Friday, 22 October 2010

Netball around the World

Following their thrilling battle in last week's Commonwealth Games final, the heat is on with New Zealand and Australia announcing their squads for the World Netball Series 2010 which takes place in Liverpool, UK, next month.

New Zealand will be captained by former Silver Fern Maree Bowden, and the side includes Grace Rasmussen, who was part of the gold medal winning side in Delhi. Rasmussen's sister Rachel is also included in a Silver Ferns representative squad for the first time. The remaining squad members are: Kayla Cullen, Ellen Halfpenny, Charlotte Kight, Camilla Lees, Jess Moulds, Hayley Saunders, Te Huinga Selby Rickett and Anna Thompson, and the group will be coached by Robin Broughton.

Netball Australia has chosen to rest its squad of 12 players who claimed silver in Delhi and has instead named a side of emerging talent to take part in the FastNet competition. Three members of the wider Australian Diamonds squad - Kate Beveridge, Madison Browne and Amy Steel - have been included after narrowly missing out on selection for Delhi and will be joined by Chanel Gomes and April Letton, named MVPs in this year's Australian National Championships (pictured). The other squad members are: Caitlin Bassett, Shae Bolton, Ashleigh Brazil, Teagan Caldwell and Sharni Leyton.

The World Netball Series sees Australia, New Zealand, England, Jamaica, Malawi and South Africa competing in the Fast Net format. It takes place 19th, 20th and 21st November at the Echo Arena. Visit for tickets.

20 year old Malawi shooter Mwayi Kumwenda has announced that she will be spending a season playing in Australia, after being awarded a scholarship by the Victorian club Peninsula Waves. Kumwenda, who was Malawi's leading shooter at the Commonwealth Games,will travel to Australia in spring 2011 to take up her scholarship. Pictured above winning the Player of the Series at the World Netball Series 2009.

It was announced yesterday that IFNA Vice President. Kereyn Smith, will be the first woman to lead the New Zealand Olympic Committee after being named as the Organisations new Secretary General. Kereyn will take up her new post in January 2011. Congratulations from all at IFNA.

Former England international Ama Agbeze has been named as the final member of the West Coast Fever squad for the 2011 ANZ Championship season. Agbeze returns to the Fever side after seasons with the Melbourne Vixens and Central Pulse.

Finally IFNA has this week announced a series of initiatives which are designed to improve standards of match officiating across the sport. In addition to the publication of a new table officials handbook in November, it has been announced that fitness levels for umpires will be assessed during the World Netball Series in Liverpool and research undertaken to enable new fitness standards to be set for netball's international officials and announced in early 2011.

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