Friday, 25 February 2011

Netball Around the World

Netballers in New Zealand are counting themselves lucky to have survived this week's devastating earthquake in Christchurch. The Canterbury Tactix are seeking an alternative venue for their ANZ Championship match, scheduled for 7 March against the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, after the CBS Stadium sustained significant damage during Tuesday's quake. Southern Steel manager Gail Maclaughlan and shooter Sophia Fenwick, who were both in Christchurch at the time, escaped unhurt, while the West Coast Fever squad counted themselves lucky to fly out of Christchurch airport less than an hour before the quake struck, after scoring a 54-48 win over the Tactix the previous evening. The ANZ Championship and Netball NZ will recognise those affected by the earthquake during the third round of matches this weekend, with athletes and officials at all matches wearing black armbands and a moment's silence held before the start of each match. Volunteers will also be collecting donations for the Red Cross NZ Earthquake Relief fund at each game. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the eathquake.

England is mourning the loss of Mary Thomas MBE who passed away on the 23rd February. Mary was an England Netball Honorary Life Member and a Member of their Hall of Fame. She was an umpire for over 25 years between 1950 -1976 and was an IFNA Service Award holder. She made a life time commitment to netball and will be sadly missed.

Grenada's first professional netballer Lottysha Cato continued her outstanding form in the UK's Fiat Netball Superleague this week, netting 35 goals from 40 attempts as Celtic Dragons swept past Team Northumbria 60-22 to give the Welsh side their second win of the season. Six foot six inch Cato, who travelled to Wales in January, had previously represented her island at U23 and senior level, and hopes to provide coaching advice and inspiration to local netballers on her return in May. In other matches, former champions Mavericks defeated Loughborough Lightning 55-39 to move to the top of the table while current titleholders TeamBath were too strong for Leeds Carnegie, emerging 69-33 victors after an impressive second half surge.

Other Caribbean netballers received a welcome boost this week with the announcement that lottery operator Supreme Ventures Ltd has increased its sponsorship commitment to Jamaica's netball leagues. $46,000US has been donated to the Jamaica Netball Association to sponsor the island's A and C leagues, while additional funds have been made available to fund six scholarships for outstanding players from both competitions to assist with their educational commitments.

Netball NZ has announced a new four year broadcast partnership this week, which will ensure that domestic and international netball will be shown exclusively on Sky TV until 2015. This is the largest commercial deal to be signed by a women's sport in New Zealand. The organisation's free to air partnership has also been reviewed, with Prime TV announced as Netball NZ's new partner in this arena to give viewers the opportunity for live and delayed broadcast coverage for netball.

Fiji's netballers have introduced some new training methods as they prepare for this summer's World Championships in Singapore. This weekend, the national squad will be spending three days with the Republic of Fiji Military Force, working on team building as well as military fitness training and problem solving.

In Namibia, the first coaching development clinic for 2011 concluded in Khomas this week under the watchful eye of Wency Katjatako. Participants including school and club coaches received tuition in sports nutrition, skills and player development during the clinic and it is hoped that they will pass on this information to players across the country. A further coaching clinic will take place this weekend in Reheboth, with more planned for the remainder of the year.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Netball around the world

Netballers in Botswana are in mourning this week after the sudden death of national squad player Gonewamang Mosalakatane, aged 32, after a short illness. Mosalakatane, known affectionately as “Killer”, represented club side BDF Cats as well as her country at U17, U19, U21 and senior levels and was considered one of the country's finest Goal Attacks. Most recently, she was part of the Botswana squad (pictured above she is the smallest player right in the centre) which qualified from the Africa Zone to take part in the World Championships in Singapore later this year. A memorial service was held for Killer this week, attended by many of Botswana's leading netball names, and her funeral will take place this weekend. Sincere condolences to all those involved in netball in Botswana and to her family.

