Friday, 31 December 2010

Congratulations Liz



Many Congratulations to Liz Broomhead who has been awarded an MBE in the Queen New Years Honours List 2011 for services to Netball. Very well deserved!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD




Netballers in Jamaica are celebrating this week after announcing another key sponsorship agreement. Jamaican lottery company Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL) has announced a J$1.7 million (approx $20,000US) support package for Jamaica's senior netball team as it continues its preparation for the 2011 World Netball Championships with a three-Test series against Australia from January 12-16 at the National Indoor Sports Centre (NISC). Jamaica Netball Association president Marva Barnard is pictured receiving the cheque from Sonia Davidson of SVL (right) while team captain Simone Forbes and coach Connie Francis look on.

Following the success of the organisation's development programme in 2010, Vanuatu Netball Association (VNA) has announced it will be repeating its outreach activities in 2011, sending development officer Beverley Ligo and technical officer Sarah Murfett across the provinces to help develop players and officials in all areas. To encourage coach and official development as part of this activity, the VNA is offering scholarships to interested local coaches and umpires to accompany the officers as part of the annual programme. Applications for the scholarships close on 10 January 2011: for further information, please contact the VNA via its website: www.oceaniasport.com/vannetball or email vanuatunetball@gmail.com

England Netball has announced its squad to face New Zealand in January 2011 in a three match test series. Co-captains Karen Atkinson and Sonia Mkoloma will be supported by vice captain Pamela Cookey in the leadership role. The remaining members of the squad are: Sara Bayman, Eboni Beckford Chambers, Louisa Brownfield, Jade Clarke, Sasha Corbin, Rachel Dunn, Stacey Francis, Tamsin Greenway, Serena Guthrie, Jo Harten, Geva Mentor.

The Silver Ferns' dramatic double extra-time win over Australia in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match in Delhi has been rewarded by the New Zealand Olympic Committee. The Ferns have been awarded the Lonsdale Cup for 2010, the prestigious NZOC award made to an athlete or team that has made the most outstanding contribution to an Olympic or Commonwealth sport in that year. Well done!

Congratulations, too, to England's Liz Broomhead, who was named as one of two national runners up at the prestigious BBC TV Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony in the Unsung Hero category. Broomhead, who attended the star-studded event and rubbed shoulders with many sporting greats, is now preparing for a trip to Zimbabwe in the new year to undertake further netball development work. Well done Liz!

Finally, Barbados Netball is searching for a new head coach, after the resignation of Alwyn Babb earlier this week. Babb, who masterminded the island's best ever finish - 7th - at the recent Commonwealth Games, cited disagreements with the new Barbados Netball Association president, Juanita Cordle, as the reason for his departure.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Netball Around the World



Netball Singapore has this week announced Mission Foods as the title sponsor of the Mission Foods World Netball Championships (WNC) 2011, in an agreement worth S$450,000 (approx $343,000US). The deal was concluded in recognition of the growing strength of netball in the Asia Pacific region and the global reach o fthe Mission Foods World Netball Championships. It also builds on the company’s existing support for netball, following its three year agreement as naming sponsor for the ANZ Queensland Firebirds earlier this year.

The draw for the Mission Foods WNC 2011 was made this week, with reigning champions Australia drawn with Sri Lanka, Northern Ireland and Samoa in the opening rounds. Commonwealth champions New Zealand will meet Trinidad and Tobago, Fiji and Wales while world number three side England have been placed with Malawi, Barbados and Malaysia. The final group sees the 2007 bronze medallists Jamaica up against Singapore, South Africa and Botswana. At the end of the round robin stages, the top eight teams will compete in the Grand Final series, while the bottom eight sides will play off for positions 9-16.

Wales gave themselves the best possible festive gift with an impressive 53-30 win over Scotland in the final of the NTUC Fairprice Foundations Nations Cup final, after losing 41-48 to the same opponents in the round robin stages of the competition. This was the first appearance in the competition for Wales, who overturned the world rankings to beat Scotland, ranked one place above them. Tanzania defeated hosts Singapore 54-41 to take third place. The team is pictured with IFNA President Molly Rhone at the presentation of the trophy.

Netball New Zealand has made one change to its Commonwealth gold medal winning squad for the three match test series against England, to be played in January. Anna Thompson, who starred for New Zealand’s Fastnet Ferns in their win at the World Netball Series, replaces Temepara George, who is unavailable following recent minor ankle surgery. The full squad for the series is: Leana de Bruin, Katrina Grant, Joline Henry, Laura Langman, Liana Leota (nee Barrett-Chase), Grace Rasmussen, Anna Scarlett, Anna Thompson, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk, Casey Williams (Capt), Daneka Wipiiti.

England’s selectors have added two new names – Rosie Allison and Lindsay Keable – to the country’s national squad for 2011. Both players have gained experience on overseas tours and as training partners for international test series but this is the first official selection for both. The full England squad for 2011 is: Rosie Allison, Karen Atkinson, Sara Bayman, Eboni Beckford-Chambers, Louisa Brownfield, Jade Clarke, Pamela Cookey, Sasha Corbin, Rachel Dunn, Stacey Francis, Tamsin Greenway, Serena Guthrie, Jo Harten, Naida Hutchinson, Lindsay Keable, Geva Mentor, Sonia Mkoloma.

Netball Barbados has launched its new website – www.barbadosnetball.com which will be used to communicate information about the game at all levels across the island. Visit the site to find out more about netball in Barbados and to sign up for the regular newsletter.

Finally, back in England, Netball North West has teamed up with Cancer Research and Race for Life to raise money for the world’s leading charity dedicated to beating cancer. All netball leagues, clubs and schools in the North West are being asked to support Netball Pink week (24-30 January 2011) by donating £1 per person and wearing something pink when playing netball during the week. Good luck to all the participants.

Friday, 26 November 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD



Heather Crouch MBE, one of England Netball’s most significant leaders of the past 40 years, has died following an 18 month battle with a brain tumour. She was 61. Head England coach during the 1980s, Heather was described as a “coach before her time” for her introduction of new training regimes and sports science support which changed the way which athletes approached the game. Her 40 year career spanned coaching, coach education and furthering the role of netball in the wider sporting agenda via lobbying and membership of several national sporting boards. In addition to creating Coaching Award programmes and the UK Coaching Certificate, she was named British National Association of National Coaches “Coach of the Year” in 1989 – the same year in which her highly influential book “Coaching Netball” was published. She was appointed Chair of Sports Coach UK in 2008, and also served for many years as Vice Chair of England Netball, as well as Chair of Netball South West, driving the region to deliver far in excess of any other region in the UK. A tribute page has been set up on the Netball South West website at www.netballsouthwest.co.uk and a memorial celebration will be held in the New Year in the Taunton area.

New Zealand’s young Fastnet Ferns side triumphed at last weekend’s World Netball Series (WNS) competition in Liverpool, defeating an experienced England line up 28-26 in the final to successfully defend their WNS title. Despite a loss to Australia in their opening game of the competition, as well as suffering a scare against Malawi, the Kiwi side (a mix of fringe Silver Ferns and age group players) soon found its feet and held off a spirited challenge from Jamaica in the semi-finals to emerge 29-28 winners. England defeated the young Australia side, comprising many emerging players, 26-25 in the other semi final. And there was further disappointment for the Australians in the 3rd / 4th play off, in which they lost a thrilling match to Jamaica 30-29.

The Pakistan Olympic Association and KPK Olympic Association have announced that netball for both men and women will be included in the 31st National Games 2010, to be held from 25-31 December in Peshawar. Teams taking part include Army, Police, Navy, Railways, Wapda, Sindh, Punjab, KPK, Baluchistan and Islamabad.

The Botswana Netball Association (BONA) in conjuction with Spar Group will host the finals of the 2010 Spar 'Good for you' Netball League this weekend. The finals will feature Botswana's top four teams: BDF Cats, Notwane & UB Crystals from the South Zone and TASC from the Northern Zone, who will be competing for a prize of P15,000 (approx $2,200 US) and a perpetual trophy.

Defending champions the University of the West Indies are among six Jamaican teams travelling to Florida this weekend to take part in the Florida Netball Classics competition. The Jamaican teams will face sides from across the Caribbean as well as America in the two day competition, which offers a cash prize to the winners.

Finally, in Scotland, Shetland Ladies Netball Association has announced that, as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations for the senior intercounty fixture between Shetland and Orkney, a friendly veterans’ game will take place on 5 March 2011 in Kirkwall, to coincide with the annual interisland fixture. Any player aged 40 or over who has played in a previous intercounty fixture and is interested in taking part should contact Andrea Tait on +44 1595 695195 before 3 December for further information.

Friday, 12 November 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD




New Zealand has closed the gap on world number 1 Australia to just five points in the latest World Rankings released by IFNA this week. The move comes as a result of the Silver Ferns’ thrilling double overtime win against the Diamonds in the final of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Barbados moves into 10th place, while the Cook Islands drop to 11th. Lesotho and India, both of which have a nil rating, are in joint 25th place. For further information and the full world rankings please visit the IFNA page.

