Friday, 21 October 2011

Netball around the World

IFNA's GOAL programme continues to bring netball to young players across India: this week the Netball Development Trust saw first hand how empowering the game can be, sending these pictures from this week's game between Sanjay Colony and Abhas played at Tughlakabad near Delhi. A large crowd turned out to see Sanjay Colony take the game 28-1 in impressive style. The Netball Development Trust (NDT) is seeking sponsors for its coaching manuals and rule books which will be used on the NDT's wider tour of India later this year: the books will not only be used at the schools that the Trust visits but will also be utilised by its in-country volunteers year round. To find out more, please email or you can make a donation to the publication costs by visiting please mark your donation “Coaching manuals and rule books”.

Australia and New Zealand meet this weekend for the resumption of the 2011 Constellation Cup, with the victor set to take not only the silverware but the world number 1 position. When the two teams met in June in Australia, they each won a single match, leaving the series poised for an electric conclusion in New Zealand. The sides have two new coaches since the June encounters – Lisa Alexander and Wai Taumaunu, who go head to head at this level for the first time.

World champions Australia completed their warm up for the Constellation Cup with a 45-41 victory over England to take the series between the two 3-0. But they were made to fight all the way by the young tourists, who were inspired by an impressive defensive display from Ama Agbeze and improved shooting from youngsters Joanne Harten and Rosie Allison. Australia will welcome back defenders Julie Corletto, Susan Fuhrmann and Mo'onia Gerrard for the New Zealand Tests, after all have recovered from minor injuries.

As a warm up for the first match of the series, in Perth on Sunday, spectators will have the chance to see the top two sides in Africa in competition. South Africa, who impressed at the Singapore World Championships, will take on world number six Malawi as the curtain-raiser to the main game and the teams will also play warm up games against the world's top two, as well as the Australian Institute of Sport side. While in Australia, representatives of Netball South Africa and the Netball Association of Malawi are being introduced to administrators across Western Australia as they look to increase participation and improve standards across the game back home.

Cayman Islands netball received a welcome boost this week with the news that the Islands' Netball Association has appointed a new technical director, as well as confirming government investment which will improve playing surfaces across the country. Government Director of Sports, Collin Anglin, this week confirmed that the government is keen to bring netball into line with other Cayman sports, to ensure participation across the region continues to grow.

In domestic competitions, Botswana's UB Crystals took an unexpected 53-51 against a weakened Jungle Queens side in this week's matches in the country's Spar Good For You National League. The Queens, who were missing the services of their inspirational captain Lilian Rankgwe and star defender Opelo Setshwano, found it hard to cope with the paces of the Crystals attacking line up early on, and despite a late surge, could not close the gap. In the week's other game, Notwane defeated Doves 51-23.

Leeds Athletic defeated Oaksway 43-34 in the English Premier League division 1 to move to the top of the championship table, ahead of reigning champions Academy, 52-31 winners over Thoroughbreds. Leyton is still undefeated in division two, leading the table, after a 33-25 win against London rivals Cumberland. Meanwhile, Telstars and Grangetown are still tied at the top of division three with four wins from four matches.

Meanwhile, good luck to Welsh community netball coach Catherine Roberts who has been shortlisted for the Contribution to Development Award at the annual Sport Wales awards, which take place at the end of the year. Roberts, who is Welsh Netball's Community Coach for Carmarthenshire, works with local clubs and schools across the region to identify and develop playing, umpiring and coaching talent.

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