Rally behind netballers, says Girls' skipper
Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica's Sunshine Girls captain, Nicole Aiken-Pinnock, has called on corporate Jamaica to rally behind the team in their quest to win the gold medal at next year's World Netball Championship (WNC) in Sydney, Australia.
The Sunshine Girls will intensify their preparations for the WNC with a tough three-Test Supreme Ventures series at home against archrivals England next month.
The series will be Jamaica's only warm-up matches against teams that are ranked higher than the local girls heading into next year's WNC.
The Sunshine Girls are ranked fourth in the world, one place below their English counterparts. The Minette Reynolds-coached team holds the psychological advantage entering the series, this after defeating England to win the bronze at the Commonwealth Games in August.
The opening match is set for Saturday, January 10, the second game will be played a day later, while the final match is scheduled for Tuesday 13.
"It is very important that we win this series, especially as it relates to sponsorship for the team," said Aiken-Pinnock.
"We just need the sponsorship so that we can train hard and represent our country to the best," she said.
"I think once you come to netball, you will fall in love with netball, and so once the sponsors come on board, I can assure them that they are going to be in love with the sport forever, and they will stay with us and they will see the benefits," Aiken-Pinnock said.
She added: "A lot of us work, we study, and we also have to come to training and put in the work, and it would be good to just get that sponsorship so that we can just concentrate on the game only.
She added that the girls have been working very hard in training, because they have been spending a lot of hours fine-tuning their skills for a tough series against the English girls.
"We are using this series to see where we are in our preparations for the World Championships, and so it is going to be of vital importance that we win this series," she said.
"The preparations have been going well despite a few challenges, where we had rain in the evenings that prevented us from doing any court work," Aiken-Pinnock said. "However, all in all, things have been going well for us. We are putting in the work, and I hope at the end of the day that it will definitely pay off," she said.