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).

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