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Netball News from around the World
Gail Parata from New Zealand has been appointed head coach of the Scottish national team and will take up her post on 18 April. Parata, from Porirua near Wellington, is a “carded coach” in New Zealand, meaning she has been identified as a potential future coach of the Silver Ferns. She was a member of the Silver Ferns for 14 years before moving over to take up coaching roles, most notably as assistant coach in the 2012/3 season. Parata will move to Scotland with her partner and four year old daughter ahead of the Netball Europe Championships in May/June, and will then focus on preparing the Scottish Thistles for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.
Scotland’s U21 squad will be in action this weekend, taking part in the Northern Cup which is being played in Wales as part of preparations for the upcoming World Youth Championships. In addition to matches against the home country’s U21 and U19 sides, the young Scotland side will also line up against Singapore U21, who played a practice match against England U21 earlier in the week.
England’s selectors have named a strong squad that contains six players with senior international experience for the upcoming Netball Europe U21 championships. The players selected are: Sophia Candappa, Sam Cook, Shaunagh Craig, Amanda Davis, Francesca Desmond, Jodie Gibson, Layla Guscoth, Natalie Haythornthwaite, Lauren Massey, Yasmin Parsons, Rachel Shaw, Alice Travis.
Netball Australia is expected to reveal a new broadcast deal for the ANZ Championships this weekend, which will include free to air tv coverage of the competition. However, the announcement will be tempered by the news that car manufacturer Holden, supporters of Australian netball for the past nine years, has curtailed its support of the game. The company had held the naming rights to international tests played on Australian soil since 2004, as well as sponsoring the ANZ Championships, NetSetGo! Junior programme and Australia’s international player of the year award.
Netball Samoa is completing a week of teacher and pupil netball clinics this Friday, which have been held across the country to encourage greater participation and improve coaching standards. The KidsNet clinics have been held in districts including Fusi, Safata, Aleipata and Lepa/Lotofaga and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. It is hoped that they can be repeated later in the year.
The Inter-Gulf Championships will be held in Abu Dhabi this weekend at the Abu Dhabi Tennis Association complex, and will feature teams from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Kuwait and Qatar as well as three squads from Bahrain. The Bahraini teams have once again been sponsored by DHL and will compete in both junior and senior competitions.
In Pakistan, the Army took the title at the 11th mens national championships, with a thrilling 45-44 victory over the Police team in the final. The Airforce beat HEC 57-53 to take third place. At the conclusion of the event, the guest of honour Major General Muhammad Akram Sahi, (President of the Pakistan Athletics Federation) announced a government grant of 200,000 PKR (approx. $2,300US) to the Pakistan Netball Association with which to continue the development of the game nationwide.
Finally, the Netball Development Trust (NDT) has completed a very successful four day training camp at the Samparc school for orphaned and disadvantaged children in Malvali, Maharashtra. Indian internationals Rupinder Kaur Bajwa and Aman Kaur Dhaliwal led the NDT’s team of volunteer coaches in delivering a programme of coaching and match play to 235 girls and boys from 12 schools in the Malvali region. Courts were created specifically for the event, with goalposts and bibs created in-house and a ceremonial coconut broken and sprinkled on the court and netballs before play started – a traditionally auspicious practice to ensure a successful event. For more news about the four day camp, and the work of the Netball Development Trust, please visit www.facebook.com/netballdevelopmenttrust.