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.

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