Friday, 17 June 2011

Netball around the world - Weekly Round Up

With the start of the Misson Foods World Netball Championships in Singapore just over two weeks away, squads around the world are fine tuning their preparations for the competition.

World number eight, Trinidad and Tobago's “Calypso Girls” (pictured) completed a three match warm up series against Barbados this week, taking the series 2-1. Barbados, ranked tenth, surprised their Caribbean neighbours with a 43-42 win in the first game, before Trinidad and Tobago regrouped to win the remaining games 54-30 and 45-34 and take the mental advantage into the Singapore competition.

Botswana's selectors have narrowed their national squad to 15 players ahead of naming the final 12 to take part in the Singapore competition. This weekend, Botswana travel to Malawi to play final warm up matches against their African rivals, before the country's selectors name their World Championships squad. Malawi's selectors have recalled veteran shooter Mary Waya to their national squad for the Botswana series, where she will line up once more with her country's first semi-professional Mwayi Kumwenda, who has been playing for the Penninsula Waves club side in Australia. Former Malawi captain Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa has been named as assistant to coach Edith Kaliati.

Fiji beat Samoa 48-35 in the first match of the Pacific Series, with both sides using the game as a chance to test combinations ahead of the World Championships. Meanwhile, Jamaica's Sunshine Girls are playing three warm up matches in three days this weekend against a select “President's Twelve” squad to simulate the playing conditions they will face during the competition. The President's Twelve comprises three of Jamaica's long squad – Naudia Brown, Marion Campbell and Tracey-Ann Robinson, together with former national representatives Elaine Davis, Georgia Gordon and Sabrina Spence and members of Jamaica's national mens' team.

The world's top two netballing nations, Australia and New Zealand, tied their final test series before the World Championships 1-1. After losing the first match to the Diamonds, the Silver Ferns came back strongly to take a thrilling 45-42 win in the second game between the two sides. New Zealand captain, Casey Williams, returned to the Ferns' starting line up after missing the first match through injury and inspired her side with some sensational interceptions and dogged defending to keep the young Australian front line at bay.

Jamaican assistant coach Annette Daley and squad member Kimone Tulloch this week received donations from the Mico Foundation to help offset their expenses at the Championships. Daley is a netball coach and lecturer at the Mico University while Tulloch has just completed her second year of a degree in business education at the college.

Host nation Singapore will face Botswana in the opening match of the Championships on Sunday 3rd July – for more information, please visit

Finally, tributes have been flooding in for Lucas Von Hoff, the Australian born FIAT Superleague umpire who died from suspected heart failure last Saturday, aged 30. A memorial ceremony will be held for him on London's Clapham Common on Wednesday 22 June – for more information, please visit Our condolences go to all of Lucas' friends and family at this sad time.

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