the 17-member dodgeball team is highly competitive, with Rebecca having to compete against some of the country’s top players. Following rigorous trials, fitness tests and even playing against the current England team that participated in the European Championships last year, she received the exciting news that she had been selected for the Women’s Senior Squad.  

When asked about the challenges she encountered during the selection process, Rebecca said: “The biggest challenge was knowing I was trialling against the best of the best. 

“Fitness was a huge element in the trial, and having to push past the mental and physical barrier was especially difficult to mentally prepare myself for a tough day of trialling, but also a tough couple of weeks to hear if I had made the squad or not.” 

Rebecca began her dodgeball journey over three years ago and has been playing for the Leamington Spartans, who have been leading in the Women’s Super League.   

The dream of representing her country in a major sporting event has been long cherished by Rebecca, who fondly recalls telling family members from a young age that, one day, she would play for England.    

She explains how her determination was key to her success, as well as her excellent dodging skills on court: “Once I set my mind to something, I will really push myself to get it. I always had the goal of playing for England.  

“I’ve been told before by many people that they cannot hit me no matter how hard they try. This skill is huge in games for survivability as we can win with the majority of players in the court by the end of the game.” 

As a valued member of staff at Shireland Biomedical UTC, Rebecca’s accomplishment is a great inspiration for both students and staff alike. Her message to others considering sports, especially dodgeball, was: “Try it out! Everyone must start somewhere. No matter what age, gender or disability, sport is for everyone.” 

Jaskiran Madahar, Principal of Shireland Biomedical UTC, said: “We are incredibly proud of Rebecca’s accomplishment and wish her all our congratulations and the very best as she prepares to represent her country in this amazing sport!” 

For more information on dodgeball, including how to participate and local clubs, visit the British Dodgeball website: