56 of Pakistan's emerging umpires were put through their paces last week at the country's National Netball Umpiring Course 2012 in Karachi, organised by the Pakistan Netball Federation, National Umpiring Association and Sindh Netball Association. As part of the three day course, participants were assessed using a written test, beep test and practical umpiring assessment, with Mr Farhan Ali from Punjab adjudged to have performed the best. The successful participants, who now hold Pakistan Netball Federation accreditation, will now look to educate new umpires in their areas with a view to encouraging further qualifications in the future.
Picture shows participants in this week's Pakistan National Netball Umpiring Course.
The 2012 ANZ Championships gets under way this weekend in Australia and New Zealand with defending champions Queensland Firebirds looking to extend their unbeaten run which goes back to round 14 of the competition in 2010. However, with many teams strengthening their squads in the closed season, there are several contenders for the title and much will depend on how players acclimatise to the rigours of the competition and the long distance travelling it involves. The competition opens on Saturday with a clash of two former champions – Adelaide Thunderbirds hosts NSW Swifts. Following the failure of Jamaican star, Carla Borrego, to obtain Australian citizenship within the competition's deadlines, which has blocked the inclusion of another Jamaican, Jhanelle Fowler, in the side, Thunderbirds have named 18 year old, Amehlia Schmidt, as their 12th player for the 2012 season. For the latest news about the competition, please visit www.anz-championship.com
Five players from Botswana and Namibia have already made their mark in the opening week of Singapore's Fairprice Foundation Netball Superleague, with Namibian, Anna Kasper, inspiring her side, Bedok Kings Vipers to a shock 54-39 win over Mission Mannas last weekend. It is hoped that the five, invited to participate in the competition by Singapore national coach, Kate Carpenter, will add competitive edge, athleticism and increased media exposure to the Superleague, as well as giving Singapore's national players the chance to compete against and learn from different playing styles.
In the UK, Northern Thunder kept up their winning record at the top of the Fiat Netball Superleague, with an impressive 62-39 win over former champions TeamBath in the competition's top tier. Second placed Surrey Storm were pushed all the way by a resurgent Mavericks, before finally edging to a 48-42 win. Meanwhile, in the second tier, Yorkshire Jets maintained their pressure for a play-off place with a 52-34 win over Loughborough Lightning.
Finally, congratulations to all those who took part in this week's Antigua Inter- Championships, which climax today (Friday 30 March). In addition to the competition played at U13 and U16 level (won by St Andrew's Primary and Princess Margaret Secondary), Antiguan teams have also played a series of matches against Belmont School, currently visiting the island from England.