Friday, 28 May 2010
Photo: STACY SQUIRES/The Press
Jamaica's netballers have begun preparations for the next four months with the first training camp to be held at their new netball "house", the Sunshine Chalet in Barbican, St Andrew. The three day camp, held last weekend, aimed to hone the team's physical and mental strengths, as well as formulating a programme for the busy months ahead. Defender Kasey Evering has rejoined the Sunshine Girls after a three year break.
New Zealand has retained the International Schools Girls Challenge title, edging out Australia 29-23 in the final in Adelaide. New Zealand trailed the home side throughout the first half, but produced an heroic fight back in the second half of the game to take a six goal victory, inspired by sterling performances by Sophia Fenwick, Kirsten Hurley and Sulu Tone Fitzpatrick. Despite losing to Australia in the round robin stages of the competition, New Zealand regrouped to beat
Indigenous School Sport Australia 55-6, Bukit Jalil Sports School Malaysia 54-16, Aotearoa Maori 36-22 and the Pacific Rims 40-36 in section play before going onto beat Aotearoa Maori in their cross over match 36-24.
A shortage of funding means that Fiji's netballers may fail to qualify for the 2011 World Championships, after it emerged that the country's netball association had not paid for the squad's air fares to the forthcoming Pacific Cup. Coach Una Rokoura has appealed to Fijian business for financial support for the side, which is scheduled to play Samoa, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands at the competition, the qualification for the 2011 Singapore competition.
In this week's round of ANZ Championship matches, New Zealand's Haier Central Pulse has scored only its second win in the competition's history, a gritty 45-43 victory over fellow strugglers Canterbury Tactix. Inspired by 27 goals from 29 attempts from Silver Ferns shooter Paula Griffin, the Pulse led by eight goals at one stage, but allowed nervous errors to creep into their game, before regrouping to take a vital win. Elsewhere in the competition, the Southern Steel shocked local rivals, the highly rated Waikato BOP Magic 52-47, while the Adelaide Thunderbirds held on for a thrilling 53-51 win over the Queensland Firebirds. Former Jamaican international Carla Borrego continued her impressive return to top level netball with 38 goals from 41 attempts, while Adelaide's defensive unit of Mentor, Gerrard and Layton were impressive in closing down the space available to the Firebirds' fast-moving attacking unit. The NSW Swifts defeated the West Coast Fever 61-52, with England defender Sonia Mkoloma (pictured above) putting in a match winning performance to unsettle Fever's international shooter Caitlin Bassett.
In Botswana, the new Spar Good For You Netball League is now under way, with first round victories for UB Crystals, Jungle Queens, Notwane and BDF Cats. The second round of matches will take place this weekend.
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Here is a picture of the Delegates who attended the first Africa Netball Meeting in Johannesburg on 15th May. Spot the new IFNA Board Director, Tebogo, multi tasking whilst on the phone.
The CEO attended this meeting and then flew to Australia where she had valuable meetings with Netball Australia, the ANZ and the Australian Sports Commission. She also spoke at the IWG Conference.
Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Netball Australia this week launched the game’s first brand advertising campaign, which recognises the sport’s biggest assets – the players and all the people associated with it. The “Ode to Netball” campaign was shot in Adelaide and involved a cast of 400 real netballers, umpires, parents and coaches from 13 clubs across South Australia, as well as the Australian Netball Diamonds. The campaign will run on Australia’s TEN Network from now until the end of August, and can be viewed at Netball Australia’s YouTube channel:
Friday, 7 May 2010
Preparations for the 2011 World Netball Championships in Singapore are going well, with the organisers reporting “healthy demand” for platinum ticket packages. Costing S$550 each (approx $390 US), 1,100 of the 1,300 packages have already sold, and it is anticipated that the lower value tickets will sell fast when they are released by the tournament co-ordinators in January 2011.
This year’s FairPrice Foundation Singapore Netball Superleague title has been won by the Malaysian Arowanas (pictured), who finished the competition with an undefeated record of 12 wins, after edging past local favourites Mighty Manna 49-44 in the final. Arowanas’ towering 16 year old shooter Norashikin Kamal Zaman was named the player of the tournament.
Singapore’s coach, Kate Carpenter, and the national selectors used the competition to pick a squad of 17 players for the 2011 World Championships, which will now compete in the Australian league, before playing in December’s Nations Cup.
