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Netball - 10. March 2012.

Netball News From around the Globe

Netball Australia this week announced an exciting new initiative which will enable the organisation to play a key role in the prevention of violence against women, by delivering education programmes to more than 6,000 young netballers.  As part of the Australian government's partnership with sporting organisations, Netball Australia will receive $250,000AU (approx $265,000US) to enable the delivery of educational programmes across three levels targetting young people aged 12-21.  A social marketing and peer education programme will be delivered to indigenous school-aged girls through Netball Australia's partnership with the David Wirrpanda Foundation and a “No to Violence” module will be developed for the Foundation and Development coaching courses.

The work conducted by the Netball Development Trust in Uganda over the past two years is bearing fruit, with news that the first ever Mbale Tigers-NDT Open competition was won by North Road Primary School, Mbale.  In the final, the winners overcame arch-rivals Maluku Primary School 13-3, having beaten Busamaga 9-6 in the semi finals.  Eight schools from the area took part in the competition, with prizes awarded for the best players in each section as well as for the winners.  The Netball Development Trust will be returning to Uganda this summer, and is keen to hear from any volunteers interested in helping with its programme of coaching and development which will run from 21 June to 9 July should email netballtrust@hotmail.com.  

Three members of Botswana's national squad leave next week to take part in Singapore's Super League, a first for the African nation.  Defenders Kagisano Mawela (29) and Ntebogang Motlakaloso (20) and shooter Tebogo Radipotsane (25) were spotted by scouts at the 2011 World Netball Championships, and will be based in Singapore from 20 March – 29 April for the duration of the Super League competition.  Singapore's Super League is an elite domestic competition comprising six teams:  each team has the option to include one current overseas international as part of the Singapore Super League International Player Programme.

Reigning ANZ champions the Queensland Firebirds demonstrated that they are once again the team to beat when they defeated the Melbourne Vixens 50-30 to take the pre-season Carrus Cup at Mount Maunganui last weekend.  After an undefeated 2011 season, Roselee Jencke's team were in imperious form throughout the weekend, which featured all ten ANZ franchises, and a draw with Norma Plummer's West Coast Fever was the closest any of the sides came to defeating them.  The Waikato-Bay of Plenty Magic side was too strong for last season's grand finallists, the Northern Mystics, taking third place with a 51-36 win.  Former premiers Adelaide Thunderbirds came fifth, defeating Australian rivals the Sydney Swifts in the play off 42-34.

Netball in the Solomon Islands continues to grow, with news that sponsorship has been secured from the Our Telekom Company for the National U20 Championships, to be played on Bellona Island in April, and the National Senior Inter-provincial Championships, which will be held in Lata, Temotu Province in November.  President of the Solomon Islands Netball Federation (SINFED), Noelyn Luahiti, is confident that entry levels will be high for both competitions, as the federation looks to improve standards of domestic competition across the country.

The cream of Europe's young netballers have assembled this weekend in Northern Ireland and Scotland for the Netball Europe U21 and U17 championships respectively.  And in encouraging news for Netball Scotland ahead of the World Youth Championships and Commonwealth Games, it is clear that netball is increasingly popular in Glasgow, with tickets for the Kelvin Hall competition sold out for Friday's sessions, and moving quickly for the rest of the weekend.

In the week before the Fiat Netball Superleague “splits” into upper and lower divisions, the two leading sides put out emphatic performances to re-state their title credentials.   The Surrey Storm side was too strong for Team Northumbria, winning 69-43, with player/coach Tamsin Greenway taking the opportunity to give many of her bench players a run out.  Meanwhile, league leaders Northern Thunder looked ominously impressive in overcoming reigning champions Hertfordshire Mavericks, 66-32, to enter the second stage of the competition with an unbeaten record for 2012.  Australian import Janelle Lawson once again led the Thunder attack in style, netting 48 of her 54 shots on goal.

For more information about netball around the world, visit the IFNA website at www.netball.org
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