Preparations are now being finalised for the second World Netball Series (WNS) to be held in Liverpool, UK from 19-21 November 2010. Tickets are still available via website www.worldnetballseries.com

Host nation England this week announced its squad for the competition, to be captained by Karen Atkinson, with a mixture of young talent and experienced internationals. England’s full squad is: Karen Atkinson (capt), Eboni Beckford Chambers, Louisa Brownfield, Pamela Cookey, Sasha Corbin, Rachel Dunn, Stacey Francis, Tamsin Greenway, Serena Guthrie, Jo Harten, Lindsay Keable, Sonia Mkoloma (pictured above last year)

Nine of the Jamaican squad which took the silver medal in the inaugural WNS competition have been named in the Sunshine Girls line up for this year’s tournament, with defender Althea Byfield and shooters Jodi-Ann Ffrench-Kentish (returning after a four year absence from the international game) and Jhanielle Fowler the new names in the side. The team, to be captained by veteran shooter Simone Forbes, also includes Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, Nadine Bryan, Sasher-Gaye Henry, Malysha Kelly, Sasha-Gay Lynch, Tracy-Ann Robinson, Paula Thompson and Vanessa Walker.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Proteas complete a four day training camp this weekend, ahead of the country’s first appearance in the WNS and will travel to England for acclimatisation early next week. And Malawi’s Queens leave home on Sunday 14th November, with veteran shooter Mary Waya once again set to entertain the crowds with her unique style of play.

During the three day competition, spectators are asked to bring any unwanted netball kit or equipment to donate to players in Africa, through a kit amnesty organised by the Netball Development Trust. Volunteers will be located throughout the competition venue to collect any donations, which the trust will then distribute across the continent to help emerging players.

Finally, Singapore’s squad has started its preparations for the Fairprice Foundation Nations Cup, which will be held from 6-12 December, with intensive coaching from Australian greats Vicki Wilson and Jill McIntosh. The pair has conducted clinics and position-specific training with the 18 player Singapore squad (ranked 19th in the world), which will face Scotland (world number 16), Wales (17), Tanzania (21), Namibia (24) and India (25) during the six day competition.

Friday, 5 November 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD






Former international captain and coach Oberon Pitterson (pictured above) is one of three coaches appointed this week by the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) to join the coaching staff for the island’s Sunshine Girls coaching staff. Working alongside her will be national Under 21 coach C Lloyd Walker and national Under 16 assistant coach Minetth Reynolds. These three will report to former Australian coach Jill McIntosh, who has been appointed technical director to the JNA, and will work alongside senior coach Connie Francis to provide specific individual coaching to selected players.

Netball Australia has named shooter Kate Beveridge as her country’s captain for the upcoming World Netball Series in Liverpool. Beveridge, 25, has 11 international test caps and narrowly missed out on selection for the Delhi Commonwealth Games. Centre courter Madison Browne has been named as vice captain, with Erin Bell and Amy Steel the other members of the leadership group for the Australian squad of emerging talent that will take part in the three day tournament, which has an average age of 21. Sharelle McMahon and Natalie Von Bertouch, who were captain and vice captain for Australia at the Commonwealth Games, have been rested along with the remaining members of the squad which participated in the Delhi competition.

Meanwhile, South Africa coach Carin Strauss will be without six key players when the Proteas travel to England for the FastNet series later this month. Captain Liezel Wium and Precious Mthembu will miss the competition due to injury, while Zanele Mdodana, Nthabiseng Moabi, Leigh- Ann Zackey and Christine Markgraaf are unable to travel due to work commitments. The news leaves Strauss with only six players from the squad which took part in the Commonwealth Games. The additional spots for the Liverpool tournament will be filled by players from South Africa’s extended national training squad.

The Pakistan Netball Federation has announced that Umama Qadri has been honoured by the country’s Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani with the Prime Minister’s Excellency Award for her performances in international competition. Qadri, a member of the gold medal winning side at the 2010 Pakistan Netball Championships as well as part of Pakistan’s national squad, was shortlisted along with many of the country’s other young sportspeople, and is the first netballer to receive this award. Congratulations to her.

Friday, 29 October 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD





Australian club side the South East Demons (pictured) have arrived in Vanuatu ahead of three test matches against the islands’ national team, which start tomorrow (Saturday). In addition to the competitive matches, Demons players and management will also be holding a series of coaching workshops for players of all ages, as well as passing on coach education across the country.

Also in Vanuatu, the country’s first Vanuatu Beach Games will take place on 29 November, featuring Beach Volleyball alongside the country’s first Beach Netball competition. Proceeds from the tournament will contribute to the cost of Vanuatu’s planned tour to Australia in 2011, as well as the Beach Volleyball side’s future plans.

Jamaica Netball Association president Marva Barnard has this week confirmed that the Association has approached former Australia coach Jill McIntosh with a view to her joining the coaching team for the Sunshine Girls in the run up to the World Championships in 2011. McIntosh, who won multiple World titles both as a player and coach, recently spent six weeks in Jamaica working with local coaches in the Jamaica Award Netball Coaching certification programme. Contractual details are still to be finalised, but the JNA is confident that McIntosh will be in post from February 2011 for a five month period.

In Pakistan, the Karachi Girls Netball Cup is now under way. Organised by the Sindh Netball Association in association with the Pakistan Netball Federation, the competition features teams from across the region, with the finals to be concluded this weekend.

The Netball Association of Ghana (NAG) is holding a special one day tournament this weekend in Kaneshie Accra as part of the country’s preparations for future international competitions. The “Pure Joy Netball Tournament”, sponsored by TT Brothers Ltd, will feature teams from across the country, and is also aimed at increasing awareness of and participation in netball throughout Ghana.

Congratulations to IFNA Vice President Kereyn Smith, who has been appointed secretary general of the NZ Olympic Committee. The tenth person appointed to the role, Smith will lead the country's Olympic and Commonwealth sport into the new decade and will be the first woman in charge of the organisation.

Finally, Sylvester Campbell, Jamaica’s top umpire, has announced that the recent Delhi Commonwealth Games will probably be his last international tournament. Campbell, who has officiated at the top levels of the game for the past 20 years, has not ruled out overseeing home internationals, but believes that the time is now right for him to step aside from major competitions.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Netball around the World





Following their thrilling battle in last week's Commonwealth Games final, the heat is on with New Zealand and Australia announcing their squads for the World Netball Series 2010 which takes place in Liverpool, UK, next month.


New Zealand will be captained by former Silver Fern Maree Bowden, and the side includes Grace Rasmussen, who was part of the gold medal winning side in Delhi. Rasmussen's sister Rachel is also included in a Silver Ferns representative squad for the first time. The remaining squad members are: Kayla Cullen, Ellen Halfpenny, Charlotte Kight, Camilla Lees, Jess Moulds, Hayley Saunders, Te Huinga Selby Rickett and Anna Thompson, and the group will be coached by Robin Broughton.



Netball Australia has chosen to rest its squad of 12 players who claimed silver in Delhi and has instead named a side of emerging talent to take part in the FastNet competition. Three members of the wider Australian Diamonds squad - Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne and Amy Steel - have been included after narrowly missing out on selection for Delhi and will be joined by Chanel Gomes and April Letton, named MVPs in this year's Australian National Championships (pictured). The other squad members are: Caitlin Bassett, Shae Bolton, Ashleigh Brazil, Teagan Caldwell and Sharni Leyton.

The World Netball Series sees Australia, New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa competing in the Fast Net format. It takes place 19th, 20th and 21st November at the Echo Arena. Visit www.worldnetballseries.com for tickets.



20 year old Malawi shooter Mwayi Kumwenda has announced that she will be spending a season playing in Australia, after being awarded a scholarship by the Victorian club Peninsula Waves. Kumwenda, who was Malawi's leading shooter at the Commonwealth Games,will travel to Australia in spring 2011 to take up her scholarship. Pictured above winning the Player of the Series at the World Netball Series 2009.

It was announced yesterday that IFNA Vice President. Kereyn Smith, will be the first woman to lead the New Zealand Olympic Committee after being named as the Organisations new Secretary General. Kereyn will take up her new post in January 2011. Congratulations from all at IFNA.


Former England international Ama Agbeze has been named as the final member of the West Coast Fever squad for the 2011 ANZ Championship season. Agbeze returns to the Fever side after seasons with the Melbourne Vixens and Central Pulse.



Finally IFNA has this week announced a series of initiatives which are designed to improve standards of match officiating across the sport. In addition to the publication of a new table officials handbook in November, it has been announced that fitness levels for umpires will be assessed during the World Netball Series in Liverpool and research undertaken to enable new fitness standards to be set for netball's international officials and announced in early 2011.

