Friday, 4 March 2011

Netball Around the World

Former Netball Fiji coach Yvonne Willering and Melbourne Vixens coach Julie Hoornweg have agreed to assist Fiji with the national side's preparations for this summer's World Championships. Willering will be on the island in the next two weeks to help coach Gabriel Qoro in the run up to the Pacific Series while Hoornweg, who coached Fiji to sixth place at the 1999 World Netball Championships, will work closely with the squad in the run up to Singapore. Mai TV Fiji has announced this week that it has secured the rights to air the Mission Foods World Netball Championships live across Oceania. All 34 matches will be covered, with Samoa and Fiji's games aired free. Stations in Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the Cook Islands are also expected to show coverage of the championships. Also this week IFNA announced the match schedule for the Championships. Ticket sales have been steady and fans are advised to book now to avoid disappointment.

Following last week's devastating earthquake in Christchurch, the Canterbury Tactix home game against Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic has been moved to Rotorua. The Tactix home venue, the CBS Canterbury Arena, sustained significant damage during the earthquake and is not expected to be ready to host events until after 15 March. After the costs of moving the match have been covered, it is expected that the Tactix will donate a proportion of the ticket sales revenue to the earthquake relief fund.

Australian defender Julie Corletto made a welcome return to the court this week, after missing the Commonwealth Games with a serious knee injury. Corletto, who has 20 international caps to date, successfully negotiated two quarters for Boondara in the Holden Cruze Cup and has been cleared by the Melbourne Vixens physio team to rejoin the ANZ squad for this weekend's crucial fixture against New Zealand's Northern Mystics. The Queensland Firebirds and Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic are currently tied at the top of the table with three wins from three games, with the Vixens (2/2) and Mystics (2/3) right behind them.

The Namibian netball season starts this weekend with an Open tournament to be held in the Khomas region. Namibia's national side will play an exhibition match to open proceedings before the competition, which is open to all club and school sides, gets under way.

Hertfordshire Mavericks remain at the top of the UK's Fiat Netball Superleague, two points ahead of reigning champions TeamBath and the league's only undefeated side Northern Thunder. However, the team from the North West were given a scare this week by a fast improving Celtic Dragons squad, before finally taking the win 50-44. Dragons' head coach Melissa Hyndman was once again full of praise for her star Grenadan shooter Lottysha Cato, who netted 32 goals from 39 attempts to keep the Welsh side in contention right through to the final whistle.

Netball continues to make inroads in France, with news of two club sides which are now training and playing regularly in Paris and Montpellier. Any players or administrators interested in getting involved should email: or

Finally news from Ethiopia, who are now holding a local competition between the Nigat and Ruhama schools. The competition was very well attended and the Nigat school netball team was the winner so congratulations to them and to the organisers for getting Ethiopia netball well and truly on the map. Picture shows the girls in action.

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