Friday, 27 May 2011
Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up
Some of Swaziland's leading umpires have been put through their paces in an intensive four day training course, headed by England umpire, Heather Gleadall. Pictured at the opening ceremony with the head of the Swaziland Sports Council is IFNA's Africa Regional Development Manager, Joan Smit and Gleadall. The umpires received technical coaching as well as practical assessment during matches between local schools and clubs and will now be taking their new found expertise back to their own regions in an effort to boost umpiring standards across the country.
The Queensland Firebirds defeated New Zealand's Northern Mystics 57-44 in the ANZ Championships Grand Final to become the first side to go undefeated throughout the competition's entire season. High intensity defensive work by the Firebirds' Laura Geitz and Clare McMeniman stifled the Mystics' possession opportunities throughout the game, and with Jamaican-born Romelda Aiken, the game's most valuable player, and Australian international Natalie Medhurst in devastating attacking form, the Firebirds cruised to their first championship victory.
Six of the ANZ Championship winning team have been rewarded with a place in the Australian Diamonds squad for 2011-2 and have now gone into camp at the AIS in Canberra for a two day selection weekend at which the reigning World Champions will select their line up to defend their title in Singapore later this year. Six uncapped players have been included in the 23 player squad, while former Jamaican international Carla Borrego is one of three players named as training partners for the squad during the selection weekend, while she awaits news of her application to become an Australian citizen.
Botswana's netball squad goes into camp this weekend as the side begins its World Championship play offs in earnest. Following the three day training camp, it is hoped to stage a four week intensive programme for the squad, as well as staging a friendly international against Malawi in the run up to the Singapore competition. Meanwhile, Malawi's preparations have been boosted by the announcement of an 18 million MKW (approx $120,000US) funding package from the country's government to finance the team's World Championships programme.
Welsh Netball hosted its annual Veterans tournament this week, with Risca Netball Club taking the title ahead of Flava Netball Club from Manchester. Congratulations to them, and to Catherine Lewis, who has been elected Chair of the Welsh Netball Association's board. And in a novel fundraising initiative, players from the Welsh National squad this week completed a 55 mile cycle ride from Cardiff to Brecon as part of the initiative to cycle the full 6969 miles between Cardiff and Singapore. Further details of their fundraising exploits can be found here: www.welshnetball.co.uk/downloads/news/cycle%20to%20Singapore.pdf.
Photograph shows participants in the recent Swaziland umpiring course, lead by Heather Gleadall.