IFNA is delighted to announce that the Mission Foods World Netball Championships held in Singapore earlier this year have been nominated for two prestigious awards at the upcoming International Sports Event Management Conference. The awards, to be presented on 12 October, are the only global awards to recognise excellence in the international sports event management industry. The Mission Foods World Netball Championships 2011 have been shortlisted in the Event Look and Brand Presentation categories.
New Zealand netball celebrated two significant milestones this week, during its two match test series against England. The second test played in Invercargill was the final home coaching appearance of New Zealand's Ruth Aitken – the world's most capped netball coach, while prolific Silver Ferns shooter Irene Van Dyk (39) became the first player ever to achieve 200 international caps.
Having won the first international in the series earlier in the week by 22 goals, the Silver Ferns rounded out a great week with a 53-32 victory over a young and relatively inexperienced England team. Both England and New Zealand now travel to Australia to face the reigning world champions in three match test series. However, the Diamonds will be without some key personnel, at least for the first of their encounters with England, after it was announced that captain Natalie von Bertouch will be sidelined by a stress reaction in her sesamoid bone in her right foot. Star defender Mo'onia Gerrard is also likely to miss the series against England, which gets under way on Sunday, after being sidelined with a calf strain. Madison Browne and Rebecca Bulley have been called into the Australian squad as cover.
South Africa's selectors have named a strong team to face Malawi in the one-off test to be played in Perth ahead of the Australia/New Zealand test match later this month. Experienced defender Leigh-Ann Zackey has announced her retirement from the international game, but the South African selectors have recalled Adele Niemand, who represented South Africa at the 2007 World Championships. Anja Opperman and Karla Mostert are named in the Proteas squad for the first time. The full squad is: Amanda Mynhardt (capt), Zanele Mdodana (vice capt), Chrisna Bootha, Erin Burger, Zukelwa Cwaba, Vanes-Mari du Toit, Tsakane Mbewe, Karla Mostert, Bongiwe Msome, Adele Niemand, Anja Opperman, Nokuthula Qegu.
Grass roots players in England received a boost this week, with the announcement of an additional £1 million in funding from Sport England. The funding recognises England Netball's success in driving community sport participation and is intended by Sport England to drive up participation numbers across the country.
The Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) has announced it will unveil a new four year development plan for the island's netball programme at the end of October. While final details of the programme are still being worked on, the plan will include the revival of parish netball associations across Jamaica particularly in the west of the island), improving the administration and communication for clubs with the JNA and implementing a new coaching programme designed to train as many as 200 new local coaches. As the first step for the new four year programme, Maureen Hall has been appointed as Jamaica's new High Performance Director.
Grenada's Lottysha Cato met the island's president, the Hon Tillman Thomas, this week, in recognition of her achievements as the country's first professional netballer. Cato, who is expected to join the Celtic Dragons for a second season in the UK's Fiat Netball Superleague in early 2012, has used her time in Grenada to coach up and coming players and pass on the knowledge which she has gained during her time in the UK.
Vanuatu netballers are to compete in their first ever national netball championships at the start of December. The National Netball Series will take place from 5-9 December and will feature coaching and umpiring workshops as well as mentoring sessions for participating umpires and coaches during the championships themselves. Further details of the event activities can be found by visiting www.oceaniasport.com/vannetball.