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.

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