England beat world number one side, the Australian Diamonds in Bath on 20 January 58 -53. England, ranked number three in the world, have only ever beaten the Diamonds twice in their 59 previous meetings, once in 1981 and once on home soil in 2010. The next match in the three Test Match Series is played tonight in London and the last match will be on Saturday in Birmingham.
Namibian netball captain Toetsie Kambatuku (pictured) will continue her netball career and education in the UK, after news that she has been awarded a three year scholarship by the University of Northumbria. Kambatuku, who has played for Team Northumbria in the UK’s Netball Superleague since 2010, will enrol for a degree in education, with all her study costs and living expenses covered by the university.
Links between netball and further education have also been forged in the Caribbean with news that the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) is to award two scholarships to study at the UTech School of Sports Science to two members of the Jamaica Netball Association’s coaching staff. The selected members of staff will participate in the JNA/UTech Advanced Level One coaching course which aims to improve training standards across the country. JNBS has also announced financial support for the Sunshine Girls’ tour of England, scheduled to take place in April as well as backing for Jamaica’s leading club championships, which has now been named the JNBS/JNA Sunshine Open League.
Africa’s leading team, the Malawi Queens, has received a commercial boost this week with the news that the side is to be sponsored for the first time, courtesy of television provider Malawi Multichoice. In addition to support for the country’s national side, Malawi Multichoice is also to introduce a national club competition, featuring Malawi’s five leading teams, for which the company will cover all organisational costs as well as providing a prize fund.
Across the continent, netball has been revived in the rural villages of North Mozambique by a grassroots organisation called Manda Wilderness Community Trust. The Trust, which works with sixteen villages in the conservation area near the shore of Lake Malawi/Niassa, has established regular training and competitive games for local womens’ teams and interest in the competition is growing steadily. If you would like to donate netball equipment or funds for this project, please contact Lily Bunker at email@example.com. For more information about the Trust and its work, please visit www.mandawilderness.org.
Tanzania’s Taifa Queens have announced their intention to play more international matches in the coming months, as the side attempts to qualify for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The side, currently ranked 17th in the world, recently took the Nations Cup competition in Singapore, ending the tournament undefeated, and will now look to play more matches against other African nations in order to move up the world rankings and break into the world’s top ten sides.
Back in Australia, the Victorian government has announced $30,000AU(approx. $31,600US) funding to enable Netball Victoria to host the first Melbourne Vixens Summer Challenge on 23 and 24 February. Seven ANZ Championship teams from Australia and New Zealand (Adelaide Thunderbirds, Canterbury Tactix, Melbourne Vixens, NSW Swifts, Queensland Firebirds, Southern Steel, West Coast Fever) will take part in the pre-ANZ Championships competition, which is to be played at Melbourne’s State Netball and Hockey Centre.
ANZ Championship side the Northern Mystics will be without Silver Ferns defender Charlotte Kight for the 2013 season, after the news that she had ruptured her Achilles tendon during pre-season training. Also this week, the Mystics named internationals Anna Harrison and Maria Tutaia as co-captains for the year.