Tanzania joins the exciting line up for the Nations Cup 2009
Only two weeks until the Nations Cup rolls into town for the fourth edition and Netball Singapore are busy getting prepared for the challenge that awaits them. This year, the week-long competition will feature six countries from 6-12 December at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall.
The Cook Islands are unable to make the trip this year and will be replaced by Tanzania who will make their debut in the tournament. The African nation are a relatively unknown entity as they are yet to be given an official world ranking due to a lack of international matches under their belt. This tournament will provide fantastic international exposure for their team.
The final teams joining Singapore will now be Canada (ranked 21st), Northern Ireland (19th), Malaysia (20th), Scotland (13th) and Tanzania. Canada featured in the first two editions of the Nations Cup (2006 & 2007), while Scotland took part in the inaugural event and Northern Ireland played in the 2007 5 Nations competition. Scotland are expected to provide the toughest challenge for the home nation as they have been improving quickly over the last few years with the appointment of their first full-time coach, Denise Holland.
Jill McIntosh, a world renowned coach from Australia, is leading the Singapore team through their Nations Cup campaign. Jill has been involved with Netball Singapore since 2004 and brings a wealth of playing and coaching experience with her for this role.
She said, “I am delighted to coach the Singapore national team for the upcoming Nations Cup and expect the girls to put in a solid performance over the six matches. There are a few unknown sides for us to tackle but this is a good challenge and it gives me an opportunity to try different tactics and team formations in a pressure situation on court.”
Netball is the highest female participation sport in Singapore and with the announcement that Singapore have been chosen to host the 2011 World Netball Championships, Netball Singapore are working hard with event partners and sponsors to ensure the Nations Cup grows each year and can be used as an important stepping stone to the ultimate event in July 2011.
President of Netball Singapore, Mr Tan Wee Khim said, “We are delighted to welcome Tanzania to the line up for this year’s Nations Cup and are looking forward to an exciting and competitive competition. The Nations Cup incorporates a range of netball styles from across the world and gives our players an opportunity in front of home support to test their skills and tactics ahead of the World Championships which we are hosting in 2011.”
Tickets for the Nations Cup are on sale now from Netball Singapore and the six days of netballing action is set to raise the roof at Toa Payoh Sports Hall as fans get behind the host nation in their bid to lift the Nations Cup trophy for the third occasion.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS