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Netball news from around the globe by Rona Hunnisett
Fiji’s selectors have delayed the announcement of the country’s squad to compete at the upcoming World Netball Series in Liverpool. Meanwhile, in a bid to boost tourism to the country, Fiji is hosting the 14th Golden Oldies World Netball festival this week. Former Silver Fern and Fiji international Vilimaina Davu is the ambassador of the tournament which will feature teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Barbados, the Cook Islands and Vanuatu, as well as six sides from Fiji itself. The festival aims to encourage netballers from all over the globe to socialise together, and, it is anticipated, will boost visitor numbers to the country, which last hosted the event in 1996.
Singapore’s U21 squad is returning home this weekend after completing a gruelling tour of Wales and Northern Ireland in preparation for the FairPrice Foundation Nations Cup which will be played in December. During the ten day trip, Singapore emerged victorious in three matches against Northern Ireland’s U17, U21A and U21B teams, as well as defeating Wales U19s 43-39. However, Wales U21 side proved too strong for the Asian tourists, winning both matches between the two teams 49-34 and 46-40. Singapore’s squad to compete in the Nations Cup will be announced on 18 November.
Eight teams have confirmed their participation in the upcoming Uhuru Cup, which is to be played in Dar es Salaam at the end of this month. In addition to the domestic teams which have already registered for the tournament, which is being held to commemorate Tanzania’s 50 years of independence, the Tanzania Netball Association has issued invitations to teams from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to take part in the competition.
Across Africa, Botswana’s Spar Good For You Championships reaches the semi-final stage this weekend, with defending champions Tasc looking to take its four title in a row despite strong competition from BDF Cats, Notwane and UB Crystals, which complete the competition’s line up.
In the ANZ Championships, New Zealand’s Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic has startled many observers by naming Australian Netball League (ANL) player Khao Watts as its import for the 2012 season. Watts, who has played three seasons in the ANL was recommended to the Magic by their former Australian international import Peta Scholz, and was named in the 2012 line up after an eight hour trial against other Magic hopefuls.
Meanwhile, across the Tasman, the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) has named its scholarship holders for the 2012 programme. The holders will experience state of the art facilities and services in a programme designed by newly appointed AIS Head coach Julie Fitzgerald which aims to develop their skills as they work towards becoming the next generation of Australian Diamonds. Returning scholarship holder Alix McDermott has been named for the 2012 season, together with Kristina Brice, Courtney Bruce, Laura Clemesha, Paige Hadley, Lorna Marslen, Brooke Miller, Kimberley Ravaillion, Keeley Rodrigo, Amehlia Schmidt, Gabrielle Simpson and Amy Somerville: former AIS scholarship holders include Australian captain Natalie von Bertouch and vice captain Catherine Cox, who stood in as Diamonds captain for the recent test series against England and New Zealand.