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.

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