Monday, 18 October 2010




Kate Palmer, Netball Australia CEO, Molly Rhone, IFNA President and Urvasi Naidoo, IFNA CEO took time out of their busy schedules during the Commonwealth Games to visit the GOAL programme this week. GOAL, IFNA's award winning programme, runs in partnership with Standard Chartered and the NAZ Trust. It offers girls from underprivileged backgrounds the opportunity to play netball and gain valuable life skills. It runs in Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. The picture was taken at the Deepalya site in Delhi.

On the court, the Commonwealth Games competition reached a thrilling conclusion, with New Zealand's Silver Ferns retaining their Commonwealth title after a pulsating double extra-time victory over World Champions Australia, 66-64. New Zealand defender Anna Scarlett played a key role in helping the Ferns to turn around the Diamonds's early six goal advantage, before leaving the court with a finger injury. Without her height on court, Australia found it easier to feed their shooters, and levelled the scores at the end of the 60 minute period. Scarlett returned to the court for the extra time period, and Australia once again struggled in attack. However, the scores were still level at the end of the second period of extra time, and a further eight minutes were played before Maria Tutaia held her nerve to sink the long range goal that retained the title for New Zealand.

In the bronze medal match, England recovered from their close losses to Australia and New Zealand earlier in the tournament to register an impressive 71-47 win against Jamaica, to retain the bronze medal which they won in 2006. England's defensive combination of Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor shut down possession to Jamaica's Romelda Aiken, and with shooters Louisa Brownfield and Pamela Cookey in commanding form, England eased to a simple win.

Finally this week, Vanuatu Netball has announced a three match test series for the island's national team against Australia's South East Demons club side, which will take place in Vanuatu from 30 October - 3 November.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Netball Around the World




Despite concerns before the start about safety and construction issues, the Delhi Commonwealth Games is now under way. And for five netballers, the glittering opening ceremony, held in front of a capacity crowd, was a particularly significant event, as they were all chosen to carry their national flags into the stadium.

Sharelle McMahon (pictured against India), who is competing in her fourth Commonwealth Games, led out the Australian team, while Laurel Browne carried the flag for Barbados. Jamaica’s Simone Forbes, who has represented her country in five sports – basketball, football, softball and volleyball – was chosen to lead out the island’s athletes. Irene van Dyk, who became the most capped Silver Fern of all time in her second game of the competition, marched at the head of the New Zealand athletes and the perennial Mary Waya, one of the oldest netball competitors at 42 years of age, beamed her way round the track as the leader of the Malawi contingent.

On court, competition newcomers India have found the going tough, with Australia handing out a record breaking 113-18 to the home nation in the pool matches. The Indians, playing in their first Commonwealth Games competition, could not cope with the pace and power of the Diamonds, and despite the crowd cheering every successful path, found the gap in class too huge to bridge. Meanwhile, reigning Commonwealth champions New Zealand also broke the century with a 102-21 win over Papua New Guinea, but were made to battle from behind to defeat England in their group 47-41 having trailed at half time. Pool matches continue this weekend, before the play offs start at the beginning of next week, with the medal matches scheduled for Thursday (14 October).

Despite their international baptism of fire, Indian netballers have cause for celebration this week, after Australia’s sports minister Mark Arbib this week launched a RS 200 million programme ($4.5 million US) aimed at developing sports facilities across India for disadvantaged children. IFNA’s GOAL programme, which provides regular training and match play for more than 1000 girls and young women across the country, was cited at the launch event as an example of how sport can make significant differences at the grass roots and it is hoped that the new programme will allow GOAL to expand its reach still further.

Finally, Netball Namibia has announced its first national training camp of 2010, to take place in October. The camp, to last for two days, will allow the national senior and U21 sides to prepare for the Six Nations Cup and African Youth Games, to take place in Singapore and Swaziland respectively later this year.

Friday, 1 October 2010





With less than three days to go to the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, all the competing netball sides are now settled in the athletes’ village and making final preparations for the start of the competition on 4 October. And despite the heavy training schedules, there has still been time for discovering more about the Indian subcontinent and culture: four members of the Australian Diamonds (pictured above) took the opportunity to learn a traditional dance from students at Delhi’s Banyan Tree School. Laura Geitz, Lauren Nourse, Susan Pratley and Natalie Medhurst encountered the dancers, who had just performed at a welcoming ceremony for the Namibian and Kenyan teams, in the athletes’ village and took some time out to learn some new dance moves, along with finger cymbals and twirling scarves. However, the interlude provided only light relief ahead of the opening ceremony and the first match of the competition, in which Australia faces Samoa.



The IFNA President, Molly Rhone and the IFNA Chief Executive, Urvasi Naidoo are already in Delhi and have inspected both the competition venue and the practice venue. The President described the facilities as "world class" and said she is looking forward to watching some closely contended matches.



While the international netball world awaits the start of the Commonwealth Games competition, domestic championships continue apace. The Feroza Begum ninth National Womens’ Championship is currently under way in Pakistan, with eight teams competing. Organised by the Pakistan Netball Federation, in association with the Sindh Sports Department and Sindh Netball Association, the tournament will identify the five qualifying teams for the 31st Pakistan National Games, the country’s major multi-sports event.



In New Zealand, the final of the Lion Foundation Netball Championships will take place between defending champions Auckland Aitakere and Mainland Foundation Canterbury. This will be the first Grand Final appearance for Canterbury since 2002. Meanwhile, third and fourth place will be contested between Ascot Park Hotel Southland and Pak’n’Save Wellington.



Victoria reversed the result of last season’s grand final, defeating reigning champions New South Wales 45-37 on the third day of Australia’s Dealsdirect.com National U21 championships in a result which leaves the Victorians as the new favourites for the title and moves the champions into second place in the table. Queensland is currently in third place, after a 54-39 win against ACT, while the Western Australia team kept its hopes of a finals place alive with a stirring 49-44 win over South Australia. The competition concludes on Saturday.



Four teams are tied with two wins apiece at the top of England’s Premier 1 National Clubs league - Academy, New Cambell, Linden and Oaksway. However, with Academy hosting Oaksway, Linden travelling to Oldham and New Cambell facing Bournemouth 7s Blades this weekend, an outright league leader should emerge by the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010




Singapore Netball is celebrating this week, after securing its biggest sponsorship deal to date. NTUC FairPrice Foundation has announced an $S80,000 ($60,000US) title sponsorship deal for the Nations Cup tournament, funding which will be used to develop the six-team Cup, to be played at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall from 6-12 December. Pictured above some of the national team players in front of the sponsor's promotional bus. Seeing netballers on the side of the bus - terrific.

Singapore has hosted the annual tournament since its inception in 2006, attracting 12 different countries over the years. The new sponsorship agreement is part of the Foundation's efforts to cultivate Singapore's sporting talent and promote greater interest in sports. This year's Cup will see the hosts face favourites Scotland (ranked 16th in the world), Tanzania and new entrants Wales, India and Namibia. The Scots lost to Northern Ireland in last year's final. And in a move which is certain to broaden the appeal of netball across the continent, the final will be broadcast live across 26 Asian countries for the first time in 2010.

With only ten days to go until the start of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and despite concerns from some quarters about security and the facilities on site, the twelve netballing nations competing are finalising their preparations. Host nation India received a welcome boost this week with the news that 17 year old star player Megha Chaudhary has been exonerated of all doping charges which forced her withdrawal from her country’s squad and has rejoined her team. Meanwhile, South Africa’s Proteas will face Samoa in a friendly warm up game on arrival in India at the start of next week and the Australian Diamonds are on their way to Malaysia for a pre-tournament training camp. The Barbados squad has broken its journey to India in England, playing friendly matches against leading club side Academy as well as the England Excel squad. The Commonwealth Games netball competition is scheduled to start on 4 October, when Samoa takes on Australia.

Standard Bank Malawi will once again sponsor the country’s national netball championships, which launches its 19th season on Saturday with a high profile parade and celebration event in Blantyre. The competition, which will run nationwide, will be co-ordinated with Malawi’s national football championships to encourage participation in sport in general across the country.

In Jamaica, defending champions St Hugh’s High and the Queen’s School started this year’s ISSA/Digicel-sponsored Urban Schoolgirls netball championships, which started this week. St Hugh's are the defending Senior League champions while The Queen's are the National All-Island and Urban Junior champions.

With preparations already under way for the 2011 ANZ Championship season, New Zealand’s Southern Steel franchise has some unexpected planning headaches to contend with, after a heavy snowfall caused part of the roof of Invercargill’s Stadium Southland to collapse last weekend. Early estimates suggest that the stadium could be out of action for up to 18 months, which means that the Invercargill-based side will be looking to play home fixtures in Dunedin next year. These disruptions come after the Canterbury provincial championships team was forced to find a new home court, following damage caused by the recent earthquake in the region.

