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Netball News from around the globe by Rona Hunnisett
Pakistan’s SOA Beach Games got under way this week in Karachi, with more than 1,000 athletes and officials taking part in the opening ceremony. Pakistan international netballer Quratul Ain was one of two participants chosen to take the athletes’ oath ahead of the competition, which will feature netball alongside several other sports including cycling, athletics and boxing. Photograph shows action from the first day’s play, in which Central Region beat East, and South defeated West.
This weekend’s Netball Europe Open championships, to be played at the Aberdeen Sports Village from 30 May – 2 June, have been declared a sell out, with the competition’s 1,000 tickets snapped up within hours of going on sale. Teams from Gibraltar, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales will be looking to take the title from reigning champions England, who will be represented at the competition by an U21 side, as preparations continue for the upcoming World Youth championships, to be played in Glasgow later this year.
TeamBath has taken the UK’s Netball Superleague title for the fifth time, following a 62-56 victory over Celtic Dragons. The two sides were level at 51 all midway through the final quarter, before some great defensive work by Sam Cook and Mia Ritchie prompted crucial turnovers which Bath’s international front line of Pamela Cookey and Kadeen Corbin took full advantage of to edge the former champions clear. The Corbin household had double cause for celebration after the game, when it was announced that Kadeen’s sister Sasha, captain of Hertfordshire Mavericks, had been named the league’s Player of the Season.
In Zambia, future player development received a boost this week with the launch of the country’s Netball youth League. The competition, supported by sponsorship from UK Sport together with the Sports Council of Zambia (SCZ), is intended to provide a stepping stone for young players towards senior competitions and the country’s international programme. Competition is expected to start during early June.
Tickets for the FAST5 Netball World Series, to be held in Auckland from 8-10 November, went on sale this week, offering visitors the chance to experience 20 games over three days of fast-paced action and entertainment. Those buying tickets by the end of June will be entered into a draw to win an upgrade to a corporate hospitality box. For more information and to book tickets, please visit www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Netball South Africa has concluded its outreach programme for 2013 this week, with the last of its roadshows aimed at improving coaching standards around the country. More than 200 coaches attended the last event, held in Soweto, which was run by ElizeKotze and which aimed to rationalise coaching styles across the country, which should make talent identification easier in the future.
Congratulations to Netball New Zealand chief executive Raelene Castle who made history this week by being named the NRL's first female chief executive. Castle replaces outgoing Canterbury Bulldogs boss Todd Greenberg. During her six year tenure as chief executive, Netball New Zealand’s profile has grown exponentially, and the organisation’s commercial revenue through broadcast and sponsorship has increased by more than 66%. She led the change that now sees Netball New Zealand operating a structure with five governance and leadership zones, and was also instrumental in the establishment of the ANZ Championship. Her replacement will be named by Netball New Zealand shortly.
Finally, Bermuda Netball Association continued to raise its profile across the island this week with a float in the annual Bermuda Day parade and players performing skills drills along its route. Watch it here: http://youtu.be/Cc5J9ZNics0