Friday, 13 January 2012

Netball around the world

In a first for Malawian netball, legendary attacker Mary Waya, this week launched her autobiography – the first book of its kind published in the African nation. “Mary Waya: Netball Queen” looks at her life and achievements and is hoped to inspire a future generation of Queens players. In her 40’s now, Mary still plays netball for local team MTL Queens but has retired from international netball.

Mary pictured in action at World Netball Championships 2007.

Namibian netball continues to flourish with the announcement that two of its national squad members, Anna Kasper and Delia Keja, have been invited to take part in the Singapore SuperLeague, which starts in February. The pair, who impressed scouts during last month's Six Nations Tournament, are confirming terms of their contracts at present, and join their international captain, Toetsi Kambatuku as import players in domestic competitions – Kambatuku will line up for Team Northumbria once more in this season's UK Netball Superleague.

The news comes as the All Namibia Netball Association this week announced a programme of 13 netball “safaris” across the country to unearth potential new international talent, primarily at U21 level. The Association also plans to establish regional U21 league competitions to improve playing standards and increase competitive opportunities across the country.

Netballers from Scotland, Northern Ireland and England will converge on Glasgow this weekend for the inaugural British Invitational Championships. Host side the Glasgow Wildcats will face the Northern Panthers from Northern Ireland, the England U21 side and an invitational side from England, Northern Premier Force in a three day competition which is the start of Scottish Netball's build up to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The Panthers side includes former international sprinter Anna Boyle, a 60m and 100m Irish record holder, who returned to netball in 2011 after hanging up her running spikes.

In England, the Cathedral City Lighter FastNet Grand Prix reaches its finals this weekend, with four teams competing for the opening prize of the Netball Superleague season. Northern Thunder and Yorkshire Jets qualified for the finals from the Northern Conference while Surrey Storm and Celtic Dragons finished top of the table in the Southern competition. The four will now meet this evening (13 January 2012) to decide who takes the title.

Welsh Netball has signed an agreement with Samurai Sportswear which will become official kit suppliers to the Welsh national squads for the next four years. The high performance kit, which will feature the latest in fabric technology, will be the first international strips produced by the sportswear manufacturer.

Teams in the ANZ Championships are now entering a period of pre-season training, with only one uncertainty remaining over the squad line ups. The Adelaide Thunderbirds have yet to confirm whether Jamaican international Carla Borrego has been granted Australian residency, in which case another Sunshine Girl, towering shooter Jhanele Fowler will take the Thunderbirds' import spot. If Borrego's application is denied, Fowler's place in the team will be taken by a local South Australian player.

The USA Netball Association has announced that the 2012 National Netball Championships will take place in Delray Beach, Florida on 23 and 24 June 2012. The competition, which will be played at the Atlantic Community High School, will be organised in conjunction with the Florida Netball Association. For more information, please visit

Finally, Fiji's selectors will, this weekend, name a training squad of 40 U21 players to start preparations for the 2013 World Youth Championships, after two days of trials. More than 100 players from across the country were identified during the 2011 U21 and Secondary Schools championships to take part in the trials. The selected squad will be coached by Moape Vu and managed by former South Pacific weightlifting gold medallist Della Shaw.

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