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Netball News from around the World By Rona Hunnisett
The Mission Foods Asian Netball Championships, currently taking place in Singapore, has reached the semi finals stage, after a week of exciting group matches. Defending champions Singapore secured their semi-finals spot with a 63-28 win over Hong Kong, and will face Malaysia for a place in the final, after the Malaysian team lost a thrilling final group game 62-66 to Sri Lanka. In the other semi final, Sri Lanka will face Hong Kong. Ten teams have taken part in the competition, including tournament debutantes Myanmar, currently without a world ranking, and Brunei, which had only scored one previous victory in the competition (in 2012 against Pakistan). The semi finals and play offs for the remaining places will start on Saturday, with Vietnam facing Myanmar for 9th and 10th place, while India playing Brunei and Japan taking to the court against Chinese Taipei, at the start of the 5th-8th play off sequence. For more information, and footage of the tournament, please visit the Netball Singapore Facebook page www.facebook.com/netballsingapore
Zambia national coach Pauline Nsombo has named the country’s 12-member team for the African Nations Cup, which starts this weekend in Botswana. The competition will take place in Gaborone, and the Zambian side has spent this week in camp, before starting their journey across the continent on Wednesday. The full Zambian squad is Petronella Bwalya, Naomi Changwe, Agness Chig’ambo, Lucy Jere, Yvonne Kaholo, Doreen Kasehela, Carol Moono, Margret Mutafela, Joyce Mwanza, Brenda Mwila, Idah Mutepuka, Beauty Nakazwe. Meanwhile nine generous Ugandan MPs donated funds to ensure that the national team, the She Cranes, could attend the tournament in Gaborone, after the squad was unable to raise the necessary money themselves.
Netball Scotland is looking to capitalise on the positive response to netball from the general public at the recent Commonwealth Games by launching a new initiative called Bounce Back to Netball. The campaign, a legacy project from Glasgow 2014, will encourage people of all ages and abilities over the age of 16 to participate in regular, fun, safe and affordable sessions which it is hoped will have a positive impact on health and wellbeing. All attendees will be asked to join Netball Scotland at their second week of attendance, which for a small fee will also provide playing insurance, as well as an exclusive campaign t-shirt and other netball discounts. For further information, please email email@example.com.
Jamaica Netball has announced the coaching team for the island’s new Development Squad. Christopher Smart, head coach of the St Catherine Racers in the Berger Elite League, has been named as head coach, while Conrad Parks, head coach of the University of the West Indies netball club, has been named as assistant coach. The new development squad has been formed to provide a feeder programme for the country’s U21 squad as well as for the Sunshine Girls. 110 players from across the island participated in trials in June, and national selectors Jill McIntosh, Minneth Rehynolds and Patrick Brissett selected a squad of 24 players. Starting this month, these players will train for one weekend a month, with intensity increasing to twice-monthly sessions from January 2015.
Finally, one Australian netballer had a very unusual ride to her netball game this week. 23 year old Jady Brkic plays both football and netball, but when both of her sides qualified for grand finals on the same day, she thought she would have to make a choice. However, thanks a generous benefactor, Jady was offered a helicopter flight from her football match in Melbourne to her netball game in Drysdale – a once in a lifetime opportunity. Leaving her football game at three quarter time, she leapt into the helicopter and arrived at the netball courts just after the first whistle. However, the fairytale ending that everyone hoped for was not forthcoming, with Jady’s Ammos team losing their grand final by 15 goals to rivals Torquay.