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Netball - 12. July 2013.

Netball News from around the globe by Rona Hunnisett

Rule changas have been introduced to the short form of the game Fast5 to reduce delays and prevent time wasting by teams in possession:  umpires can penalise teams if they do not believe that teams are progressing play towards goal. For more information on the rule changes, please visit www.netball.org.


As teams continue with preparations for the upcoming World Youth Championships, Jamaica's Young Sunshine Girls overwhelmed Trinidad's U23 side 83-23 in the first game between the sides.  Meanwhile Malaysia are the Asian Youth Netball Champions, taking the title with a thrilling 59-50 win over Sri Lanka at the Indoor Stadium Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei.  Singapore edged out Hong Kong to claim third place. 


Fiji's selectors have named two New Zealand-based players in the country's squad to compete at the World Youth Games in Glasgow later this year.  Kula Tabere and Losalini Tuifagele have been named alongside locally based players Unaisi Rauluni, Afa Rusivakula, Losal Kula, Louise Bereso, Wasela Bogi, Esther Kim, Deb Delana, Wainikiti Taoi, Jane Costello, Anaisi Rusivakula, Raijeli Daveua.


England international Sasha Corbin took part in the launch of a £16.8m partnership between Sport England and Premier League this week, which will drive the expansion of the Kickz and Premier League 4 Sport community programmes over the next three years. The partnership will lead to golf, tennis, boxing and athletics being added to the eight Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth sports on offer through PL4Sport, a scheme which uses the draw of football to encourage children to try out new sports. Netball is already part of the PL4Sport programme, which will be targetting the creation of 590 satellite sports clubs across the UK.  Corbin is pictured at the launch of the programme, alongside representatives of Arsenal FC and other organisations involved in PL4Sport.


Corbin also has a new role this week, after the international midcourter was named as an Ambassador for England Netball.  Corbin, who captained Hertfordshire Mavericks in the 2013 season, will work closely with England Netball's marketing and commercial teams to promote the game's positive image with supporters, partners, sponsors and the media.


Australian coach Julie Fitzgerald has been appointed to the role of head coach of the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, following the resignation of Noeline Taurua.  Fitzgerald, Australian coach of the Year in 2004 and 2006, was formerly head coach of the NSW Swifts and Australian Institute of Sport, before taking up the role of assistant coach of the Australian Diamonds in 2012.


The 2013 ANZ Championships Grand Final will be an all-Australian affair, after the Queensland Firebirds - champions in 2011 - defeated Melbourne Vixens in a nerve-jangling contest 50-46 in the competition's preliminary final.  Leading by eight goals during the third quarter, the Firebirds looked to have the game under control, but some impressive defence from Bianca Chatfield and Geva Mentor, and accurate shooting under pressure by Sharelle McMahon and Tegan Caldwall, allowed the Vixens to close the gap.  The Firebirds now move through to the Grand Final to play the Adelaide Thunderbirds. 


Ahead of the Grand Final, Jamaican shooter Jhaniele Fowler has been rewarded for an outsanding debut season in the ANZ Championships by being named the competition's best new talent for 2013.  Fowler, who recently signed for two more seasons with the Southern Steel, broke the records for the most individuals goals in a single game (65) and the highest total scored by an individual in a season (666). 


New Zealand selectors were encouraged this week by the news that two of the country's most experienced players will be making themselves available for selection this year. Midcourter Leana Leota and utility defence Joline Henry both missed the 2012 season with family commitments.  The Silver Ferns trials take place during the first week of August, with the first test in the Constellation Cup series against Australia to take place in Invercargill in September.

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