With less than five months to the start of this year's World Championships, tournament organisers in Singapore have announced that the top level season ticket packages, offering access for the whole tournament or for the final three days, have sold out. More than half of the 3,000 Gold and Platinum packages were sold to buyers from New Zealand and Australia, and organisers are confident of crowds in excess of 8,000 for the last three days of the competition, with a sell-out 10,000 audience expected for the final.

Netballers in the Solomon Islands will have increased access to the game in the coming months, thanks to a $60,000S (approx $7,000US) grant from GRM International, which will be used to upgrade courts in Honiara, as well as to support the country's ongoing umpire development programme. Netball is the most popular sport for women in the Solomon Islands, and the fourth most popular sport across the country as a whole.

Fiji's national squad also received a sponsorship boost this week, with an award of $2,000F (approx $1,100US) by the country's national newspaper The Fiji Times towards the side's participation in the upcoming World Championships. Fiji Netball, which requires $600,000F to take part in the competition, has already raised more than $200,000F and will be staging another fundraising drive this weekend in Latuoka.

The Sydney Swifts got off to the best possible start in the 2011 ANZ Championships, breezing past reigning champions the Adelaide Thunderbirds 60-40 in the first round of matches last weekend. Australian Diamonds shooter Susan Pratley was in dominant form, netting 27 from 27, as last season's minor premiers and pre-season favourites for this year's title brushed aside the Adelaide team. In the other first round match, an all New Zealand encounter saw the Northern Mystics breeze past the injury-hit Southern Steel 51-34 despite the return to elite netball of former Silver Fern Tania Dalton. Dalton, 39, took to the court during the second half for the Steel, and managed six goals from seven attempts before being substituted.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Netball Around the World

In Pakistan, the sixth session of the Australian Sport Commission (ASC) Netball Coaching, Development and Tournament Programme got under way in Karachi this week. (Picture above taken at the previous session) More than 400 players and more than 30 teachers and coaches from schools in the area will receive coaching and information about nutrition, fitness and health while the ASC and the Pakistan Netball Federation are also providing equipment and support materials to all those attending to ensure that access to netball continues to increase across the country. Congratulations to Trinity College, who defeated City School North Nazimabad in the week's tournament final.

With teams honing and refining their game plans ahead of this summer's World Championships, it has been announced that Jamaica will play two friendly training matches against local rivals Trinidad and Tobago in March, before hosting close rivals England in a three test series from 26-30 April. However, the Jamaican Netball Association has also announced that the island's U16 team will not compete in this year's Caribbean Youth Tournament, due to a lack of available resources.

Following the Netball World Championships, Australia will host England and New Zealand in a six match series to be held in October. The home side will face England in tests to be played in Newcastle, Canberra and Sydney, before taking on the Silver Ferns for the Constellation Cup in games to be staged in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne.

Former Silver Fern Tania Dalton is set to make a shock return to elite netball this week, four years after announcing her international retirement. 39 year old Dalton, who gained 37 caps for New Zealand in a career which included the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games and 1999 and 2003 World Championships, has been added to the roster for the Southern Steel as cover for the injured Daneka Wipiiti for the first round of matches in this year's ANZ Championships. The Steel travel to Auckland to face the Northern Mystics while reigning champions the Adelaide Thunderbirds feature in the other scheduled match this weekend, and will face former premiers the Sydney Swifts on Sunday (13 February).

Scotland's Netball Superleague franchise the Glasgow Wildcats received a major boost this week, with the announcement of a £195,000 development grant from the city council. 15 members of the franchise's line up and Scotland's squad live or play in or around the Glasgow area, and city councillors agreed the grant this week as part of the City's Sport Development Legacy Programme with the aim of developing elite players who will participate in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Congratulations to Jamalco, who once again lifted the JNBS/JNA Open league title after a 34-29 win over close rivals Tivoli Gardens in this week's final. Former international star Elaine Davis was once again in sparkling form, netting 29 goals from 34 attempts. Mico University College defeated West Indies Revolution “A” 28-26 in the second tier competition final.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

World Netball Championships 2015 Bids

Dear Members

Please find attached links to the bid documents which were circulated by email. As these were very large documents we are aware that some of you may have had difficulty in receiving into your email.

