Friday, 26 March 2010

Weekly Netball Update

The Pakistan Netball Federation (PNF) has announced a netball coaching, development and tournament programme for girls aged 19 and under, to be implemented across the country from 2 April – 6 June. The programme, to be staged in collaboration with the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), will start in Rawalpindi and then be rolled out to Gujranwala, Lahore, Quetta, Karachi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas and Larkana.

In addition to offering coaching tuition for school sports teachers, the programme will ensure that international rules are being adhered to across the country. A tournament, to be played throughout the programme, will allow selection of squads of 12 players from each of the cities, who will take part in the ASC Junior National Girls Championships, to be held in Islamabad from 2-6 June.

The IFNA Board met in Singapore this week, and was very pleased with the progress and preparations made for the World Netball Championships, to be held there in July 2011. IFNA President Molly Rhone, who was impressed with the Singaporeans’ organisational skills and hospitality, will return in December when the draw for the competition will take place. Ticket packages, which were released at the start of the month, are already selling well: for further information and ticket details, please visit

Ms Rhone has now travelled to Jamaica, as a guest at the 100th ISSA/Grace Kennedy Boys/Girls Championships, the biggest track and field competition for schoolchildren in the world. 35,000 spectators will attend over the four day competition, which has been credited with launching the careers of many international stars, including current world sprint champion Usain Bolt.

Netball South Africa has this week announced a significant sponsorship deal, worth approximately R1 million ($134,000 US), with equipment supplier Mitre involved with the South African national side until December 2012.

In other sponsorship news, Netball Fiji is expected to announce a new sponsorship deal this weekend, which will allow the island to participate in the Pacific Cup, to be played in the Cook Islands in June. However, Tanzanian netball’s governing body, Chaneta, has announced that it is struggling to raise the 60 m TZS (approx $44,000 US) required to fund the country’s planned tour for its national side (the Taifa Queens) to the UK in April. Chaneta has named a 20 player squad for the tour, which aims to improve Tanzania’s playing standards ahead of qualifying competitions for the 2011 World Championships.

On the court, the third ANZ Championships started this week, with reigning champions Melbourne Phoenix returning to the court in style, defeating New Zealand’s Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic 48-40 to top the table after week one. The Canterbury Tactix (54-48 against the Central Pulse), Sydney Swifts (50-47 against the Queensland Firebirds), Northern Mystics (55-52 against the Adelaide Thunderbirds) and Southern Steel (46-44 against the West Coast Fever) were the other first round winners.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Goal wins Global Sports Forum Trophy.

We are delighted to announce that that Goal India won a trophy at least week's 2010 Global Sports Forum held in Barcelona. The IFNA CEO was on hand to accept the trophy from the Mayor of Barcelona, Mr Jordi Hereu and Gary Hall, American Olympic Gold Medalist in Swimming, pictured above. The Mayor is on the left in the picture.

This is the first year that Global Sports Forum has given out Trophies to sports projects. Only eight trophies were handed out so we are very proud that Goal won one.

Goal won the Sport and the City Award for initiatives designed to strengthen social cohesion and integration between urban communities and minorities.

Special thanks has to go to the funding partner Standard Chartered Bank, without whom this project would not exist.

Congrats to Naz, and all the Goal girls in India for this award - it really belongs to you.

Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up

12 MARCH 2010

With the Commonwealth Games in Delhi only seven months away, India’s netballers continued their preparations for the competition this week with a brief tour of Australia, during which time they visited the Australian Institute of Sport as well as the SOPA Cup in Sydney. Currently without a world ranking, the Indian side also played a friendly match against a parliamentary team, led by Australia’s minister for Sport, Kate Ellis, in which the visitors triumphed 45-3. Coach Lourdes Jayasekhra (pictured above with Norma Plummer) was encouraged by the improvements shown by her team during the tour, as a result of daily training sessions and match play, and will use the progress made as preparation for the forthcoming Asian Youth Netball Championships in July, where India aims to finish among the top teams.

Jamaica has named a 12 player squad to defend the island’s title at next month’s Jean Pierre Caribbean Youth Championships to be held in Barbados from 8-18 April. Despite missing giant shooter Marvadene Anderson, currently on a basketball scholarship in the USA, Jamaica will still be able to call on five players from last season’s championship winning squad – Dhanyel Johnson, Tristina Harwood, Vanessa Jones, Adean Thomas and Khadijah Williams. The newly selected players are Chrishena Copeland, Sade Ffrench (younger sister of former Sunshine Girl Nadine Ffrench), Kelleisha Freckleton, Azeza McCarthy, Trudianne Pennant, Chiquana Reid and Kaneila Riley and the squad will be coached by Joan Cargill.

In the Middle East, Abu Dhabi secured their position as the Gulf's premier netball team, by clinching the coveted Intergulf Championship Trophy from long term rivals Dubai A in a 14-10 cliffhanger finale win at The Sevens. The tournament marked an intensive weekend of netball attended by over 250 of the top players across the Gulf including teams from Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Fiji’s selectors have named a 25 player training squad, which will be whittled down to 15 on 1 May, ahead of the Pacific Cup which will be held in the Cook Islands. Fiji will need to finish in the top two at that competition to qualify for the 2011 World Championships in Singapore. Following two days of intensive trials, Fiji’s coach Una Rokoura has introduced a thrice weekly training programme for the named squad in order to build fitness levels as well as teamwork.

