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Busy netball season ahead

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Busy netball season ahead

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Sunday’s opening ceremony at the Wildey Gymnasium will mark the official beginning of a busy netball season under the new leadership of president Nisha Cummings.
In addition to the Under-21 team being invited to attend the World Youth Netball Championships in August, the senior national team will be taking part in a quadrangular tournament in St Lucia and have also been invited to tour South Africa in July.
Cummings and vice-president Linda Wilson made the announcements during a Press briefing yesterday at the Olympic Centre.
The quadrangular series at the end of May will see Barbados coming up against world No. 4 Jamaica, No. 8 Trinidad and Tobago and the hosts who are ranked 13th.
Barbados have already qualified for the 2015 Commonwealth Games in Scotland among the top ten countries in the world.
“We are ninth and we have a lot of work to do to maintain the rankings,” Cummings said.
“We have to play continuously. We want to make sure we are within range to play in the Commonwealth Games next year. We are trying to get our players in competition mode.”
Meanwhile, Wilson said the young women who had been preparing for the World Youth Netball Championships were very enthusiastic and were looking forward to representing the country after being in training for the past two years.
She said it would cost $115 000 and appealed to the public for support.
The Barbados Netball Association (BNA) has a fund-raising committee in place and one of the major ventures will be a fair at the Police Sports Complex, Weymouth, on March 30.         
Other plans are being discussed, and when the season gets under way, the Under-21 players will be operating a concession stand at the Netball Stadium.
Meanwhile, the opening ceremony will commence at 4:30 p.m. with the usual parade of teams, and there will also be a candle-lighting ceremony to mark a new beginning.
This year, 74 teams from 32 clubs will be competing.
In addition to the entertainment provided, the much-anticipated final and third-place matches of the inaugural Fast5 Competition will be held and the national Under-16 team, winners of last year’s Caribbean Netball Association Jean Pierre Competition, will take part in an exhibition game.
Prizes and awards for the 2012 season will also be distributed. (SAT)