City School Nazimabad defeated Trinity Girls College 17-15 in the final to win the fourth session of the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) Netball Coaching and Tournament Programme at Nazimabad Mini Sports Comple, Pakistan. The event was organised by the Pakistan Netball Federation (PNF) in collaboration with the Australian Sports Commission and the Sindh Netball Association and is the latest in a series of netball festivals designed to increase participation and improve skills levels across the region.
In the UK, reigning champions TeamBath cruised into the Grand Final of the 2010 Co-operative Netball Superleague with a 57-42 thrashing of Surrey Storm, the side which had finished the league section of the competition at the top of the table. A stunning start gave the champions a 19-8 lead at the end of the first quarter, and with England defenders Stacey Francis and Eboni Beckford Chambers in stunning form, Storm could do little to weather the challenge. The Surrey side now needs to defeat former champions Mavericks in the second play offs in order to qualify for the Grand Final.
Wales’s netball international players, past and present, now have their own unique numbers following the introduction of a new recognition system. From the first caps awarded in 1949, every player who has taken the court to represent Wales in an official international has been numbered according to the sequence in which they made their first appearance. With three new players – Stephanie Murphy, Emma Thomas and Sophie Morgan – making their international debuts at the Netball Europe event last weekend, the total number of players to have worn the Wales dress now stands at 189. The next new cap will be number 190. Players already capped will have their number embroidered on their dress for the match or tournament in question.
Grenada’s annual National Netball Tournament opens this weekend with an exhibition match between the island’s U23 side (currently in training for the OECS tournament in June) and a selected senior squad. Across the Caribbean, in Jamaica reigning champions Jamalco line up against Tivoli ‘A’ in the Berger Paints / JNA Superleague this weekend with both sides currently locked at the top of the league table. Waulgrovians currently sit in third place in the competition, but have a game in hand, against Windalco, which will be played later this week.
In the ANZ Championship, reigning champions Melbourne Phoenix suffered their second loss in as many weeks, going down 56-42 to the Sydney Swifts in front of a record crowd of 6,928 at the ACER Arena in Sydney. Vixens were once again without influential centre Natasha Chojklat, sidelined with a calf injury, and have now slipped to third in the table, behind the undefeated Swifts and the Waikato / BOP Magic, who finally overcame the Northern Mystics 49-46 in a thrilling encounter in Hamilton this week.
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Fresh from scoring two awards in under a year, the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) continues to improve the lives of thousands of Indian girls through it’s hugely successful Goal programme.
According to IFNA Chief Executive Officer Urvasi Naidoo, the four-year old initiative continues to go from strength to strength with more than 4,000 girls having benefited from a programme that empowers women in a region where their role in sport is hardly encouraged.
“The programme was started in Delhi in 2006 to encourage underprivileged women and girls to play netball and improve their self confidence, life skills and assertiveness – some of the by-products of being involved in team sports,” she told SportAccord Daily.
“Today, with the valuable support of our sponsor Standard Chartered, Goal is now in three Indian cities with girls playing in Mumbai and Chennai as well as Delhi.”
Such is the success of the programme, Goal netted the 2009 Best Project by a Sport
Federation or Governing Body at the Beyond Sport awards, while in 2010 it won in the category ‘Sport in the City’ at the Global Sport Forum Awards in Barcelona.
“We’re very proud of the awards as well as the results not only for the girls themselves but also for their families,” added Naidoo. “Women in India are not really encouraged to play sport – there are very few sporting role models – so it’s fantastic that netball can make a difference to their lives.
"While the IFNA and NGOs play their part, Standard Chartered does a lot for Goal and use their staff from some of their Indian offices to volunteer on the project and make them aware of corporate social responsibility.
"Although netball isn’t such a big sport in India, we‘ve been delighted with the reaction and discovered some real talent – one of our girls is Deepali Sharma who is now a Goal coach and will represent India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”
As well as the ongoing success of Goal, the IFNA also operates programmes in Africa.
‘African Safari’ sees English netball players visit the continent for a week at a time to coach local competitors, run workshops and operate a ‘train the trainer’ campaign with visits in 2009 reaching Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia.
This week, however, the netball focus is on SportAccord Convention, an event Naidoo believes she would be “mad to miss.”
“This is only my second SportAccord Convention but as a sporting association we just have to be here. Everyone is at SportAccord Convention and the benefits are huge with a great opportunity to network and discuss important issues.
“Unfortunately IFNA president Molly Rhone could not make it from Jamaica due to the flight restrictions but I lived in Dubai for three years when I worked with the ICC so it’s nice to be back.”