Friday, 19 February 2010

Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up

19th February 2010

Australian Institute of Sport and Australian 21/U netball coach Simone McKinnis (pictured) has resigned from her position to take up the role of National coach of Tanzania. In her new role, the former legend of Australian netball will focus on the development of the national programme with specific emphasis on the progress of the National Team. Currently ranked 22 in the World and fourth in Africa, Tanzania aims to be among the top 15 teams in the World by year 2012. McKinnis represented Australia in 67 tests between 1986 and 1998 winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal in 1998 and World Championships in 1991 and 1995.

Australia’s Diamonds completed their preparations for the three match test series against world number three England, which starts this evening, with two impressive wins against world number 13 Scotland, 78-22 and 76-18. Australia coach Norma Plummer was able to give court time to her entire squad, with West Coast Fever’s Madison Browne making her test debut. However, Plummer has an injury scare to contend with ahead of the England series, after vice captain Mo’onia Gerrard suffered a recurrence of an ankle injury in the first match. Having been sent for scans, Gerrard’s condition will be closely monitored before a decision is taken about her participation in the England test matches, which are to be played in Liverpool, Nottingham and London.

Netballers in the Caribbean this week welcomed back a familiar face; after taking a sabbatical from the game, Jeannette Grell-Hull has been re-elected unopposed as the president of the Nevis Netball Association. She will be supported in the coming year by an experienced committee, led by Vice President Vera Herbert.

In Jamaica, Waulgrovians overturned the form book by defeating favourites Tivoli A 28-22 to take the Jamaica National Open league final at the Leila Robinson Courts in Kingston. Sunshine Girls Christina Solomon and Simone Forbes led the new champions from the front, resisting the physical challenge posed by Tivoli’s defensive unit to keep the challengers in front.

Preparations continue for the third season of the ANZ Championships with the annual Queenstown pre-season tournament taking place this weekend. Players and coaches will also test new rules at the tournament, which are to be introduced at the start of the ANZ Championships.

Coaching during stoppages will be permitted once more under the new rule changes: meanwhile, the countdown clock will now continue through to zero, rather than stopping with one minute to play in the quarter. Umpires will no longer signal with their whistle when a goal is scored, in an attempt to speed up the game.

The IFNA CEO is taking a break and is actually in Vancouver for the Winter Olympics. Someone suggested to her that we should invent netball on ice. Well there's an idea there are no snow/ice and ball games.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Weekly Netball Update


IFNA President Molly Rhone has assured members that the Association is maintaining close contact with the security advisors for the Commonwealth Games Federation in Delhi, and confirmed that, at present, she can see no reason for countries to withdraw their teams from the competition.

Speaking to the Jamaica Observer, the President confirmed that IFNA is in constant contact with the Commonwealth Games Federation, the organisers of the competition, to ensure that the safety of the competitors is prioritised.

The President was interviewed after a meeting of the Jamaica Netball Association board, at which a new five year plan for the island’s netballers was agreed. In addition to boosting the Sunshine Girls’ world rankings, the Association has agreed to establish new local competitions across the island to increase grass roots participation as well as starting a Fastnet competition, to be held in July.

As the leading countries continue their build up for the Games, the Australian Diamonds have arrived in Scotland ahead of their UK tour. The reigning world champions will play two test matches against Scotland before facing world number three England in three test matches, to be played in Liverpool, Nottingham and London from 19-23 February 2010.

Former Fiji coach Melissa Walker has left the island this week to take up her position as the new national coach of the Welsh international side. Walker, who is committed to ensuring that Wales maintain their international ranking of ninth in the world, will also take over coaching duties for Celtic Dragons in the UK’s Netball Superleague.

Domestic competitions continued across the Northern Hemisphere this week: in Jamaica, defending champions Jamalco, together with Waulgrovians A, Tivoli A and Windalco have qualified for the semi-finals of the 2009-10 JNBS/JNA Open league, all with an unbeaten record. The semi finals pair Jamalco with former winners Waulgrovians A and Tivoli A against Windalco.

