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Netball News from around the world
Netball continues to grow in Vanuatu thanks to some innovative and exciting initiatives. The first “Duck Duck” training session was held at the end of February in Port Vila for children aged 3-8 and more than 45 attended. In addition to a host of fun drills to introduce basic netball skills, participants learned about team work, confidence building and co-ordination and a second session will be held at the end of this month. Meanwhile, the Vanuatu Netball Association has announced it will be repeating its Junior Netball League for a second season, starting at the end of April. 16 teams competed in the first league and it is hoped to increase entries for the 2011 competition.
Two Fijian netballers will be among six overseas stars joining the clubs in the Singapore Netball League this weekend for a five week placement. 22 year old Adi Unaisi Rauluni, who represented her country at the 200-9 World Youth Netball Championships, and 18 year old shooter Jeloma Whippy will join the Bedok Kings Vipers and Mighty Mannas respectively. The pair, along with players from Tanzania and Papua New Guinea, were recruited by Singapore Netball last year to add excitement to the league, as well as improve the national side's preparations for the upcoming Netball World Championships.
South Africa's national squad goes into camp this weekend with national selectors assessing their performances ahead of selecting the country's 15 player squad for the World Championships. In addition to the Singapore competition, the selected netballers will face Botswana and Malawi in Botswana at the end of April before hosting Trinidad & Tobago and Uganda in Cape Town in May.
England has named a 14 player squad for the upcoming test series against Jamaica in Kingston. Student Layla Guscoth, who has impressed in defence for Mavericks in the Netball Superleague this season, is named in the Open squad for the first time. Captained by Karen Atkinson, the full squad is: Atkinson, Pamela Cookey (vice captain), Sarah Bayman, Eboni Beckford Chambers, Louisa Brownfield, Jade Clarke, Sasha Corbin, Rachel Dunn, Stacey Francis, Tamsin Greenway, Layla Guscoth, Serena Guthrie, Joanne Harten, Lindsay Keable.
Jamaica's new National Technical Director Jill McIntosh has this week announced that the captain and vice captain of the Sunshine Girls will now be appointed by a process of application and interview. This new policy means that Jamaica will have a new captain for this summer's World Championships, after the incumbent Simone Forbes announced that she will not be applying for the role.
The Queensland Firebirds maintained their perfect record in the 2011 ANZ Championship with a 62-42 win over reigning premiers the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the latest round of matches. Northern Mystics scored a thrilling 47-46 win over the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic to move into second place, tied on points with the Sydney Swifts and the Magic. Former New Zealand international Jodi Brown has returned to top level competition this week, only weeks after giving birth to her second child, joining the injury-hit Southern Steel ahead of their match with the West Coast Fever.
For more information about netball around the world, please visit the IFNA website at www.netball.org