Thursday, 15 April 2010

Netball Secures Million Dollar Partnership to Strenghten the sport in the Oceania Region

Last Week the Australian Minister for Sport, Kate Ellis announced a new $2.95 million partnership to build netball development programs and help strengthen Pacific island communities.

The Pacific Sports Partnership was signed in Adelaide at an ANZ Championship match between the Adelaide Thunderbirds and New Zealand team Southern Steel.
Ms Ellis is pictured above signing the agreement with Oceania Netball Federation President Tina Browne, Netball New Zealand Chief Executive Raelene Castle and Netball Australia Chief Executive Kate Palmer.

“Sport has the power to bring people together and deliver great health and social development dividends to communities across the world,” Ms Ellis said.
The initial four year partnership will focus on the Oceania Netball Federation’s member federations of Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Norfolk Island, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

A series of netball development programs will target girls and young women. The sessions will teach netball skills and engage girls in the sport, as a way to build social development in Pacific Island communities.

The partnership will also ensure the development of trained, in-country development coordinators within Pacific netball federations to deliver the programs at a local level.

“Netball is a popular, fun and athletic sport that delivers particular benefits to girls and women. I expect to see a rise in netball participation rates in these countries as a result of this great initiative,” Ms Ellis said.

“The partnership will give players, administrators, coaches and officials the chance to build skills that they can use on and off the court to strengthen their community.”

The Australian Prime Minister announced $26 million in sports-related assistance to the Pacific island countries at the Pacific Islands Forum last year, including $15 million over five years to establish sport partnerships.

Pacific Sports Partnerships sees agreements between the Australian Agency for International Development and the Australian Sports Commission and regional sports federations.

Pacific Sports Partnerships is part of the Australian Government’s Sports Outreach Program, which works with developing countries to deliver inclusive sports programs that help strengthen communities.

Two other Pacific Sports Partnerships are already underway with football and cricket.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up


Despite concerns about other sporting venues to be used, the arena for the 2010 Commonwealth Games netball competition has undergone a glittering inauguration by Delhi’s Chief Minister Ms Sheila Dikshit, in front of a select audience of invited dignitaries. And despite the fact that there are still some finishing touches to be made to the Thyagaraj Sports Complex(pictured above), organisers of Delhi 2010 are confident that these will be completed in a matter of weeks. Visitors to the stand-alone venue, which has a capacity of more than 5,800, were able to assess the position of the court, which was marked in temporary pale blue lines for the occasion, as well as visiting the marbled public and backstage areas for athletes, where no expense has been spared. The Commonwealth Games netball competition takes place in Delhi from 4-14 October 2010 and tickets are now available: find out more about the Games at

Congratulations to Sri Lanka’s Academy of Netball in Kotte, which celebrates its five year anniversary this week. Established in 2005 to extend awareness of the game across the region, the Academy has already provided coaching and playing opportunities for more than 500 players, thanks to the vision of its founders Miss Thilaka Jinadasa and Mrs. Shyama Cooray.

In Pakistan, the opening ceremony of the Australian Sports Commission Netball Coaching, Development and Tournament Programme 2010 for Under-19 Girls was held in Rawalpindi, in the presence of Australia’s High Commissioner in Pakistan, Mr Tim George. More than 250 players, plus 60 coaches and teachers will attend this year’s programme which aims to increase participation and build knowledge which can then be disseminated across the region.

Representatives of Jamaica Netball this week completed a Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) –sponsored sports administration course, which aims to share expertise and knowledge among sporting organisations and assist in the preparation of teams and individuals for international competition. The topics covered included event planning and management, sources of revenue, sports medicine, doping and the anti-doping policy framework, mass media and sports, budget and money management, working with volunteers and the use of technology in sports.

The Solomon Islands has its first male netball coach, thanks to the support of Netball New Zealand. Jamie Kerry undertook an intensive training programme in New Zealand before being assessed by Silver Ferns assistant coach Wai Taumaunu and will now return to the Solomon Islands to help in developing additional new coaches. Well done Jamie!

