Sunshine Girls Head Coach Connie Francis is expecting a much better performance from her shooters when they play Trinidad and Tobago in the second game of their series at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Tuesday.

Jamaica demolished their Caribbean rivals 71-22 on Saturday night with Jhaniele Fowler leading the way with 43 goals. Defensively, Jamaica was stifling limiting their opponents to only six second-half goals in a comprehensive victory.

However, Francis was not pleased with certain elements of the Jamaican execution.

“I was a bit disappointed with the shooting. I thought we were more than capable of doing a better job,” said Francis, who said the only player who she would excuse was Shanice Beckford who has not played in 18 months.

“I thought Jhaniele was too casual. Her style has changed a bit since she began playing in the Super League. She is not catching or elevating as she usually does.”

Francis also believes the team needs to tighten up defensively.
“Trinidad was able to get the ball through from the Jamaica attacking area into midcourt and into their shooting area without much pressure,” she explained.

She said she plans to tackle those areas of concern before the next game on Tuesday.

“We have a training session today (Sunday) and another on Tuesday morning, these ladies are professionals playing in leagues abroad, we should be capable of making those adjustments,” she said.

The Jamaica men’s team will replace South Africa for the Sunshine Girls upcoming tri-nation series, which will also include Trinidad and Tobago.

Originally the three teams were expected to part in the series, which was scheduled to begin on October 9th.  The fixture opponents have, however, been modified after South Africa pulled out of the series due to countries rising number of Covid-19 cases. 

With short notice to find a replacement, the decision was made to employ the assistance of the country’s male team.  The dates for the fixtures have now also been moved forward, with the opening game of the tri-series now expected to be on the 14th.

The Jamaicans ranked fourth in the world, are expected to play against in a three-match series dubbed the ‘Vitality Roses Reunited’ set for London, in September.  Many of netball’s top teams will be looking to step up their preparations with the Commonwealth Games set to take part in Birmingham, England next year.  The Jamaican team has not played in international competitions since the World Netball Cup in 2020.

 

For a record third year in a row, Jamaica’s standout shooter Jhaniele Fowler has been voted MVP of the West Coast Fever franchise of the Suncorp Super Netball League. She is now also the first winner of the Stacey Marinkovich Medal.

The MVP Award was renamed the Stacey Marinkovich Medal this season to honour the former captain and coach’s legacy at the club, which included being appointed inaugural captain and coaching 104 games, including two Grand Finals.

Fowler won the Stacey Marinkovich Medal with 55 votes ahead of captain Courtney Bruce with 35 votes and rising star Sunday Aryang with 21 votes.

“I am very grateful for all that this team has invested in me as a person and as a player and always believing in me, year in, year out,” said Fowler, who topped the scoring this past season with 883 goals at 96 per cent accuracy.

 “Since I’ve been here in 2018, I’ve only wanted to do my best by this club to perform my best.

“I’m so much more mature in my game and in my personal life since I’ve been here and I’m very grateful for that. This wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing teammates so I’m very thankful to them too.”

In her four seasons in Super Netball, Fowler has scored 3455 goals for the Fever. Her 57 offensive rebounds were second overall and she was the Nissan Net Points leader board with a total of 1611 points.

The towering Jamaican recently signed for two more years with the Fever.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls could be forced to make adjustments for next month’s tri-series following the reported withdrawal of South Africa from the tour.

Originally, the series was set to feature the no 4 ranked Jamaicans, 5th ranked Australians and 10th ranked Trinidad and Tobago and was set to tip-off on October 9th.  However, negotiations between Netball South Africa and the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) are said to have broken down due to the island’s rising number of Covid-19 cases.

The JNA is expected to give an update on the situation in the next few weeks with a replacement team being added being another possibility that is being looked at.

The series will be the first for the Jamaicans since the Netball World Cup in 2020, the team is, however, also expected to travel to England, in September, where they will face the England Roses in a three-match series.  The Sunshine Girls had been due to face England in January of this year, but those plans were postponed due to then-existing Covid-19 travel restrictions.  The team will be looking to vastly increase its activities in the coming months with the Commonwealth Games scheduled for next year.

