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Sealy hails netball’s strides

RIA GOODMAN, [email protected]

Sealy hails netball’s strides

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Netball is in a good place, says Minister of Tourism Richard Sealy.

“I am very happy for president [Nisha] Craigwell and what she has been able to do in terms of the leadership of netball, building on the foundation over the years in Barbados,” he said on Sunday.

“I am happy to hear that Barbados is actually at that point to maybe [progress to] the top flight. I am happy to know that we are hosting a Test series and to hear that the teams are touring, and getting that competition is important.”

Sealy was speaking at the opening ceremony of the National Housing Area Netball Tournament at Burger King Car Park, Sky Mall.

He also congratulated veteran netballer Latonia Blackman on her achievement of being named the Barbados Olympic Association’s Senior Athlete Of The Year and receiving the President’s Award.

Democratic Labour Party candidate for St Michael South East, Rodney Grant, joined with Sealy in congratulating Blackman.

“There should be something in her community named after her. She has made her mark not only at the community level but at the national level and the international level representing Barbados,” said Grant.

“This is how we hold young people for posterity and remember the contribution they have made forever. We have to recognise our outstanding sons and daughters of the soil.”

Grant added that there was a time when netball did not receive any recognition but participants were now being recognised and climbing to the top, not only at the level of the players but the officials, since Dr Carmeta Douglin had been promoted to the post of the International Netball Federation’s regional officiating coordinator.

President of the Barbados Netball Association Craigwell said she was proud of Blackman’s accomplishments, adding that only one other netballer has been able to walk that journey.

Craigwell went on to say that it was a big year for the sport since Barbados will be hosting African team, Uganda for the first time to compete in a Test series, which will help in preparation for the Commonwealth Games.

After defeating Jamaica for the first time in 34 years and Trinidad and Tobago in another three-Test series, Barbados also placed second in a summer competition in Northern Ireland.

The national team is expected to leave for the Commonwealth Games on March 28 and return on April 17.

The Americas Federation of Netball Qualifiers World Cup will also be held on home soil for the first time since 2006, in August at the Wildey Gymnasium.

Craigwell added that Springer Memorial and Christ Church Foundation will be representing Barbados in an Under-19 tour in Jamaica in July.

Chief Community Development Officer Patricia Hackett-Codrington said they believed in every activity which brings communities together and encourages young people to make Barbados proud and become good citizens. (RG)