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Netball News from around the globe by Rona Hunnisett
The 2013 World Youth Netball Championships got under way in Glasgow yesterday, with host nation Scotland winning the opening match, defeating Cayman Islands 73-21. Netball fans around the world will be able to watch every match streamed live on the internet by clicking the link here: http://www.glasgow-life.org.uk/world-youth-netball/Pages/Live-Streaming.aspx. The full match schedule for the competition is available online at http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/world-youth-netball/schedule-tickets/Pages/Match-Calendar.aspx and up to the minute match information can be found on Twitter @wync2013.
New Zealand's U21 side will be missing a familiar face when the team faces Bermuda later on this afternoon: Silver Fern Kayla Cullen has withdrawn from the squad and returned home for assessment of a potentially serious knee injury which she suffered during training ahead of the competition. Kiwi coach Wai Taumaunu is not expecting Cullen to have recovered in time to take part in next month's Constellation Cup against Australia, but will take a decision on a potential replacement once a full assessment of the injury has taken place.
England's selectors have recalled Jade Clarke and Geva Mentor to its squad which will face South Africa in a three match test series next month. TeamBath's Pamela Cookey is once again named captain. The full squad to face the Proteas is: Sara Bayman, Eboni Beckford-Chambers, Jade Clarke, Pamela Cookey, Kadeen Corbin, Sasha Corbin, Stacey Francis, Serena Guthrie, Jo Harten, Lindsay Keable, Geva Mentor, Mia Ritchie.
Laura Geitz of the Queensland Firebirds was named captain of Australia this week, following the retirement of Natalie von Bertouch. Geitz, who led her side to the Grand Final of this year's ANZ Championships, will be supported by two vice captains - Bianca Chatfield and Kimberlee Green - for the Diamonds upcoming international fixtures against New Zealand and Malawi respectively. Geitz is the first Queenslander to captain Australia since Vicki Wilson in 1999.
In Zambia, Green Eagles emerged winners of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)'s tournament, defeating Lusaka City Council in the final. The three day competition, which attracted 20 teams from across the country, was held to mark the upcoming 2013 UNWTO General Assembly.
The Netball Federation of Sri Lanka has announced plans to develop the game nationwide and increase both the number and quality of participants with an eye to success at the 2014 Asian Championships. A national talent search is currently reaching its conclusion, while a revised competitive structure will give more playing opportunities to young netballers at all age groups. The Federation is introducing a development squad system for the first time, to provide local training opportunities for those just outside the national squads.
Botswana's defending Spar Netball champions BDF Cats proved too strong for Jungle Queens in this week's round of matches in the 2013 competition, taking an easy 53-26 victory at the BONA Courts in Gaborone last weekend. Notwane were the biggest winners in the week's round of matches, defeating newcomers Jwaneng Netball 90-15. In other matches, Prisons beat Mochudi Centre Chiefs 77-9, Flying Hawks overcame Flying Doves 38-30 and Queens suffered their second loss of the week at the hands of UB Crystals 45-42. Crystals were inspired by the return of former national squad shooter Botlhale Moeng, who missed last season through injury.
Finally, many congratulations to Jamaica Netball Association President Marva Bernard and Australia's Jill McIntosh, who have been presented with service awards by INF at its annual congress in Glasgow this week. Both have been recognised for their long-running contributions to the development of the game