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Technical assistance coming for Netball

Technical assistance coming for Netball


Expect the sport of Netball in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the Caribbean region as a whole to see some improvements in the next three years, as technical assistance is coming this way.{{more}}

That was revealed by President of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) and the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA), Jamaican Molly Rhone, as she met the local media last week Friday morning at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Tourism.

Rhone said that her international body was focussing on the second tier of Netball nations, of which St. Vincent and the Grenadines is part.

“We would be sending coaches to the region and to have coaches coached”, Rhone said.

“We are not only looking at the numbers, but we are hoping that to see performance improve”, the former netballer remarked.

She contended that the Americas and Africa possess the netballers with natural abilities.

“Our people have natural athleticism, but lacked the necessary facilities”, Rhone admitted.

Rhone added that the top world Netball nations like New Zealand and Australia are where they are, because of the support structures that are in place.

“Their players work part time and are paid”, Rhone said.

Making the comparison, Rhone stated that the netballers from the region are not afforded such luxury.

But Rhone was quick to point out the difference in cultures of the regions.

In showing this difference, Rhone revealed that the New Zealanders would practice back passes 1000 times in a training session until it is perfected. She acknowledged that this would be almost impossible to ask players in the Caribbean to do such.

Rhone is hopeful that with the greater emphasis placed on the region by the world body, there could be a change in this attitude.

Hence, Rhone believes that the AFNA Championships slated to be hosted here in July are of critical importance to measure the region’s standard of play.

And with the new ranking system, where greater weighting is given to recent matches, the championships add to the significance of enhancing countries’ positions.

The current world ranking puts Jamaica fourth, Trinidad and Tobago seventh and Barbados eleventh.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, despite not qualifying for the World Championships in New Zealand, last year, is placed twenty second, on the twenty-two team table.

“It will also help us further understand the stage a country is at in its development and enable IFNA to be more strategic in supporting progress”, Rhone remarked.

“One of our strategic goals is to raise the performance levels across all member countries and maximise the commercial opportunity and profile of key international events”, she added.

Previously, countries were ranked every four years based on their final positions at the WNC, but IFNA approved the change to its ranking system at its last congress, prior to the start of the world championships to provide a more accurate reflection of the current form of countries competing internationally.

Rhone said the old format was no longer viable, as only 16 countries can qualify to compete in the WNC.

Rhone was here last week to meet with AFNA council members, as St. Vincent and the Grenadines will host the AFNA Championships from July 18-30 this year.

While here, Rhone held discussions with the Minister of Sports Glen Beache, Ambassador of the Republic of China on Taiwan on China, Jack Cheng, members of the National Sports Council and the executive of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association. (RT)