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Shortage of Div.1 players a concern

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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Barbados Netball Association president Nisha Cummings wants to know why players are shying away from Division 1 netball.
Traditionally, the highest level of netball has only “four or five” teams and that number also needs to be increased, she said.
“We need to attract more teams to play Division 1 netball. For some reason, people go to Division 2. They cringe when they have to go to Division 1. Why is this? Is it the prizes? It is something we really need to look at, rewarding persons so they aspire to play Division 1,” Cummings said.
“For us to go anywhere internationally in terms of our ranking, the best players should be coming from Division 1.”
Cummings was speaking following a review of the recent season and a look ahead to the next.
Over the years, the president observed several good players who opted to remain in the lower divisions rather than going up.
When asked if it was a case of people not wanting to play at that level or coaches deciding to play in the lower divisions to win trophies, Cummings said it could be both.
“It might be a case where they want to win, but any good netballer should also aspire to play for the national team and represent your country. Why should they want to stick to Division 2 to win where the better quality of netball is in Division 1?” she asked.
“It is really to change the mentality and also bridge the gap.”
She pointed out there remained a significant gap between the standard of netball played by Knockout queens Pine Hill St Barnabas, league queens C.O. Williams Rangers and Spooners Hill, winners of the Fast Five Tournament.
Cummings said they might have to do more coaching courses to equip coaches with the relevant skills, and the belief that their teams can compete at that level and not feel they are going to be beaten even before they start. (SAT)