Nation e-Edition

Heavy tour list for netballers

NCC Ballers’ Joyanne Cook (left) collecting her club’s Premier League trophy from Muriel Robertson. Natasha Clarke (left) receiving C.O. Williams Rangers’ Premier Knockout title from Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sport, Shirley Farnum. Jacqueline Browne receiving a kiss and St Barnabas’ Intermediate KO trophy, from the National Sports Council’s Neil Murrell. (Pictures by Lennox Devonish.) UWI Blackbirds’ Monique James is all smiles while posing with her club’s Division 3 title.

By Justin Marville | Tue, March 13, 2012 - 12:03 AM

Barbados' netball has a heavy international slate ahead of it.

So much for Anna Shepherd’s latest honeymoon.

Add Jamaica to the list of overseas destinations in 2012 for the recently reinstalled head coach as the Barbados Netball Association (BNA) accepted an invitation for the senior squad to play in a FastNet Tournament during October.

BNA president Juanita Cordle disclosed the country’s participation in the three-day competition during Sunday’s annual awards ceremony at Queen’s College just weeks after returning Shepherd for her fifth head coaching term.

It’s the third tournament the senior team is set to appear in this season alone, following next month’s tour to third-ranked England and the AFNA Championships slated for Trinidad and Tobago in July.

And that doesn’t include the regional Jean Pierre Competition that the Under-16s will be contesting in St Vincent – also next month.

But the burden of bearing the cost of increased travel hasn’t deterred Cordle from making a decision to have Barbados feature in more overseas events.

“We don’t have a major championship outside of our region so the finances won’t be that high,” reasoned the second-year head.

“Once we stay inside the Caribbean it should be manageable but raising finances is always problematic, so I have really appealed to corporate Barbados to support our fund-raising ventures this season.”

“And netball has not been able to attract a major sponsor for some time now. However, it will be in our best interest to ensure that we can secure sponsorship in the near future.

“I’m also hoping that we can really put up a good showing at the club level so we can generate more gate receipts.”

However, Barbados won’t have to travel for all of their international competition this year as Cordle revealed that negotiations were ongoing with Australia, whose Under-21 team is expected to stop over for a short series in November en route to Jamaica.

Certain European countries have also expressed an interest to tour Barbados early next year as part of their preparations for the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships slated for Glasgow, Scotland.

Last year, the senior team lost a three-test series 2-1 against rivals Trinidad before placing 11th at the World Championships, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Sports, Shirley Farnum, praised the association for the squad raising its world ranking to nine.

In her feature address, Farnum insisted the sport build on the achievements of last year, while reasoning that the original ideology of sport had to be expanded as a means for self-development.

Former coroner Faith Marshall-Harris delivered an inspirational speech focusing on the important attributes of netball, while the best of last season were rewarded for their achievements.

Sewing World Beverly Hills were adjudged the best team on display, with UWI Blackbirds, Rapid Response and C.O.B. Bathsheba getting honourable mention.

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