Friday, 24 February 2012

Netball around the world

In Oceania, 90 umpires took part in last week's umpire development clinic in Fiji, which was run by Netball Fiji's technical development team. Overwhelmed by the response, Netball Fiji will be running further umpire development clinics in the coming weeks, as well as coaching, umpiring and administration clinics around Viti Levu in a bid to revive the sport in the provinces.

Jamaica's Minister with Responsibility for Sports, Natalie Neita-Headley has given her assurance that the standard of facilities at the country's Leila Robinson Netball Centre will be improved to assist with the future development of the game. Her comments were made at the launch of the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) divisions A and C netball leagues last week, and follow a call from JNA President Marva Barnard (Pictured) for government assistance in upgrading the facilities available to players. At the launch event, Supreme Ventures Ltd (SVL) presented a cheque for $J4.5 million (approx $52,000US) to Ms Barnard to mark the ninth year that the company has sponsored the leagues.

Competitive netball has returned to its birthplace – the YMCA in the USA. The Flatbush-YMCA located in Brooklyn, New York has linked up with the New York State Netball Association (NYSNA) to organise a winter league that now has ten participating teams. Matches are now being played regularly at weekends with players in a wide range of age categories, from U16 to over 40. NYSNA is hoping that this Winter League will now run annually and that other YMCA facilities nationwide will follow. For more information about netball in New York call toll free (855)697-6212 (855-NYSNA12).

In the UK reigning Fiat Netball Superleague champions Mavericks held off a spirited challenge from former titleholders TeamBath to take a 51-49 victory in the latest round of the competition and moved into third place in the league. Meanwhile, at the top of the table, Northern Thunder defeated title-rivals Surrey Storm 67-48 to secure their place in the top four of the table for the second phase of the season.

With the official pre-season tournament starting next Friday, preparations for the 2012 ANZ Championship are almost complete. Former Tactix midcourter Phillipa Finch has been added to the Southern Steel as replacement for Wendy Frew, who withdrew from the side after announcing her pregnancy, while former Silver Fern Jodi Brown has been announced as the side's captain. Across the Tasman, the Sydney Swifts have named Kimberlee Green and Mo'onia Gerrard as co-captains for the 2012 season, with Susan Pratley as their vice captain.

Meanwhile in Africa, Tanzania's netball association, CHANETA, has announced a three day seminar in March to introduce IFNA's latest rule changes to coaches and umpires. Attendees are expected from across the country, as well as delegates from Swaziland and Uganda and other African nations.

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