In the UK Superleague, Surrey Storm remain unbeaten at the top of the table, with eight wins from eight games, although they were pushed all the way by the young Loughborough Lightning side before emerging 53-38 victors. Former champions Mavericks are in second place, with two games in hand, and will face the Storm on 26 February in what promises to be a thrilling match.

Preparations for the third season of the ANZ Championships are now well under way, with the Ascot Park Hotel Southern Steel establishing their championship credentials with an impressive unbeaten run at the first pre-season tournament in Christchurch. Despite the best efforts of fellow ANZ side the Tactix and Australian club team Eastwood Ryde, Steel showed some impressive form and coach Robin Broughton was pleased to welcome former Silver Fern Leana de Bruin back onto court after the birth of her first baby.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The excitement is about to begin!
The moment everyone has been waiting for!
Tickets for the World Netball Championships 2011 will be made available soon!
The Platinum package that offers the best seats in the stadium and “front-of-line” privileges will be on sale from 1st March 2010.
-Express Entrance Queue
-Exclusive WNC merchandise privileges

Book your tickets from 1st March!
For more information on ticketing, log onto

Package Package Price (SGD)*
Gold (3 Day Package) SGD380
Platinum (Season Package) SGD550
*Package price includes Goods & Service Tax (GST) but excludes SISTIC booking fee of SGD6.00.

Official Travel Agents in Australia and New Zealand will be announced soon.
Gold packages will be released at a later date.


Uniquely Singapore

Singapore is the ultimate holiday destination. Centrally located in South East Asia, travelling to and from the island could not be easier for netball fans around the world!

Famous for food and shopping, Singapore certainly won’t disappoint visitors in those areas! With the Great Singapore Sale in July 2011, you can expect up to 70% discount on just about everything, everywhere.

The Resorts World at Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands will also be fully operational by 2011, so be the first to experience a whole new Singapore!
For more information on Singapore, log onto

Friday, 5 February 2010

Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up


With the Commonwealth Games in Delhi only months away, South Africa’s Proteas have been set stringent performance targets by the country’s sports governing body if they are to take part in the competition. The South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee have decreed that the team will have to be among the top five in the world rankings before they can take to the court in Delhi. The Proteas are currently ranked sixth in the world but hope to improve their standing after matches against Malawi, New Zealand and Samoa in the next few months.

Former South African captain Nthabiseng Moabi (pictured above in action during the 2006 Commonwealth Games) has been named in the Proteas squad for 2010 after a two year sabbatical from the game. Shooters Christine Markgraaff and Sindy Gumede, who last lined up for South Africa in the 2007 World Championships, have also been recalled to the Proteas line up. The full 2010 South African squad is: Claudia Basson, Chrisna Bootha, Erin Burger, Zukelwa Cwaba, Elzet Engelbrecht, Sindiswe Gumede, Maryke Holtzhausen, Christine Markgraaff, Zanele Mdodane, Nthabiseng Moabi, Precious Mthembu, Amanda Mynhardt, Liezel Wium, Leigh Ann Zackey,

Preparations for the third season of the ANZ Championship continue to build, with New Zealand’s Southern Sting announcing two key appointments this week. Jo Cunningham, who played for the Southern Sting in New Zealand’s NBC competition and coached both Southland’s U19 squad as well as the Sting’s development side, has been appointed assistant coach of the Southern Steel. The Steel will this season be captained by former Australian international Megan Dehn, who will be lining up for the Southland-based side for the third year.