The Jamaica Sunshine Girls are set to take on England in a three-match series dubbed the ‘Vitality Roses Reunited’ set for London, in November.

The teams were originally set to face-off in a series in January but that was postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and strict travel restrictions.  The upcoming series will still be subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions but will be played in front of a maximum capacity stadium, with measures regarding crowd sizes eased in England.

The series will help both teams begin preparations for the next year’s Commonwealth Games, which will take part in Birmingham, England next year.  The Jamaicans have not played in an official international competition since the World Netball Cup in 2020.

The series is set to tip-off on November 28th at the Copper Box Arena, before moving on to the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, with consecutive games on December 4 and December 5.

Americas Netball (AN) in its continued drive to educate all its member associations on issues of governance in the sport of netball, launched the second in a series of governance webinars on Saturday, August 14 via a Zoom conference.

 Marva Bernard OD, President of Americas Netball and a Director of World Netball and recently appointed Ambassador of Teamwork by World Netball, in delivering her opening comments opined that “A sport organization needs leadership. The dynamic environment in which an organization operates requires sports leaders, and potential leaders to be constantly learning and retooling themselves”. 

The webinars are one such tool that Americas Netball utilizes to keep its members abreast of policies, procedures and regulations in the sport of netball.  She added that this year AN would partner fully with the University of the West Indies Faculty of Sport to plan the course content.

The next session is set for August 21 with the ensuing sessions to be held two Saturdays each month for the next three months culminating in November, will focus on administrative procedures and guidelines, fulfilling reporting requirements, team and stakeholder management as well as communication planning.

Other topics of focus will be Strategic planning, policy alignment and implementation, operational planning, implementing a business model, revenue generation, organizational restructuring, business plan models, governance during crises, emergency management and business planning.

Following the federation’s official rebrand to World Netball, the international governing body has announced appointments of two of Jamaica’s best-loved netball stars – Marva Bernard OD, and Shamera Sterling - as official ambassadors.

World Netball has declared its intention to make the case for the Olympic Games to include netball by the Brisbane games in 2032.

The sport’s governing body acknowledges that the best opportunity to showcase Netball on the Olympic stage will come when the host nation is a strong Netball nation and one that supports and proposes netball’s inclusion to the IOC as one of its additional sports.

 “All our Member Nations are excited at the potential of being part of the Olympic Family in 2032. We are committed to ensuring that our case for inclusion adds significant value to this very special Olympic movement,” said World Netball President, Liz Nicholl CBE.

The governing body outlined its objectives in a statement released earlier today.

“World Netball congratulates the City of Brisbane on the announcement confirming that it will host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and declares its intention to work with Netball Australia to make a compelling case for Netball’s inclusion in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games,” WN said in a statement.

“As the first step towards Olympic inclusion, a sport has to be governed by an IOC ‘recognised’ federation – World Netball achieved this recognition in 1995 and has enjoyed a good relationship with the IOC since then.

“As Netball Australia currently holds the number 1 world ranking and Sydney has already been confirmed as the host venue for the Netball World Cup 2027, 2032 provides the perfect opportunity. World Netball is aware that Organizing Committee and IOC decisions on this matter will be made many years from now and so we will use the time available to work with our colleagues at Netball Australia to present a compelling case for inclusion.”

Netball was originally developed by women for women and girls at a time when their opportunities to participate in and achieve through sport were very limited. The sport initially spread across the Commonwealth through the education sector but soon developed and grew.

It now has more than 20 million participants across 76 Member nations and 5 continents and TV, digital audiences and social media followers are rapidly growing. Netball is a core sport in the Commonwealth Games programme and the 5 top-performing nations at the world level are spread across five continents.

Netball’s World Cup attracts record crowds. When the event was held in Liverpool 2019, over 100,000 tickets were sold to over 30,000 unique spectators from across 40 nations; over 6 million people attended, watched and/or followed the event which achieved a Net Promoter Score of 81 per cent.