Friday, 17 September 2010

With less than a month to the start of the competition, all teams participating in the netball competition at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi are in final stages of preparations. The 12 teams have been split into two pools: Australia, Jamaica, Malawi, Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago and India make up one group, while New Zealand, England, South Africa, Cook Islands, Barbados and Papua New Guinea comprise the other pool. The competition starts on 4 October, with the final scheduled for 14 October.

Following its success at the African qualification competition for the 2011 World Championships, The Botswana Netball Association (BONA) has appealed to companies across Africa for sponsorship to enable the side to compete in the Six Nations tournament, to be held in Singapore in December. Funded by the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC), BONA does not have sufficient funds to participate in extended overseas tours but needs to increase its players’ exposure to international competition as they look to improve the country’s world ranking of 18.

The Fiji netball team will not be able to defend its title at the 2011 Pacific Games in New Caledonia, following a decision by the host country not to stage a netball competition as part of the programme. Despite the fact that netball is one of the biggest sports played across the Pacific, it is an optional sport within the Games programme: instead, netballing nations in the region will use the Pacific Series, to be held in Papua New Guinea, as preparation for the 2011 World Championships.



England defenders Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor have this week confirmed that they will not represent their country at the 2011 World Championships, after committing themselves to next year’s ANZ Championships. This decision rules them out of selection for the England team for next year’s competition, after England’s national selectors agreed to only consider players competing in the UK for the World Championships side.



As the ANZ Championship starts the build up to its fourth season, teams have already named their squads for the 2011 competition. Mkoloma will return to line up with the NSW Swifts for the second year in succession, while Mentor has been a controversial signing for the Melbourne Vixens. A new ruling, allowing each side in the competition only one import player, meant that the Adelaide Thunderbirds could not sign the English star as well as 2010’s shooting revelation, Jamaican Carla Borrego, despite making an appeal to the competition’s organising committee. Meanwhile, West Coast Fever has signed the youngest ever player for the competition, Courtney Bruce, and another 16 year old, Madeleine Proud joins the reigning champions, Adelaide Thunderbirds. For full team lists and player movements, please visit www.anz-championship.com. The 2011 Season starts on 13 February 2011.



Finally, netball continues to extend its influence in Asia, with a group of expats now involved in coaching and playing in Korea. Introduced to the country in 2001, the game is now played in many schools, but with the arrival of a number of Australian and New Zealand players, the Korean Netball Association now has the ability to co-odinate training sessions and a Tuesday night netball league has been introduced for the first time. For further information, please email netballkorea@hotmail.com

Friday, 10 September 2010




South Africa and Botswana have qualified to participate in the World Netball Championships in Singapore next year, after finishing first and second at this week’s African qualifying games played at the University of Pretoria. They will be joined there by Malawi, automatic qualifiers as a result of being in the top five in the last World Netball Championships in 2007. The South African side did not lose a match during the week-long competition, while Botswana’s only loss was to the Proteas. Zimbabwe ended in third place, with Namibia fourth, Tanzania fifth and Lesotho sixth respectively.

Towering 6” 5’ shooter Jhanelle Fowler (pictured above) will make her international tournament debut at the Commonwealth Games after being named in Jamaica’s side for the competition. Fowler, who achieved her first international cap in the recent test series against England, is named for the world number four side alongside two other new faces with limited international experience – mid court player Kimone Tulloch and goal attack Anna Kay Griffith. The remainder of the squad features a number of Commonwealth and World Championships veterans, including Georgia Gordon, who featured in Jamaica’s bronze medal-winning team in 2003 and Kasey Evering, who returns after a three year injury lay off, and will be captained by Simone Forbes. Others named for the competition are: Nicole Aitken, Romelda Aitken, Nadine Bryan, Althea Byfield, Sasher-Gaye Henry and Paula Thompson. The side completed its preparations for the Commonwealth Games with a 52-45 victory over world number three England, after losing the first game of the series between the two 53-42.

Reigning world champions Australia take an important psychological advantage into the Commonwealth Games, after taking the first Constellation Cup against world number two New Zealand with a thrilling 46-40 win in the final match of the series between the two nations. Tied at 31 all at the end of three quarters, both teams gave their all in a roller-coaster final quarter but it was the Diamonds, inspired by strong performances from captain Sharelle McMahon and WD Renae Hallinan, who pulled away to edge the win.

Vanuatu played host to the first visit of a delegation from the Pacific Netball Partnership during early August. Anne Marie Phippard from Netball Australia, Briar Martindale from Netball New Zealand and Martin Roberts from the Australian Sports Commission made up the delegation which attended a variety of meetings with players, club officials, local netball associations and the government during their visit. A test match and demonstration training sessions planned for the visit had to be cancelled due to poor weather and a tsunami warning, but these were held at a later date and video footage has been provided to the delegation for comment and feedback. It has also been confirmed that Vanuatu’s U21 side will host Western Australian club side the South East Demons for a three match test series in late October.

Finally, a group of care home residents in England has formed what could be the world’s oldest netball team. The Golden Oldies side, from Warrington in Cheshire, has an average age of 90 and oldest player Olive Cook is 101. Formed to provide variety in weekly activity sessions, the team trains twice a week and is now seeking other care home teams to play matches against.

Friday, 3 September 2010



Netball Australia and Netball New Zealand have unveiled a new trophy, the Constellation Cup, which will be awarded each year to the country that wins the most international tests between the Australian Diamonds and the New Zealand Silver Ferns. Designed and made by artists on both sides of the Tasman, the trophy will be presented for the first time by Sir Anand Satyanand, New Zealand’s Governor General, at the conclusion of the third test of this year’s series between the two nations in Auckland on Sunday, 5 September. Picture shows Sharelle McMahon (Australia) and Casey Williams (NZ) with the new Constellation Cup

The teams go into the third test tied at one match each. Australia held their nerve and their form to come from behind and edge past the Ferns in the first test, played in Adelaide, winning 48-43. However, the Ferns stormed out of the blocks at the start of the second game of the series, and could not be caught, taking a relatively easy win 59-40.

Coaching arrangements for Tanzania’s Taifa Queens remain uncertain as former Australian international Simone McKinnis has still not had her appointment as national coach confirmed. Despite receiving the sanction of the Tanzanian president, McKinnis has not yet received her contract and written confirmation of her new role. The team had hoped she would be in place to train the side ahead of the Africa Netball Championships, which take place from 5-12 September in South Africa, which will act as the regional qualification tournament for the 2011 World Netball Championships.

The Africa Netball Championships sees a record 11 countries fighting for 2 places to the WNC2011: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Malawi has already qualified for WNC2011.

IFNA and Africa Netball are taking the opportunity of the Regional Tournament to run some workshops for the African Members. IFNA Global Development Manager, Sarah Pickford and long standing supporter of Africa, Liz Broomhead are heading out to Johannesburg. The workshops will be chaired by IFNA Africa Regional Development Manager, Joan Smit and delegates from all the African countries above will be in attendance.

Netball continues to expand in northern Europe, with the first Stockholm International tournament taking place last week. Eight teams from Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and Switzerland took part, with Copehnhagen Netball Club finishing the tournament undefeated, with a convincing 24-4 win over Stockholm in the Grand Final. Congratulations to all those who took part.

Reigning world champions, the Australian Diamonds announced their Commonwealth Games squad this week, with three players – Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne and Amy Steel - dropped from the group which contested test matches against Jamaica last month. The Australian squad is: Sharelle McMahon (captain), Rebecca Bulley, Catherine Cox, Susan Fuhrmann, Laura Geitz, Renae Hallinan, Mo’onia Gerrard, Kimberlee Green, Natalie Medhurst, Lauren Nourse, Susan Pratley, Natalie von Bertouch.

The Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) has celebrated two new sponsorship agreements this week, the first a J$1million agreement with Pepsi-Cola Jamaica, through its Gatorade Brand: the deal also includes provision of Gatorade and Aqua Essential water for the team’s training camps and tournaments, as well as assisting with the construction of a study room at the JNA training house. Local light and power company Jamaica Public Service (JPS) has also donated a team bus to the Association, to be used to transport the teams from training sessions and matches in their build up to the 2011 World Championships and beyond.

The team bus was used for the first time this week, to take the Sunshine Girls to the first match in the Sunshine Series, against world number three England, as both teams continue their build ups towards the Delhi Commonwealth Games. Despite trying several new combinations, the Jamaicans could not match the pace and consistency of the English visitors, with England easing through to a 53-42 victory. The second match between the two takes place this evening (Friday).

Friday, 20 August 2010

Netball Around the World



Scottish netballers are celebrating this week, after the decision by IFNA to award the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships to Glasgow. The competition, which will be held from 22-31 August 2013, will take place at the city’s new National Indoor Sports Arena, a venue which will also play a central role in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. IFNA President Molly Rhone is thrilled by the opportunity that these championships present for future netball growth in the region: “These two high profile netball events will not only showcase the sport but will also promote long term development and leave a lasting legacy, not just in Scotland but across the whole region of Europe.” Pictured above the Scotland youth team on their way to the Cook Islands for WYNC2009.

