Saturday, 13 February 2010
Weekly Netball Update
NETBALL AROUND THE WORLD: 12 FEBRUARY 2010
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.