“Over 30,000 adults were inspired by the event to start playing netball or play netball more, and 60 per cent of spectators were inspired to increase their participation in sport or active recreation as a result of attending the event,” it said.

According to World Netball, it recently launched strategy focuses on further growing global participation, reach, revenue, impact and capacity and also commits to the sport being ‘open to all', with a focus on three core strategies to grow, to play and to inspire, all underpinned by great governance.

“Over recent years the number of participants and Member nations has increased and more men and boys are participating in Netball. There is significant growth potential, and World Netball is committed to supporting increased engagement from men and boys while building on its female-focused foundations that have shaped the culture and values of the sport,” the statement said.

“World Netball will continue to drive game development and the worldwide delivery of thrilling major events - which will include the further development and promotion of Netball's modified format of the sport, Fast5 – has 5 players a side and features dynamic rules changes, shorter quarters, power plays and super shots.

World Netball is also in the process of establishing a new Foundation to harness the power of Netball to change lives by creating a vehicle to promote, support and fundraise and partner with NGOs to deliver life-changing projects through netball.”

Jhaniele Fowler scored the winning goal moments before the final whistle as the West Coast Fever rallied to defeat Giants Netball 66-65 in a thriller at the RAC Arena Monday.

Samantha Wallace scored 43 goals to outscore Shimona Nelson in the New South Wales Swifts’ 62-53 victory over the Collingwood Magpies at the Ken Rosewall Arena in Suncorp Super League netball action today.

Shimona Nelson outshot Romelda Aiken as the Collingwood Magpies defeated the Queensland Firebird 68-65 in the Suncorp Superleague Netball tournament on Saturday.

Newly appointed Jamaica national U-21 Annette Daley hopes to use the unit to reinforce the senior team in light of the cancelation of the Netball World Youth Cup.

The event, which was slated to take place in Fiji, in June, was initially moved to December 2021.  The tournament has, however, now been cancelled because of the coronavirus crisis.

The decision was made in consultation with Fiji's Government and the Local Organising Committee.  Considerations like travel restrictions, athlete well-being, pandemic-related uncertainty and planning difficulties, increased costs, and Fiji's low COVID-19 rate all contributed to the decision, organisers said.

Daley was appointed to the post in February and had just begun preparing the team for the tournament.

“We are going to meet with the ladies officially, but training continues.  We are looking at continuing to develop the ladies because for the senior program we do a base that we can pull players from,” Daley told TVJ Sports.

She also pointed to the fact that there could still be some international competition that the team can take part in later this year.

“There could be a championship for Jamaica in October where Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa are coming.  If that is so at least we will be ready to engage in competition.”

 

The four-Test Vitality Netball Legends Series between the Sunshine Girls and England Roses has been postponed because of extended restrictions to international travel between the UK and Jamaica because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, according to Netball Jamaica, they are discussing with England Netball, the possibility of having the series in November 2021.

The series was to have got underway on January 22 and was to have been shown live on SkySports in the United Kingdom.

“We are hugely disappointed that the series cannot happen in January, but with the extended restrictions to international travel between the UK and Jamaica, it isn't possible for the fixture to go ahead as planned," the statement from England Netball said.

“We would like to thank the Jamaican national team and the Vitality Roses for their collective efforts to plan and prepare for the series to date, and their support in making this decision.”

Netball Jamaica President Tricia Robinson explained that it was a collective decision based on the extension of travel restrictions from Jamaica to the UK until the end of January 2021 brought about by the ongoing spikes in the UK and the emergence of the variant strain of the virus that makes it easier to spread.

“We are naturally disappointed as this is a second postponement,” Robinson said. “The players are going on a little break now and will resume training in February.”

Robinson said that talks are ongoing between the two federations with a view to having the series later this year, with November being proposed as an appropriate time to resume. This is in light of the fact that players from both teams have been signed by teams in the Suncorp Super Netball League that gets underway in Australia in March.

 

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