European netball received another boost this week with the news that Switzerland has been upgraded from Associate to Full Membership of IFNA, while Belgium has been added as a new Associate Member. Zambia and Zimbabwe have also been upgraded to Full Membership while the Solomon Islands are also new Associate Members. Welcome to you all.

Australia completed its international series against Jamaica undefeated, after a crushing 71-40 win in the final match on the Gold Coast. Jamaica, without captain Simone Forbes and veteran defender Althea Byfield, strugged to contain the pace of a Diamonds team which welcomed back GA Sharelle McMahon, who had recovered from a thigh injury.

The Sunshine Girls then travelled on to New Zealand, where they face the Silver Ferns in a two match test series. After a slow start in the first match, New Zealand finally found their range and pace to defeat Jamaica 58-35 in Christchurch. Struggling to find links in midcourt, the Ferns were only 29-21 ahead at half time, before pushing ahead to take the win. Jamaica coach Connie Francis was critical of the performances of her veteran players in this match, and has called for more intensity and commitment in the second test, which takes place in Napier on Saturday.

Following the conclusion of this series, the Ferns will travel across the Tasman to face the Diamonds in a three match series, starting on 29 August in Adelaide as preparations for the Commonwealth Games continue. Meanwhile, England will travel to Jamaica at the start of September to play a two match test series against the Sunshine Girls, who expect to welcome back Forbes, Byfield and Casey Evering, missing from the current Southern Hemisphere tour.

Gauteng North scooped South Africa’s Spar National Netball Championships title this week, with a 38-21 victory over Free State Motheo in the grand final. Led by national squad member Leigh Ann Zackey, who celebrated her birthday on finals day, Gauteng North was too strong defensively for the opposition and safely secured the side’s 19th national title. Another South African international, Erin Burger, was named player of the tournament.

Finally, following successful trials during the ANZ Championships and a vote by all member countries, IFNA has announced that its members have voted to dispense with the rule, introduced in 2007, which prevented coaching during stoppages. Bench players are also to be allowed to approach the sideline if coaching is taknig place. These changes will come into force from 23 August 2010. Urvasi Naidoo, Chief Executive of IFNA, said: “Feedback received from the trial identified this as a positive experience with no negative impact on the game. Netball is constantly evolving and the performance of the best teams in the world will be enhanced by amending the rules to allow coaching during stoppages.”

Friday, 13 August 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD




Botswana Netball is taking an important step forwards in development terms, with the announcement of a ten day performance coach and player development workshop, to be held in association with IFNA from 15-25 August 2010. Led by two international coaches – former England international Joanna Binns (right) and former TeamNorthumbria Superleague coach Anita Navin (left), the programme will support Botswana Netball Association (BONA) in developing a sustainable and self-sufficient Coach Education and Accreditation Structure, aligned to the African regional and International coaching programmes. In addition, it will support the Association in establishing a Talent Identification (TID) programme and pathway from 12 years of age to the open age group by means of a National Squad Support Programme. The workshop will coincide with a training camp for the BONA senior squad of 25 players, currently training for the African World Championships qualification competition, to be played in South Africa from 5-12 September 2010.

South African netballers also have reason to smile this week, with the news that SPAR SA is to extend its sponsorship of the game across the country for another three years. The new support agreement will be worth R14 million (approx $1.9m US) and includes grass roots development as well as support for South Africa’s international teams.

England has named its squad for the Commonwealth Games, with the experienced Karen Atkinson and Sonia Mkoloma (193 international caps between them) once again named as Co-Captains. The full England squad, which leaves for Delhi on 28 September, is: Karen Atkinson (co-captain), Sonia Mkoloma (co-captain), Pamela Cookey (vice captain), Sara Bayman, Eboni Beckford Chambers, Louisa Brownfield, Jade Clarke, Rachel Dunn, Stacey Francis, Jo Harten, Tamsin Greenway, Geva Mentor.

New Zealand’s Silver Ferns started their preparations for the defence of their Commonwealth Games title later this year with an impressive 92-28 win in Porirua last weekend. In her first international appearance, GA Grace Rasmussen impressed with 17 goals from 18 attempts to scoop the player of the match award.

Meanwhile, Australia’s Diamonds are currently 2-0 up on world number three Jamaica in the three test series being played between the two countries. After taking the first match 59-38 in Melbourne, Australia increased the pace and pressure to take the second test 69-42 in Sydney, despite fielding a changed line up, with Amy Steel making her international debut at GD. Plummer is hopeful that captain Sharelle McMahon (the only one of the Australian squad yet to take the court in this series, due to a thigh injury) will be fit for the final match on the Gold Coast on Sunday.

Friday, 6 August 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD:






To ensure that opportunities to play and coach netball in Lesotho continue to grow, a week long basic coaching clinic for high school and primary school teachers has been implemented by the Lesotho Netball Association. Facilitated by Ramafahla Thamae, Maseabata Makhetha and umpire Chakatsa Lephole, the 30 participating teachers were introduced to the game’s basic rules, as well as enjoying practical sessions, and it is hoped that they will now use their newly acquired skills to extend the game’s footprint across the country. The group is pictured above.

Tanzania’s Netball Superleague has now reached the quarter finals stage, with holders JKT Mbweni and Jeshi Stars the two teams tipped to reach the final. JKT Mbweni, the reigning champion team, was too strong for Uhamiaji in the final qualification round, winning 24-15 with Nelly Anyingse top scoring with 14. Jeshi Stars put in a strong performance to overcome Filbert Bay 26-18. The tournament concludes on Sunday.

South Africa has this week announced its squad to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in October, with Claudia Basson and Elzet Engelbrecht the two players ommitted from the country’s wider training squad. The Commonwealth Games squad is: Chrisna Botha, Erin Burger, Zukelwa Cwaba, Sindisiwe Gumede, Maryke Holtzhausen, Christene Markgraaf, Zanele Mdodane, Nthabiseng Moabi, Precious Mthembu, Amanda Mynhardt, Liezel Wium and Leigh-Ann Zackey. Coach Carin Strauss will have an early opportunity to assess the form of her players as a number are scheduled to take part in next week’s Spar Netball South Africa National Championships, which take place in Potchefstroom. Holtzhausen will line up for defending champions Nelson Mandela Bay, while 2009 runners up Boland have named Wium and Markgraff in their side.

Samoa faces New Zealand’s Silver Ferns in a one off test in Porirua later today, but will be without Northern Mystics defender Finau Pulu, who has declined the opportunity to line up for Samoa for fear it will affect her chances to play in the ANZ Championships, which is effectively her livelihood. If Pulu was to play for Samoa she would then be considered as an import in the league, and with teams guaranteed only one ineligible player on their books, she would likely miss out on a contract to top-name internationals.

Jamaica will be without shooter Crystal Gordon for the upcoming three match test series against Australia, which starts in Melbourne on Sunday, after the player was refused a leave absence by her US college, where she is on a volleyball scholarship. Gordon was originally named in Jamaica’s 12 player squad for the tour of Oceania, during which the Sunshine Girls will also face the Silver Ferns in two tests.

Former South Pacific Games long jump gold medallist Gabriel Qoro has been named as Fiji’s new head coach this week – the first man to be appointed in this poisition. He will now work with his predecessor Unaisi Rokoura, Fiji’s new assistant coach, and Asenaca Waqanivavalagi, who has been reappointed as team manager, as the Fiji side prepares for the 2011 World Championships.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Netball around the World


Undefeated T and T, pictured here in Singapore for the 5 Nations Cup.


Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados will join Jamaica at the 2011 World Championships, after this week’s Americas qualification tournament held in St Lucia. Trinidad and Tobago defeated hosts St Lucia 57-45 to end the competion with a perfect unbeaten record. Barbados took second place in the tournament ahead of the home side. Canada, St Vincent and the USA also competed.

So teams competing in Singapore will be:

Singapore as Host

Australia

New Zealand

England

Jamaica

Malawi

Asia -Sri Lanka and Malaysia

Oceania -Fiji and Samoa

Europe –Northern Ireland and Wales

Americas – Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados

Africa – TBC after qualifiers

It promises to be an exciting competition. Gold and Platinum ticket packages are on sale now at http://www.wnc2011.com/home/index.php



The world’s top two nations, Australia and New Zealand, have named their squads for October’s Commonwealth Games, and there have been surprises from both countries with an uncapped player named in each side.



Defending Commonwealth champions New Zealand have included 22 year old Grace Rasmussen (pictured left) in the Silver Ferns squad for the first time, alongside three returning internationals – Leana de Bruin, Temepara George and Daneka Wipiti.



Meanwhile, there is no room for the experienced Bianca Chatfield in the Australian Diamonds team which was also named this week. The veteran defender, with 42 international appearances, has been overlooked in Norma Plummer’s squad of 15 players, from which the Commonwealth Games team will be selected. Queensland Firebird Amy Steel, 21, (pictured right) is the only uncapped player named in the side, which will be cut to 12 players after the upcoming internationals against New Zealand and Jamaica.



