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Netball - 11. January 2016.

Netball News from around the World By Reporter Rona Hunnisett

Sri Lanka and Malaysia have qualified for the2017 World Youth Cup in Botswana, after reaching the final of the Asian YouthChampionships.  Singapore also qualifiedafter finishing third.  In the final ofthe competition, Sri Lanka defeated Malaysia 53-48 to take the title for thefirst time in 13 years.  The country’ssports minister Dayasiri Jayasekera presented cash prizes to the team on theirreturn to Sri Lanka, and has promised government support in finding sponsorshipto enable the game’s further development across the island, as well asproviding training and development opportunities for the team ahead of 2017.  In addition to presenting awards worth approx.$US 10,000 to the team and officials, the sports minister also plans to takethe team to meet the country’s President, Maithripala Sirisena, to ensure thatnetball continues its profile nationwide. 

 The UK’s Vitality Netball Superleague will getunder way on Saturday 30 January, with a unique event, at which all eight teamswill be in action in four matches at one venue. Dubbed “Super Saturday”, more than 7,000 tickets have already been soldfor the event, which will take place at Birmingham’s Genting Arena.  The event follows on from the three matchtest series against Australia, which will see a new look England line up taketo the court.  With several key players retiring,or rested after last year’s Netball World Cup, new captain Sara Bayman andcoach Tracey Neville MBE will be looking to establish strong performances tostart the build up to Netball World Cup 2019 in Liverpool.

 Former Fijian national coach Unaisi Rokouralooks set to join Papua New Guinea on a long term contract.  After completing a recent short term appointmentwith the Pepes, which resulted in second place finishes for the side at the2015 Pacific Games and the recent Nations Cup tournament in Singapore, Rokourais now in discussions over a three to five year appointment which will see herleading the side’s long term development.

 Meanwhile, the Fiji Netball Association is hunting for a new national coach, after announcing the resignation of Fiji Pearls’ coach Kate Carpenter.  Carpenter,who joined the Fijian side in September 2014, had established an intensive highperformance programme, which included training tours to play ANZ franchiseteams, as well as taking part in the Oceania Test series, Pacific Game snadNetball World Cup.  The vacancy is set tobe advertised this month, both locally and internationally.

 Uganda has announced it will be sending a teamto the World University Netball Championships, to be held in Florida inJuly.  The country last appeared at thetournament in 2012, and following a strong showing at the Netball World Cup in2015, which ended with the She Cranes achieving an eight place finish.  The national side achieved further honoursthis week, with the news that they had been voted Team of the Year in Uganda’sNew Vision awards, with a landslide 70% of the vote.  Peace Proscovia, the side’s captain andleading shooter, has now arrived in the UK to link up with LoughboroughLightning ahead of the new Netball Superleague season.

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