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Jamaica bids for 2016 AFNA Championships

Published:Thursday | December 18, 2014 | 12:00 AMDania Bogle
file Netball Jamaica's Marva Bernard

Regional netball powerhouse, Jamaica, has put in a bid to host the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) Championships in 2016.

Netball Jamaica president, Marva Bernard, told The Gleaner that the local sports governing body expressed an interest in hosting the tournament at the last AFNA board meeting in Calgary, Canada, in August, and to date, no other country has put in a bid, leaving Jamaica likely hosts of the championships for teams from the Caribbean and the Americas.

"We have placed a bid for it. Nobody else has bid for it (so) we are hoping that the board will give it to us," Bernard said.

Jamaica last won the AFNA title in 2012 but has not hosted the tournament since 1990. The tournament will be in a year free of other world netball events, with the World Netball Championships set for 2015 and the World Youth Netball Championships in 2017.

"We haven't hosted this tournament since 1990 but we couldn't do it before because of the condition of the Leila Robinson Courts, but now that the courts are going to be refurbished we are in a position to host it," Bernard said.

She added that Netball Jamaica would have to stage the competition at the outdoor courts because of the cost of staging the event indoors, especially with the number of countries that would be targeted to compete in the round-robin format competition.

"Jamaica is a very popular country around the Caribbean and we suspect that at least eight or nine countries would want to come and play, and it should mirror the length of a world championship," she said.

Among the countries which are likely to participate in the AFNA Championships are Canada, United States, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, the Cayman Islands, and St Lucia.

So far, the local governing body has not prepared a budget, but Bernard said that a business plan would be worked on.

"There are a number of models but we have to sit down. We have a year and a half. We will put the business plan to the Government to get permission to sponsor, and that business plan has to be written with all the necessary components," she said.

The association has already started to put out feelers for potential sponsors.

"We put a proposal to one company and they have turned it down. We are really hoping that one of the local companies will take it up."