The full squads named are:

New Zealand: Liana Barrett-Chase, Leana de Bruin, Temepara George (vice-captain), Katrina Grant, Joline Henry, Laura Langman, Grace Rasmussen, Anna Scarlett, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk, Casey Williams (captain), Daneka Wipiiti



Australia: Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne, Rebecca Bulley, Cath Cox, Susan Fuhrmann, Laura Geitz, Mo’onia Gerrard, Kimberlee Green, Renae Hallinan, Sharelle McMahon (captain), Natalie Medhurst, Lauren Nourse, Susan Pratley, Amy Steel, Natalie von Bertouch (vice-captain).



A team from the Khomas Region of Namibia has now completed the first week of its tour in the UK, with matches against North England regional training squads and Superleague team Leeds Carnegie . In addition, the team has worked with a number of conditioning experts, and former England coach Liz Broomhead, to improve match preparation and performance as well as coaching techniques. The side has now travelled on to Wales, where the Khomas team will take on Wales A, as well as two of England’s young development sides.



The Fiji Netball Association will this week interview applicants for the vacant positions of national coach and national team manager. Three candidates have been shortlisted for each post, and the Association’s interim president, Wainikiti Bogidrau, expects to announce the names of the country’s new coach and manager in the next week.



Netball in Swaziland is anticipating a significant boost in popularity after it was announced this week that the game is to be one of the sports featured in the nationwide Manzini Municipal Games. The competition, sponsored by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Manzini Youth Care, will involve league matches for teams from 12 areas across the country and will also generate increased awareness of, and participation in, the game in those areas.



Finally, although not yet an IFNA Member, Netball continues to enjoy increased participation in Brunei. Last week, Persatuan Kebajikan Perempuan (PKP) team emerged as champions at the annual Belait PKP tournament , held to coincide with His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei's 64th birthday celebrations at the Mumong Sports Complex. They defeated KBNC in the final, while Pertiwi defeated Havoc for this place. The chairman of the event, Dyg Hjh Kertini binte OKPSD was encouraged by a record number of entries in this, the third year of the competition.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Weekly Netball Roundup



Australia and England have both submitted bids to IFNA to host the 2015 World Championships in Sydney and Manchester respectively. Australia last hosted the competition in 1991, while England played host in Birmingham in 1995. IFNA will announce which venue has been successful in Singapore at the 2011 World Championships.

Adelaide Thunderbirds are the 2010 ANZ Champions, after defeating the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic 52-42 in front of a capacity 9,300 crowd at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre. Runners up in last year’s Grand Final, the Thunderbirds were in determined mood from the first whistle, and with Jamaican shooter Carla Borrego netting 13/14 in the first quarter, they led 15-8 at the first interval. Player of the match England defender Geva Mentor (pictured above) starved the Magic’s influential Irene Van Dyk (also pictured above) of consistent possession and with Adelaide’s smothering defensive tactics making it hard for the Kiwi side to build momentum, the home team lifted their first Championship title after three play-off appearances.

Following the conclusion of the championships, the world’s top two sides Australia and New Zealand have named their squads for 2010/11. After impressing in the Thunderbirds’ run to the ANZ Championship title, Adelaide’s Erin Bell and Sharni Layton are the two debutantes in Australia’s 22 player squad, and will now join the other 20 players at a selection camp ahead of the forthcoming internationals against New Zealand and Jamaica for which 12 players will be named. The full Australian Diamonds squad is: Caitlin Bassett, Emily Beaton, Erin Bell, Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne, Rebecca Bulley, Bianca Chatfield, Julie Corletto, Cath Cox, Susan Fuhrmann, Laura Geitz, Mo’onia Gerrard, Kimberlee Green, Renae Hallinan, Sharni Layton, Sharelle McMahon (Captain), Natalie Medhurst, Lauren Nourse, Susan Pratley, Kimberley Smith, Amy Steel, Natalie von Bertouch (Vice-Captain).

New Zealand’s selectors have named a seventeen player squad for 2010/11, which includes three former Silver Ferns – Daneka Wipiiti, Leana de Bruin and Anna Scarlett. The full Silver Ferns squad is: Liana Barrett-Chase, Leana de Bruin, Temepara George, Katrina Grant, Joline Henry, Charlotte Kight, Laura Langman, Cathrine Latu, Grace Rasmussen, Anna Scarlett, Anna Thompson, Maria Tutaia, Irene van Dyk, Casey Williams, Daneka Wipiiti. Wendy Frew and Camilla Lees have been named in the squad but will not be available for selection for the upcoming internationals, due to shoulder surgery and medical studies respectively. Shooters Jodi Brown and Paula Griffin made themselves available for selection at this time.

Defending champions Malaysia secured their fourth successive Asian Youth Championships title this week with a 63-39 win over Sri Lanka in the Grand Final. Singapore defeated the fast-improving India side 56-38 to take third place overall.

Guyana has named its first national squad since 2006, as the country works towards competing in the Caribbean World Championships qualifiers in 2012. Coached by Randolph Critchlow, the squad of 12 players contains no former internationals and, captained by centre Michelle Subrattie, will travel to Barbados in the next month to take part in a commercial tournament to assess its progress to date. To provide the squad members with increased domestic competition, Guyana Netball Association is also working to stage its first national championships in August

Thursday, 8 July 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD




Netball is the beneficiary of the single largest female sports sponsorship across Australasia, with this week’s announcement that ANZ has renewed its naming rights sponsorship for the ANZ Championship for an additional three years. As the competition prepares for its third Grand Final, which takes place this weekend, ANZ CEO New Zealand commented, “We feel privileged to have ben part of a world-class competition from its very beginning, and to have witnessed the remendous bgrowth that netball has continued to experience across both Australia and New Zealand.”

In this weekend’s Grand Final, the Adelaide Thunderbirds will line up against the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic, who surprised many people’s favourites for the title, the NSW Swifts, with a 54-49 victory in the minor final. Despite ending the regular season at the top of the league table, the Swifts failed to bounce back from their loss to the Thunderbirds in the first round of the play offs, and with Magic’s perennial GS Irene Van Dyk once again in sparkling form to net 38 goals from 39 attempts, the New Zealanders moved through to this weekend’s final.

Meanwhile, Southern Steel midcourter Liana Barrett-Chase has scooped this year’s prestigious ANZ Championship Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. The consistency of Barrett-Chase (pictured) over the 14 week home and away season could not be ignored by coaches of the competition’s ten teams, who vote on the award using a three, two, one points system at the conclusion of each match. She topped the standings with 36 points, to see off the NSW Swifts’ Rebecca Bulley (30 points), Steel defender Leana de Bruin (29) and Adelaide Thunderbirds’ star Jamaican shooter Carla Borrego (29).

The annual world rankings have now been refreshed and released by IFNA, and while the top four places remain unchanged (although the gap between the top two nations has narrowed to only eight points), some significant movements have occurred further down the list. Fiji has jumped to a ranking of fifth in the world, while South Africa’s Proteas have moved ahead of African rivals Malawi to take sixth place. Malawi’s Queens, which missed a series with South Africa earlier this year, slip down to seventh while Northern Ireland moves up to take 12th place. Two countries - St Vincent and The Grenadines and Maldives have lost their ranking, having played insufficient matches during the past three years and now have a rating in the second table, while three countries - Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis and the USA - have lost their rating, having played no matches during the past three years.
India’s fast-improving young side has qualified for the semi-finals of the 7th Asian U21 championships, despite losing 67-41 to defending champions Malaysia in the final round of pool matches. The side, which has been training hard ahead of the autumn’s Commonwealth Games competition, will be joined in the play offs, to be contested this weekend, by Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, currently preparing for overseas test matches against Australia and New Zealand, suffered a set back in their build up when one of their players, Ann-Kay Griffith, was denied an intransit visa by the US Embassy last week. Griffith, who plays GA for Windalco, now faces a two week delay while the Jamaica Netball Association makes the necessary appeals to the US Embassy to enable the visas to be obtained and provided to the Canadian consultates of Australia and New Zealand. Meanwhile, Georgia Gordon has been recalled to the Jamaica squad for the overseas tour, which takes place from 8-21 August, while the captaincy has been awarded to the experienced Nadine Bryan.

Tanzania’s National Netball League resumes on 25 July with 18 teams expected to compete in the week long-competition. Tanzania’s netball association Chaneta will be using the competition to identify potential national squad players ahead of the All Africa Championships, scheduled for South Africa in September. With only two qualifying spots available and 13 teams registered for the competition, Chaneta is currently seeking government and commercial sponsorship for the Taifa Queens to ensure that they are best prepared to compete at the All Africa competition.

