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NJ desperate for funds to start Intermediate League

Published:Wednesday | April 15, 2015 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Bernard

President of Netball Jamaica (NJ) Marva Bernard says the lack of sponsorship could force the cancellation of the Intermediate Divisional League this season.

The Intermediate League should have started in March, but Bernard told The Gleaner on Monday that regular sponsors Best Dressed Chicken are unable to underwrite the cost of staging this year's competition and they have not yet got the necessary backing.

"We don't have the support to fund this league because we have so much to do this year," said Bernard. "We are disappointed as well as the players."

hone skills

"This league is very important to the development of our netball because all our Under-14 and Under-16s are usually identified from this competition, and they get a chance hone their skills in the league," Bernard said.

The NJ boss added that it would cost her association $1.5 million to run the competition, but if the association received half of this amount, then it would be able to start the league.

"We have approached many companies, but I guess it is very difficult for them to take this one on," Bernard said. "I have no other alternative because if we don't get this sponsorship, then we can't start this league.

"This is a year for the senior World Championships, and we are also seeking sponsors for our developmental squad for the youth tournament in two and a half years' time," said Bernard.

"I am really disappointed and troubled by this decision. This league can't go ahead after June because one must remember that the Business House netball competition begins in June, and so if we don't get this league starting now, then we would run into some trouble finishing it in June."

The president said they want to start the league so badly that even if they got a portion of the funding, they would begin right away.

"If somebody comes tomorrow morning and offered even $500,000, then we would gladly take it and see what we could do and to have this league started," Bernard pointed out.