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.

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