Meanwhile, South African coach Elize Kotze has made four changes to the Proteas team for the Liverpool competition. Goal attack Maryke Holtzhausen and utility defender Precious Mthembu were named in the squad named this week, while Karla Mostert and Kgomotso Itlhabanyeng, who have both been involved in the South African development programme since the start of the year, receive a call up for representative honours. The remainder of the South African squad is: Crisna Bootha, Erin Burger, Zukelwa Cweba, Vanes-Mari DuToit, Tsakane Mbewe, Bongiwe Msomi, Amanda Myndhardt (capt), Nokuthula Qego.
England’s selectors have named their final 12 for the World Netball Series, which includes four players from the local Northern Thunder franchise – Sara Bayman, captain Jade Clarke, Emma Dovey and Laura Malcolm. Thunder’s head coach Tracey Neville will also be attending the event as technical coach to work alongside Anna Mayes and Colette Thomson. Shooter Pamela Cookey returns to the England line up, after missing the recent Australasia tour, while sisters Kadeen and Sasha Corbin are named in the squad for the first time on home soil. The remaining England squad members are: Eboni Beckford Chambers, Rachel Dunn, Stacey Francis, Serena Guthrie and Jo Harten.
Natalie von Bertouch, who captained Australia to the World Netball Championships title in the summer, is to undergo surgery on Monday to remove a sesamoid bone in her foot which kept her out of her country’s successful defence of the Constellation Cup recently. Von Bertouch, who has been troubled by the injury since the start of the year, has opted for surgery now to enable her recovery in time for the first round of the 2012 ANZ Championships in March.
Netball continues to make inroads in America, with encouraging signs of growth across the continent. The USA Netball Association took part in the Teams 2011 Conference in Las Vegas, at which delegates met with more than 120 sports commissions, Convention and Visitors’ Bureaux (CVB) and national sports bodies in an attempt to forge strategic and mutually beneficial partnerships as well as introducing netball to sports officials and administrators at the highest level. The USANA has already established a partnership with USA Touch Rugby to enable both sports to grow in participation and visibility terms and joint events are planned for the future. The game is also to be presented at the influential YMCA National Conference as the organisation’s regional centres start to roll out the game for their visitors and residents.
Four of Singapore’s leading umpires are among the eight officials named to take charge at the forthcoming Fairprice Foundation Nations Cup, to be played from 5-11 December. The quartet – Yu Bee Ling, Eric Lee, Vincent Ong and Jasmine Yeo – are all members of Netball Singapore’s High Performance Umpiring Squad and will be using the competition as an opportunity to gain further experience and knowledge from Chris Burton, the chair of the Umpire Appointments Panel for the Nations Cup, who will be mentoring them throughout the championships.
Finally, the Jamaica Netball Association has honoured its former president and current IFNA President Molly Rhone with a celebration gala in Kingston. Ms Rhone, who received the Order of Jamaica in October, was joined at the event by several colleagues from her international playing career as well as members of the current and former Jamaican netball executive, and several sponsors. In her congratulatory message to Ms Rhone, Jamaica’s Minister of Sport Olivia Grange promised that, as part of the island’s 50th anniversary independence celebrations in 2012, the government has committed to improving the courts at the Leila Robinson Netball Centre, one of the main training and playing facilities used by the Sunshine Girls.
For more information about netball around the world, please visit the IFNA website www.netball.org
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS