Call for more umpires, coaches
BARBADOS?needs to produce more international netball umpires and coaches too.
That’s the call from president of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) Molly Rhone, who gave the feature address at the opening of the 2014 domestic season at Combermere school hall last night.
Rhone, who has been awarded the Order of Jamaica, that country’s fifth highest honour, thinks that Barbados and the Caribbean need to step up to the plate in this respect.
“Currently, New Zealand and Australia lead the panel of international umpires with ten and eight respectively. England follow with six, Jamaica (4), South Africa (3), Trinidad &?Tobago (2) and Barbados one.
This is truly disappointing.
“It is imperative that we have more of these umpires from the region, who can umpire games around the globe,” Rhone said before an audience that included representatives from IFNA, the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA)?and the National Sports Council (NSC).
Rhone, a former Jamaica under-21 and under-23 captain, reminded the scores of netballers from the various leagues, that there were opportunities in netball not only in officiating, but coaching as well.
“Look how many coaches from Australia and New Zealand are coaching throughout the world showing how netball can provide a full-time job and an exciting international career. Why are our players not aspiring to fill these positions?
“The request for coaches is a regular occurrence. How pleased I would be to recommend coaches from our region,” she said.
Rhone said that netball was changing the lives of women in some parts of the world, citing as an example, an initiative in Tonga backed by the Australian Government that has propelled the game as evidenced by 370 teams now playing the sport there.
“Netball changes lives and we must all be certain that we are doing everything we can to get more people involved in netball particularly to get more women and girls on the netball court,” said Rhone, who noted that last year, it was reported that netball was the fastest growing sport in England.
Rhone reminded the Barbados Netball Association (BNA) it was important they bring more international netball to local shores.
“I love being here in Barbados with all of you netballers so why not bring some netball events to this beautiful island. It is importnat that the Barbados Netball Association look to bring netball events here and show just what netball can do to contribute to the economy,” she said.
Rhone congratulated the BNA on its success but said that much still had to be done, such as ensuring the practice of good governance, “having the right people in the right positions” adding that the association may not do what is popular but must do what is critical.
UWI?Blackbirds were voted the best turned out team on parade with Structural Systems Silver Raiders copping the runners-up spot.
Kathy Harper-Hall, Deborah Lynch and Harriett Waithe, for their sterling contribution to the sport and umpiring were presented with Lifetime Awards by the Barbados Association of Netball Umpires (BANU).
The night’s programme was enhanced by a magical, captivating dancing performance from “The Bajan Michael Jackson” Charles Reece.
The impressive 19-year-old glided, moonwalked, and gyrated his way into the hearts of a wildly cheering audience with a combination of hip hop and Michael Jackson music.