Finally, congratulations to the U21 and U19 teams from Auckland Waitakere which this week scored the title “double” in New Zealand’s national age group championships held in Dunedin. In the finals, Auckland’s U21 side defeated Southland 40-30, while the U19s overcame a spirited challenge from Otago Gold 39-34 to take their title. More than 600 young players took part in the tournament, Netball New Zealand’s biggest participation event.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Check out all new IFNA Rankings

Annual Rankings Refresh


The IFNA World Netball Rankings has just been refreshed by statistician David Kendix who devised the rankings specifically for international netball.

It is worth noting that

a) The gap between Australia and New Zealand has narrowed to just 8 points.

b) Fiji have jumped up to number 5. With South Africa behind them at 6 and Malawi now dropped down to 7. In the middle, Northern Ireland are heading up and are now at 12 and finally at the bottom we see Lesotho making an entrance.

c) Two countries, St Vincent and The Grenadines and Maldives have lost their ranking, having played insufficient matches during the past three years. They now have a rating in the second table.

d) Three countries, Antigua, St Kitts and Nevis and the USA have lost their rating, having played no matches during the past three years.

Check it out: http://www.netball.org/IFNA.aspx?id=94

Friday, 2 July 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD




Two of IFNA’s top ranked Members yesterday submitted their bids to Host the World Netball Championships 2015. Australia and England submitted bids to host the event in Sydney and Manchester, respectively.

England last hosted the championships in 1995, while Australia last hosted them in 1991.

The championships involve the world’s top 16 international teams competing over a period of eight days and will next be held in Singapore in July 2011. Singapore will release further tickets for the event later this month. The 3 Day Gold Package will be released on Friday, 16 July at 10.00am (GMT+8). This is your chance to get your tickets to catch the finals in action over the last 3 days of competition. Log onto www.wnc2011.com for more information now.

Vanuatu Netball Association played a key part in the country’s first ever sports festival this week, with exhibition matches, plus coach and player training and development sessions organised for more than 250 attendees, many of whom were trying netball for the first time. (pictured above) Save the Children and the Vanuatu Department of Health used the event as an opportunity to promote womens health and social issues during the event, while more than 80 players took part in a netball festival organised in age groups from U12 upwards.

South Africa’s Proteas returned home this week after a successful overseas tour, which culminated in a two test win over Samoa. The Proteas won the second test 66-49, after a 54-46 victory in the first match, and also benefitted from two weeks of intensive training and coaching in New Zealand prior to the test matches.

The Asian Youth Netball Championship, a test event for the Commonwealth Games, will be held at the Thyagraj Sports Complex in Delhi from July 3 to 10. Six countries -- hosts India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore and Thailand have confirmed their participation in the seventh edition of the championship, which will be used to test the capabilities of the complex and its staff ahead of the Commonwealth Games. Malaysia, winners of the past three Asian championships, are favourites for the competition.

The Guyana Netball Association has this week launched a new national U23 championship, to increase participation and competitive opportunities for players across the country. Although only five sides have entered the first competition, it is hoped that the opportunity that it presents will encourage more players to remain in the game after the U16 age group, and provide a transition to senior netball. The finals will be played on Monday 5 July.

Adelaide Thunderbirds shocked the previously undefeated Sydney Swifts in the major semi final of this year’s ANZ Championship, scoring an impressive 52-38 over the table toppers to secure their place in the Grand Final. In a bruising encounter, which saw Swifts captain Catherine Cox sidelined with a broken nose after an accidental collision, Thunderbirds’ defensive pressure was telling, with Geva Mentor, Mo’onia Gerrard and Sharni Layton closing down the space for the usually free-flowing Swifts attacking line.

The Sydney side now has to regroup ahead of this weekend’s preliminary final with the Waikato/BOP Magic, 50-42 victors over New Zealand rivals Southern Steel in the minor semi final. At stake, the second Grand Final spot. Veteran Magic GS Irene Van Dyk was once again in stellar form, netting 41 goals from 46 attempts and dominating the circle, while centre Laura Langman combined well with Jade Clarke and Frances Solia to control the midcourt at pace.

The CEO and Global Development Manager are heading to USA for the IFNA Board Meeting and a meeting with the Chairs of the Panels. Watch this space for an update on key decisions from the Board Meeting.

Friday, 18 June 2010


NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD:

England’s international squad has arrived in Australia for a training tour ahead of selection for the Commonwealth Games. TeamBath squad member Lindsay Keable has been called up for her first tour at this level, which will see England play friendly matches against ANZ Championship sides,the NSW Swifts (pictured above with England players) and Adelaide Thunderbirds, as well as replicating the training and playing pressure conditions that the squad will face in Delhi later this year.


35 year old veteran defender Georgia Gordon has received a surprise call up to Jamaica’s pre-selection training programme, after impressing in Tivoli A’s title winning run in the JNA Berger Superleague competition earlier this month. Gordon, who represented her country at the World Championships in 1995, 1999 and 2003, returned to Jamaica in March after studying in New York for 11 years. She now joins the Sunshine Girls’ training squad ahead of selection for a three match test series against Australia and two against New Zealand in August.

South Africa’s Proteas are now en route to Samoa after a series of successful training matches in New Zealand. Despite losing to ANZ Championship side the LG Mystics 51-56, the South Africans defeated local sides Baytex Panthers 63-35 and Waitakere 70-42 and also benefitted from clinics conducted by former Silver Ferns coach Yvonne Willering.

Jodi Carreira, the founder of Netball Israel, was honoured with an award for Outstanding Service to European Netball at the European Festival of Netball in Malta last week. Carreira, who was the driving force behind the establishment of competitive netball in the country, was overjoyed with her country’s performance in the competition, which saw them finish middle of the table against more established netballing nations. The semi finals of the inaugural Israel Netball League start next Tuesday with Ra’anana facing Modi’in and Ma’aleh Adumim playing Jerusalem. The league finals will be held on 21 June.

With one week of the regular season remaining, ahead of the play offs series, the NSW Swifts stand on the brink of making ANZ Championship history. With 12 consecutive victories already under their belts – a championship record – the Swifts face finals contenders, the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel on Monday night in Sydney with the chance to become the only team to negotiate the regular season undefeated should they win. But with the Steel one of three teams in contention for the two remaining play off spots, the result is not a foregone conclusion.

With the Adelaide Thunderbirds sitting in second place on the table and secure of a play off spot, the other two teams in contention are the Queensland Firebirds, who face the West Coast Fever and the Waikato/BOP Magic, who travel to face the Thunderbirds. And with the Firebirds’ superior goal difference, the stage is set for a tense weekend of netball and potentially some hard calculations before the finals’ line up for the 2010 competition is confirmed.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Netball’s Wow Factor is coming to Liverpool!



This year the Echo Arena Liverpool will host the World Netball Series. IFNA announced the decision today on behalf of the event’s stakeholder group which includes England Netball, Liverpool City Council, Manchester City Council and the North West Development Agency.

The three day competition will commence on Friday 19th November and will conclude on Sunday 21st November with a celebratory Gala Dinner on the Sunday evening. Molly Rhone, President of IFNA commented. “I am delighted to confirm that this year’s World Netball Series will be held at the Echo Arena Liverpool. This event has been fantastic for showcasing the sport of netball and IFNA is looking forward to building on the success of last year’s inaugural event. Spectators will once again be given the opportunity to witness this thrilling Fast Net competition between the top six netball teams in the world.”

The six countries competing in the competition, in IFNA World Ranking order are; Australia, last year’s champions New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa. According to the IFNA World Rankings the top teams in the world have shifted slightly with South Africa replacing Samoa. This is the only change to have been made to the top six since last year’s tournament which took place at Manchester’s MEN Arena.

During last October’s three day event, more than 17 thousand spectators attended and an income of over £1.3million was generated. Liverpool City Council is planning to build on last year’s success; Lord Mayor Councillor Mike Storey said of the announcement, “On behalf of Liverpool City Council I’d like to express gratitude to IFNA for choosing Liverpool to host what promises to be a fantastic event. Having recently hosted The Co-operative International Netball Series we’re excited to have Netball return to us here and as 2010 is our Year of Health and Wellbeing we’re also looking forward to working with the event’s stakeholder group to develop the event’s Legacy Initiatives .”

On confirmation that England would host the new competition Manchester launched the initial 2009 event, Liverpool will host 2010 and in the final year for England to host the event, 2011, it will return to Manchester. Since its conception last year the World Netball Series has adopted a legion of fans and the rules of Fast Net, the new format of the game, have been adopted by netball players around the world.

England Netball has taken the lead this year for the commercialisation of the event. Any parties interested in working with England Netball to deliver the commercial objectives of the stakeholder group should contact Joanna Adams, England Netball’s Head of Marketing joanna.adams@englandnetball.co.uk

Tickets for the event go on sale Monday 7th June with 10% discount available for early-bird bookings and 15% discount for England Netball members. To purchase your tickets and for further details visit www.worldnetballseries.com

Friday, 28 May 2010

NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD


Photo: STACY SQUIRES/The Press


Jamaica's netballers have begun preparations for the next four months with the first training camp to be held at their new netball "house", the Sunshine Chalet in Barbican, St Andrew. The three day camp, held last weekend, aimed to hone the team's physical and mental strengths, as well as formulating a programme for the busy months ahead. Defender Kasey Evering has rejoined the Sunshine Girls after a three year break.