Please cut and paste the link into your browser and then you can download from Google Documents.

Please send me any comments.

Kind regards,

Urvasi Naidoo
Chief Executive Officer
IFNA Secretariat
40 Princess Street
M1 6DE

T: +44 (0)161 234 0025
F: +44 (0)161 234 0026

Friday, 4 February 2011

Netball Around the World

IFNA is proud to support the Netball Ethiopia Project. Netball South West and Budehaven Community School are raising funds to send a group of around 25 people to Assosa in March 2011. The party will include teachers and PE students from Budehaven Community School together with Regional Excel players and netball coaches from the Netball South West region. The aim is to deliver a massive coaching programme to teachers in the Assossa area of Ethiopia so as to provide netball coaches in all the local schools. The group will also coach players from schools in Assossa; for the girls of Ethiopia playing netball will provide the opportunity for a massive boost for their lifestyle, as females in Ethiopia generally have little choice in how their lives are developed. In simple terms, a massive number of Ethiopian teaching staff and young girls will benefit from this project. In addition to coaching, the project aims to provide resources not only in the form of kit but also coaching resources, all of which has to be transported to Assossa. This trip will cost £25,000 and they are looking for funds and kit and equipment donations. Further information on how you can support can be found on the Netball South West website.

Former Netball Fiji coaches Megan Simpson and Margaret Corbett have been seconded to the country's World Championship campaign and have been tasked with identifying suitable teams to face Fiji when the squad tours Australia in March. Fiji will also tour New Zealand as the squad seeks match practice and increased court time ahead of the Singapore competition.

South Africa's new coaching panel has completed its first training camp with the Proteas and the players have expressed their approval for the new set up, which will be in charge to the World Championships. Former South African head coach Elize Kotze will work with Berta de Kock, Reg Sharp and Professor Chipea, each of whom has been given specific responsibilities as the squad prepares for competition.

Tanzania's netball association Chaneta has resolved its issues with Zanzibar counterpart Chaneza after the Mainland and Isles' sports councils convened a reconciliation meeting in Dar Es Salaam earlier this week. As a result, the Union Netball League, which features teams from both countries, is expected to take place this season after its suspension in 2010.

Jamaican shooter Romelda Aiken has received a last minute visa which will allow her to rejoin the Queensland Firebirds for the new season of the ANZ Championships, which starts in two weeks. Aiken, a previous competition MVP, has been stranded in Jamaica while the details of her visa were worked out by officials. Meanwhile another Jamaican, Carla Borrego, is expected to arrive in Adelaide for training with her Thunderbirds team mates on Monday, after late problems with her paperwork were ironed out at the last minute. On arrival, she will meet Cody Lange,who was this week announced as the youngest ever player to take part in the ANZ Championships when she was named as replacement for Jasmine Keene. Lange, still only 16 years of age, impressed in the Thunderbirds' pre-season warm up games and is a current member of the Australian U17 squad.

Still with the ANZ Championship build up, there was good news for New Zealand's Southern Steel this week, with the announcement that shooter Daneka Wipiiti has only sprained her ankle, rather than fracturing it. Silver Fern Wipiiti, who sustained the injury during a pre-season tournament in Queenstown, is now battling to be fit for the start of the season on 13 February 2011.

Congratulations to Dilmun Champion A, who this week secured back to back championship titles in the Bahrain Netball League with a 42-19 win over chief title rivals British Club A. The Bahrain Netball Association will be organising a friendly knockout tournament for all clubs in the area before the season ends in April. And in Jamaica, defending champions Mona, together with St Patrick's and St Benedict's have all registered two wins from two games in the INSPORTS-sponsored Kingston and St Andrews Primary School League, which includes 26 schools teams from across the island.