With only two weeks to the start of the third season of the ANZ Championships, seven of the competition’s ten teams have taken the opportunity to hone and refine their line ups at the traditional pre-season SOPA Cup, held in Sydney. The Queensland Firebirds emerged from the weekend undefeated, with six wins from six, and while coach Rosalee Jencke is keen to play down any talk of tournament favourites, her side will clearly take a mental advantage into the first round of games, to be played on 20-21 March 2010.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up

5 March 2010

Organisers of the 2011 World Championships, to be staged in Singapore from 3-10 July, have opened ticket booking for the competition this week. Eight day season tickets (priced at S$550 / approx $390US) and three day finals tickets (S$380 / approx $270 US) are now on sale, and six travel partners have been appointed to provide travel packages for supporters hoping to travel to the competition. For more information about travel arrangements and the competition itself, visit . The IFNA Board meets in Singapore next weekend and besides being updated on the preparations will also be given a tour of the venue and the tournament hotels.

International preparations for this year’s Commonwealth Games are also gaining pace, with confirmation this week that current Commonwealth champions New Zealand will play four home tests, two against Jamaica (18 August in Christchurch and 21 August in Napier) and two against Australia (2 September in Wellington and 5 September in Auckland), with a third trans-Tasman match scheduled for Adelaide on 29 August. The IFNA President will be in Delhi next week to visit the netball venues.

Tanzania’s efforts to improve its international ranking through increased overseas competition have received a boost this week with the announcement that four of the country’s top club sides will be taking part in the East Africa Club Championships, to be held in Nairobi, Kenya. JKT Mbweni, Jeshi Stars, Magereza and Home Affairs have confirmed that they will travel to the competition which takes place from 26 April to 5 May. CHANETA, Tanzania’s national netball governing body, has also confirmed that the organisation is seeking 60 million /-T (approx $40,000 US) to fund the Taifa Queens’ tour to England and Scotland from 5 April, when a squad of 20 players will be seeking to boost Tanzania’s international ranking of 22 ahead of the qualifying competition for the 2011 World Championships.

Fiji’s selectors have overseen the final training sessions for the country’s 42 player long squad ahead of final trials for the new national side, to be held this weekend in Suva. The selected players will represent Fiji in the Pacific Cup later this year, as the country attempts to gain a qualification place for the 2011 World Championships.

In the UK’s Netball Superleague, Surrey Storm remains undefeated at the top of the table, after a hard-fought 39-31 win over former champions Mavericks. The game was the final one of the season for English defensive pairing Sonia Mkoloma and Geva Mentor, who have now headed south to take part in the ANZ Championships for the Sydney Swifts and Adelaide Thunderbirds respectively.

And both have been in early action for their ANZ Championships sides, taking part in this weekend’s pre-season Sydney Olympic Park Cup competition. Mentor’s Thunderbirds found the Queensland Firebirds too hot to handle, losing 35-27, and also losing to the Southern Steel 34-23. Mkoloma’s first outing for the Sydney Swifts also resulted in a loss, as the former champions were held off by a spirited West Coast Fever, winners 31-29. However, the Swifts regrouped to defeat reigning champions the Melbourne Vixens 30-29. Queensland Firebirds scored their second win of the competition with a thrilling 32-31 win over the Fever, while Southern Steel defeated Central Pulse 35-31 in the final games played on day one of the competition. The third season of the ANZ Championships starts on 20 March.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up

Australia’s Diamonds reinforced their position as the world’s number one side by taking the series against England with a thrilling 45-43 win in the final match played at London’s O2 Arena. But world number 3 side England demonstrated that they will be a force to be reckoned with at the Commonwealth Games in October, after recording only their second win over Australia (the first since 1981) with a 41-40 victory in the first match of the series. And the English will also rue missed opportunities that saw them fail to take a first series victory against the Diamonds, having led by nine goals during the third and final match and only relinquishing the lead after 50 minutes of play. Australia took the second game of the series 53-48.

Postponed at the end of last year due to the security situation, Pakistan’s 31st National Games have been rescheduled to take place in March, with the netball to be staged in Islamabad. Athletes from across the country will take part in trials this weekend, before moving into training camps ahead of the competition, which starts on 25 March.

South Africa’s Proteas have completed a four day training camp in Potchefstroom, ahead of a packed calendar ahead of October’s Commonwealth Games. Coach Carin Strauss will lead her team in a two match test series against African rivals Malawi in April, before the Proteas head to New Zealand for a training tour in June. The side will then play two tests against Samoa and will be looking to improve its world ranking to assure a place in the Commonwealth competition.

Preparations for the third season of the ANZ Championships continue, with a successful three day tournament completed in Southland, New Zealand. Australian side the Queensland Firebirds were undefeated across the weekend, beating the Central Pulse 48-39 in the final round of matches. But the Pulse, the competition’s bottom side in the first two seasons, showed that their aggressive recruitment policy and new line up could move them up the table when the competition starts in earnest, after defeating the Canterbury Tactix 50-40 and the Northern Mystics 66-60.

Netball in Israel continues to blossom, with a national coaching to be run by representatives from England Netball in the next few weeks. And with more players participating than ever before, this week it has been announced that Israel’s first ever inter-city netball competition is to be staged in November. First played in Israel in 1993, netball is growing ever more popular, with five groups of players across the country – in Jerusalem, Ra'anana, Ma'aleh Adumim, Modi'in and Tel Aviv – competing in officially recognised leagues.

Trinidad and Tobago continue to expand the availability of netball to young people across the islands with the latest programme of community sports festivals which have been announced this week. Starting with the Guayaguare Festival, young players of all ages and abilities have been invited to take part in fun games and competitive tournaments which aim to encourage increased participation throughout the region.