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Netball News from around the World By Rona Hunnisett
Gauteng North won South Africa’s SPAR National Netball Championship for the fourth time in five years with a clinical 63-37 victory over Dr Kenneth Kaunda (North West South) in the final at theBelvilleVelodrome last Saturday.Dr. Kenneth Kaunda were undefeated during the round robin phase of the tournament, but DoretteBadenhorst’s young team were no match for Jenny Van Dyk’sexperienced Gauteng North team, which boasts six former and current Proteas. The combination of goalkeeper Vanes-Mari du Toit and goal defence Amanda Myndhardt proved too much for the North West goalshooter, ChanteSteyn, who had been virtually impregnable during the tournament.LenizePotgieter of Gauteng North was named the player of the tournament.
Following the conclusion of the event, South Africa’s selectors named a 31 member squad, which will attend training camps over the next few months in preparation for the Netball World Cup in Sydney 2015. The squad will be reduced to 15 players early in 2015. The successful players are: Erin Burger, Lauren Lee Christians, NosiGoda, MarykaHoltzhausen, Mari-Lena Joubert, Zandre Kruger, Rochelle Lawson, Lindie Lombard, FaithMantiju, PhumzaMaweni. TshinaMdau, ZaneleMdodana, Shadine van der Merwe, Karla Mostert, LensaMotau, BongiweMsomi, Precious Mthembu, Melissa Myburgh, Amanda Mynhardt, BhongeletuNgubeni, Adele Niemand, Sasha-Lee Petersen, Elsunet du Plessis, LenizePotgieter, ThuliQegu, JulineRossouw, ChanteSteyn, Vanes-Marie du Toit, KifiloeTsotetsi, Nadia Uys, ZaneleVimbela.
Fiji has appointed Kate Carpenter as the new coach of its national side, the Fiji Pearls. Carpenter, who coached Northern Ireland at the recent Glasgow Commonwealth Games, is attending the country’s DigicelPunjas National Netball Championships in Lautoka this weekend, to start the selection process for the new Fiji national squad, which will face Malawi in test action in November. Meanwhile, Digicel Fiji has announced a continued sponsorship for the Fiji Netball Association, after a successful partnership was established earlier this year.
Singapore’s netball side will draw on a wealth of experience when it defends its Asian title next month. LinjQingyi will lead the side, with Chen Huifen and NarulBaizura will support her as vice captains: the trio have a total of 191 between them, and were part of the team that won the title in 2012. Another experienced player, 31 year old PremilaHirubalan, the country’s most capped player has also been named as part of the squad for the competition. Following the completion of a training tour of Fiji and New Zealand, the squad will now continue working towards securing a top two finish at the Asian Championships, which would enable them to secure a place in the Netball World Cup in Sydney in 2015. Tickets are now available for the event from www.netballsingapore.org.
Across the Atlantic, the AFNA Championships are under way, to identify the countries which will take the two qualifying spots for the Netball World Cup from the Americas region. The competition features teams from across the Caribbean as well as sides from as far afield as Canada and Argentina, a country where netball has only been played relatively recently. For more information and the latest results, please visit: http://netballalberta.com/news--events/2014-afna-tournament/tournament-game-schedule.html
Finally, in an interesting move, England Netball and the Indoor Netball Association of England (INA) are set to merge in September. In what England Netball describes as an “exciting partnership”, it has formally added indoor netball to its portfolio of recognised and authorised types of netball activity. The indoor game is to be rebranded as “Nets” and England will host the first international Nets fixture between England and South Africa, including mixed teams from each country. England Netball has plans to promote Nets, including the establishment of a national league, and hopes that the game will attract new players to the game.