This weekend sees the Rivalry Round in the 2010 ANZ Championships, when the five Australian teams in the competition each take on a side from New Zealand. Current league leaders and reigning champions the Melbourne Vixens travel to Christchurch to take on the Mercury Energy Tactix, while last season’s defeated Grand Finallists the Adelaide Thunderbirds host the Southern Steel. In the other matches in the round, the Waikato BOP Magic face the West Coast Fever, the NSW Swifts take on the Haier Pulse and the Queensland Firebirds welcome the LG Mystics to Brisbane. Meanwhile, in the UK, Northern Thunder moved into third place in the Co-operative Superleague table with two weeks of the regular competition remaining, after a 58-37 win over Loughborough Lightning. Surrey Storm still top the table ahead of reigning champions TeamBath, with former champions Mavericks in fourth place. These four teams have already confirmed their places in the end of season play offs

Thursday, 1 April 2010

CAS dismisses Fiji appeal

The Commonwealth Games Federation has just released the news that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed the case, brought by the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee against the Commonwealth Games Federation, seeking the right for Fiji to participate at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in October this year.

Fiji’s membership was suspended by the Commonwealth Games Federation consequent upon the decision taken by the Commonwealth’s Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) to fully suspend Fiji’s membership of the Commonwealth.

For netball this means that Fiji will not take part in the competition and the next ranked team as at 30th October 2009, Papua New Guinea, has been invited to participate instead.

The netball teams invited to compete at the Delhi Commonwealth Games are:

2.New Zealand
6.South Africa
7.Cook Islands
9.Trinidad and Tobago
11.Papua New Guinea.
The 12th team will be India as Hosts

Good Luck to all teams from all at IFNA


Commonwealth Games Federation President Mike Fennell has expressed optimism that Delhi will put up a first-class show as host of the XIX Commonwealth Games later this year.

"Things are in great shape. We had hoped all the venues would be ready ahead of time so we could test them but they will be completed ahead of the start of the Games," he said at a reception hosted by Jamaica’s Indian Community to celebrate the Queen's Baton Relay 2010 Delhi's visit to Montego Bay. Mr Fennell promised that the Thyagaraj Stadium (pictured above) where the netball event will be held will impress.

The line up for the UK’s 2009-10 Co-operative Netball Superleague was decided this week, when Northern Thunder defeated close rivals Leeds Carnegie 61-39 in the latest round of matches. The Thunder win means that Leeds Carnegie can no longer draw level with them, or overtake them, before the end of the regular season, and ensures that Thunder will qualify for their first play offs in the competition, where they will face Surrey Storm, TeamBath and Mavericks, who have also qualified.

The game against Leeds provided Thunder coach Mike Greenwood with the opportunity to give court time to new signing Anastacia Wilson (pictured) for the first time this season. Wilson, 35, has more than international caps for Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) as a shooter and the tall international is hoping for more exposure to the English style of play ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, for which T&T has qualified.

Another Caribbean star, Jamaican international defender Kasey Evering returned to competition this week, lining up in an unfamiliar position - GA - for Tivoli Gardens in the JNA/Berger Paints Superleague. Sidelined since the World Netball Championships in 2007 with a severe knee injury, Evering was played in attack to ease her back into competition after two surgeries, and she rewarded her side with 18 goals from 24 attempts as Tivoli Gardens cruised past Skibo A 55-22. In the other match in this round of competition, champions Waulgrovians were too strong for new side Cibo, emerging 48-30 winners.

In Uganda, five time club champions NIC retained their national club title last weekend. Undefeated throughout the round-robin competition, NIC’s captain Betty Namukasa and shooter Peace Proscovia were the stand out players for the insurance company’s side. Meanwhile, St Mary’s Kitende retained the national girls’ title, defeating 12 other entries.

Reigning ANZ champions Melbourne Phoenix made it two wins from two games in the 2010 competition after overcoming pre-season form side the Queensland Firebirds 53-46. Two other teams remain undefeated, former champions NSW Swifts – 45-38 victors against Adelaide Thunderbirds – and LG Mystics – 61-50 winners against New Zealand rivals, Haier Pulse. Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic registered their first win of the competition with a 47-41 win over Southern Steel, while the West Coast Fever side was too strong for Mercury Energy Tactix in the final match of the round, emerging 62-44 winners.

Finally, Brunei’s netballers received royal patronage once again this week, when Her Royal Highness Paduka Seri Pengiran Anak Isteri Pengiran Anak Sarah binti Pengiran Haji Salleh Ab' Rahaman attended and participated in the First Women Netball Open Championship 2010. After intensive competition between the 21 participating teams, the Royal Brunei Police Force defeated Ivy League in the grand final to take the title.