Caz Buckland (OC 2002-2009)
How did sport help you post-Caterham?
Playing (and loving) sport at Caterham certainly helped in the short-term when I left school as I signed straight up to join various sports clubs on my first day when I joined Loughborough University, instantly finding a friendship group I stayed close to throughout my time there. Being involved in a structured team environment from school and through university helped me always know that I have a hobby I love that can help take my mind off work/stress of everyday life. I still play netball to a fairly high standard and work within sport at a Premier League football club so am still surrounded by sport! The desire and passion I built for various sports at Caterham has certainly stayed with me.
What’s your favourite memory of sports at school?
Definitely playing with our senior netball team in the last couple of years – specifically going to National Finals in Bournemouth with our matching bespoke hoodies! We stayed overnight at Lottie’s holiday home in Mudeford before the tournament as a team – I’ll never forget memories like that!
What would be the achievement you were most proud of?
At school my biggest achievement was related to the above memory – we qualified as Surrey Champions many times but then winning next round of National Schools and progressing to the Finals, placing among the top teams too was an absolute highlight. In sport after school, my proudest moment was captaining England at the Nets World Cup last year. Nets is a variation on traditional netball – think what rugby 7s is to rugby. It’s a quicker, faster paced version of the game which is great fun to play!
Are you still in contact with any of your team mates?
Yes a few of them. Thankfully we all have social media so I often see updates from various team mates which is lovely. I speak to Emily Buckett & Lottie Gregory every now and then, and recently saw that Carmel Smith has just got engaged – congrats!!
How has your experience of sport at Caterham helped after school?
It laid the foundations for having a passion for sport as well as increased confidence in myself as a teammate and a leader that are still with me today. Success (and some failures) at school taught me to have determination and work towards what I wanted, and ignited a competitive spirit at a young age that I’m thrilled to still have now. My career is now in sport and I’m very grateful for Caterham providing that starting point initially and giving me the confidence to go after what I wanted.
What advice would you give your schoolgirl self?
Enjoy the after-school training sessions with your mates! And leave everything on court every time you play. The highs of the memories stay there (even 12 years later) if you put everything you can into it…. it’s never just a game!