New Zealand has retained the International Schools Girls Challenge title, edging out Australia 29-23 in the final in Adelaide. New Zealand trailed the home side throughout the first half, but produced an heroic fight back in the second half of the game to take a six goal victory, inspired by sterling performances by Sophia Fenwick, Kirsten Hurley and Sulu Tone Fitzpatrick. Despite losing to Australia in the round robin stages of the competition, New Zealand regrouped to beat

Indigenous School Sport Australia 55-6, Bukit Jalil Sports School Malaysia 54-16, Aotearoa Maori 36-22 and the Pacific Rims 40-36 in section play before going onto beat Aotearoa Maori in their cross over match 36-24.

A shortage of funding means that Fiji's netballers may fail to qualify for the 2011 World Championships, after it emerged that the country's netball association had not paid for the squad's air fares to the forthcoming Pacific Cup. Coach Una Rokoura has appealed to Fijian business for financial support for the side, which is scheduled to play Samoa, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands at the competition, the qualification for the 2011 Singapore competition.

In this week's round of ANZ Championship matches, New Zealand's Haier Central Pulse has scored only its second win in the competition's history, a gritty 45-43 victory over fellow strugglers Canterbury Tactix. Inspired by 27 goals from 29 attempts from Silver Ferns shooter Paula Griffin, the Pulse led by eight goals at one stage, but allowed nervous errors to creep into their game, before regrouping to take a vital win. Elsewhere in the competition, the Southern Steel shocked local rivals, the highly rated Waikato BOP Magic 52-47, while the Adelaide Thunderbirds held on for a thrilling 53-51 win over the Queensland Firebirds. Former Jamaican international Carla Borrego continued her impressive return to top level netball with 38 goals from 41 attempts, while Adelaide's defensive unit of Mentor, Gerrard and Layton were impressive in closing down the space available to the Firebirds' fast-moving attacking unit. The NSW Swifts defeated the West Coast Fever 61-52, with England defender Sonia Mkoloma (pictured above) putting in a match winning performance to unsettle Fever's international shooter Caitlin Bassett.

In Botswana, the new Spar Good For You Netball League is now under way, with first round victories for UB Crystals, Jungle Queens, Notwane and BDF Cats. The second round of matches will take place this weekend.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Africa Netball




Here is a picture of the Delegates who attended the first Africa Netball Meeting in Johannesburg on 15th May. Spot the new IFNA Board Director, Tebogo, multi tasking whilst on the phone.

The CEO attended this meeting and then flew to Australia where she had valuable meetings with Netball Australia, the ANZ and the Australian Sports Commission. She also spoke at the IWG Conference.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

New Advert from Netball Australia on YouTube

Netball Australia this week launched the game’s first brand advertising campaign, which recognises the sport’s biggest assets – the players and all the people associated with it. The “Ode to Netball” campaign was shot in Adelaide and involved a cast of 400 real netballers, umpires, parents and coaches from 13 clubs across South Australia, as well as the Australian Netball Diamonds. The campaign will run on Australia’s TEN Network from now until the end of August, and can be viewed at Netball Australia’s YouTube channel:

www.youtube.com/user/NetballAustralia

Friday, 7 May 2010

Netball around the world - Update




Preparations for the 2011 World Netball Championships in Singapore are going well, with the organisers reporting “healthy demand” for platinum ticket packages. Costing S$550 each (approx $390 US), 1,100 of the 1,300 packages have already sold, and it is anticipated that the lower value tickets will sell fast when they are released by the tournament co-ordinators in January 2011.

This year’s FairPrice Foundation Singapore Netball Superleague title has been won by the Malaysian Arowanas (pictured), who finished the competition with an undefeated record of 12 wins, after edging past local favourites Mighty Manna 49-44 in the final. Arowanas’ towering 16 year old shooter Norashikin Kamal Zaman was named the player of the tournament.

Singapore’s coach, Kate Carpenter, and the national selectors used the competition to pick a squad of 17 players for the 2011 World Championships, which will now compete in the Australian league, before playing in December’s Nations Cup.

City School Nazimabad defeated Trinity Girls College 17-15 in the final to win the fourth session of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Netball Coaching and Tournament Programme at Nazimabad Mini Sports Comple, Pakistan. The event was organised by the Pakistan Netball Federation (PNF) in collaboration with the Australian Sports Commission and the Sindh Netball Association and is the latest in a series of netball festivals designed to increase participation and improve skills levels across the region.

In the UK, reigning champions TeamBath cruised into the Grand Final of the 2010 Co-operative Netball Superleague with a 57-42 thrashing of Surrey Storm, the side which had finished the league section of the competition at the top of the table. A stunning start gave the champions a 19-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, and with England defenders Stacey Francis and Eboni Beckford Chambers in stunning form, Storm could do little to weather the challenge. The Surrey side now needs to defeat former champions Mavericks in the second play offs in order to qualify for the Grand Final.

Wales’s netball international players, past and present, now have their own unique numbers following the introduction of a new recognition system. From the first caps awarded in 1949, every player who has taken the court to represent Wales in an official international has been numbered according to the sequence in which they made their first appearance. With three new players – Stephanie Murphy, Emma Thomas and Sophie Morgan – making their international debuts at the Netball Europe event last weekend, the total number of players to have worn the Wales dress now stands at 189. The next new cap will be number 190. Players already capped will have their number embroidered on their dress for the match or tournament in question.

Grenada’s annual National Netball Tournament opens this weekend with an exhibition match between the island’s U23 side (currently in training for the OECS tournament in June) and a selected senior squad. Across the Caribbean, in Jamaica reigning champions Jamalco line up against Tivoli ‘A’ in the Berger Paints / JNA Superleague this weekend with both sides currently locked at the top of the league table. Waulgrovians currently sit in third place in the competition, but have a game in hand, against Windalco, which will be played later this week.


In the ANZ Championship, reigning champions Melbourne Phoenix suffered their second loss in as many weeks, going down 56-42 to the Sydney Swifts in front of a record crowd of 6,928 at the ACER Arena in Sydney. Vixens were once again without influential centre Natasha Chojklat, sidelined with a calf injury, and have now slipped to third in the table, behind the undefeated Swifts and the Waikato / BOP Magic, who finally overcame the Northern Mystics 49-46 in a thrilling encounter in Hamilton this week.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

IFNA attends Sport Accord in Dubai - This Article from Sport Accord Daily Paper















Fresh from scoring two awards in under a year, the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) continues to improve the lives of thousands of Indian girls through it’s hugely successful Goal programme.

According to IFNA Chief Executive Officer Urvasi Naidoo, the four-year old initiative continues to go from strength to strength with more than 4,000 girls having benefited from a programme that empowers women in a region where their role in sport is hardly encouraged.

“The programme was started in Delhi in 2006 to encourage underprivileged women and girls to play netball and improve their self confidence, life skills and assertiveness – some of the by-products of being involved in team sports,” she told SportAccord Daily.

“Today, with the valuable support of our sponsor Standard Chartered, Goal is now in three Indian cities with girls playing in Mumbai and Chennai as well as Delhi.”
Such is the success of the programme, Goal netted the 2009 Best Project by a Sport
Federation or Governing Body at the Beyond Sport awards, while in 2010 it won in the category ‘Sport in the City’ at the Global Sport Forum Awards in Barcelona.

“We’re very proud of the awards as well as the results not only for the girls themselves but also for their families,” added Naidoo. “Women in India are not really encouraged to play sport – there are very few sporting role models – so it’s fantastic that netball can make a difference to their lives.

"While the IFNA and NGOs play their part, Standard Chartered does a lot for Goal and use their staff from some of their Indian offices to volunteer on the project and make them aware of corporate social responsibility.

"Although netball isn’t such a big sport in India, we‘ve been delighted with the reaction and discovered some real talent – one of our girls is Deepali Sharma who is now a Goal coach and will represent India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”

As well as the ongoing success of Goal, the IFNA also operates programmes in Africa.
‘African Safari’ sees English netball players visit the continent for a week at a time to coach local competitors, run workshops and operate a ‘train the trainer’ campaign with visits in 2009 reaching Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia.

This week, however, the netball focus is on SportAccord Convention, an event Naidoo believes she would be “mad to miss.”

“This is only my second SportAccord Convention but as a sporting association we just have to be here. Everyone is at SportAccord Convention and the benefits are huge with a great opportunity to network and discuss important issues.

“Unfortunately IFNA president Molly Rhone could not make it from Jamaica due to the flight restrictions but I lived in Dubai for three years when I worked with the ICC so it’s nice to be back.”