With five senior players unavailable due to injury or work commitments, Australian Netball Diamonds coach Norma Plummer has named a young and internationally inexperienced squad for the upcoming tour of Scotland and England. Six of the players named have each achieved less than ten caps, while the squad has a combined total of 194 international appearances – 28 less than the five players who are unable to tour (who have 222 test caps). West Coast Fever’s Madison Browne will be the only uncapped player to tour while Natalie von Bertouch will captain the side in the absence of Sharelle McMahon. The full Australian Diamonds squad for the UK tour is: Caitlin Bassett, Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne, Rebecca Bulley, Bianca Chatfield, Laura Geitz, Mo’onia Gerrard (vice captain), Kimberlee Green, Renae Hallinan, Natalie Medhurst, Susan Pratley, Natalie von Bertouch (captain).

IFNA President Molly Rhone has this week lent her support to a new initiative in Jamaica which encourages sports development at primary school level across the country. Rhone was speaking at the presentation ceremony of the Kiwanis Club of Kingston netball presentation, where she emphasised the importance of sport in developing the nation’s children.

England Netball has named its squad for the Netball Europe Open tournament in April. Featuring a blend of youth and experience, the squad contains eight members of England’s U21 team which took part in the World youth Championships in 2009, and will be captained by Eboni Beckford Chambers. The full squad line up is: Eboni Beckford Chambers (capt), Camilla Buchanan, Ella Clark, Sasha Corbin, Stacey Francis, Serena Guthrie, Jo Harten, Naida Hutchinson, Lindsay Keable, Sarah Jane O’Sullivan, Asha Tett, Monique Wood.

Finally, Brunei’s Ministry of Education Netball Championship continues this week with a very special royal participant. Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri is part of the UBD team which is taking part in the competition at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Stadium, and her side is undefeated after the first two rounds of competition.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up

Fiji’s new national coach is insisting that the 25 players selected at the country’s March trials will need to remain in the country for training before the final 12 member team for the Pacific Games is selected on 1 May. Una Rokoura has made the announcement to ensure that her team is able to prepare effectively for the competition. Regular training sessions are now being held with the eastern- and western-based squads ahead of the trials, while the overseas-based players have been given their own personalised training plans.

Picture shows Maria Lutua training with some of the Fiji-based long-squad members at the tfl National Stadium this week.

Meanwhile, the Australian Diamonds have undergone a week-long training and selection camp in Canberra, with five senior players (captain Sharelle McMahon, Julie Corletto, Catherine Cox, Susan Fuhrmann and Lauren Nourse) missing through injury or work commitments. Coach Norma Plummer will name her touring team on Monday, ahead of two tests against Scotland and the three against England.

Tanzania’s president Jakaya Kikwete has this week given netball, and his country’s national side, a welcome boost, by offering to employ an expatriate coach for the Taifa Queens. Impressed by the Tanzania Amateur Netball Association (Chaneta)’s efforts to boost participation and promote the game across the country, President Kikwete is keen to ensure that the Queens continue to progress and has committed the government to paying the coach’s salary and living expenses. Applications are already being received by Chaneta and the organisation is confident of improving on Tanzania’s first international ranking, which was obtained at the end of 2009. The Taifa Queens are expected to undertake a training tour in England and Scotland in March.

Netballers in Sri Lanka have also been encouraged this week with the opening of the new Mahinda Rajapaksa International Stadium in Diyagama by President Rajapaksa. The stadium, the second biggest in the country, has extensive netball facilities which, it is hoped will be regularly used to encourage increased participation from across the country.

And in Pakistan, netball is to be included in the country’s National Games for the first time, when they are contested in March. Provincial teams from across Pakistan will take part in the six day competition, to be staged in Peshawar.

England Netball has named a 12 player squad to face Australia in a three match test series in February. Veterans Karen Atkinson and Sonia Mkoloma have once again been named as co-captains, while TeamBath’s Stacey Francis is named in the match squad for the first time. The full squad list is: Karen Atkinson (co-captain), Sara Bayman, Eboni Beckford Chambers, Louisa Brownfield, Jade Clarke, Pamela Cookey, Rachel Dunn, Stacey Francis, Tamsin Greenway, Jo Harten, Geva Mentor, Sonia Mkoloma (co-captain).