Confident Sunshine Girls leave for World Cup today
After months of intense preparation, Jamaica's senior netball team, the Sunshine Girls, left the island this morning for Australia, where they will take part in the 2015 Netball World Cup in Sydney from August 6-16.
The delegation includes coaches Minneth Reynolds, assistant coach Annett Daley, manager Lydia Wilks and the 12 squad members led by captain Nicole Aiken-Pinnock.
The others players are Paula Thompson, Romelda Aiken, Shanice Beckford, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Nicole Dixon, Stacian Facey, Jhaniele Fowler-Reid, Ann Kaye Griffiths, Sasher Gaye Henry, Khadijah Williams and Vangalee Williams. Technical Director Jill McIntosh left the Island early on Tuesday.
According to captain Aiken-Pinnock, preparation was thorough, team chemistry and camaraderie are excellent, and the team has only one thing on its mind: winning the gold medal.
"The ladies are well prepared. We have done all the work. We just have to stay focused and get on court, listen to the coaches' instructions, and execute. The ladies are very excited and I must commend them for their discipline. They are really focused and they understand that we are not just going there for any medal; we are focusing on the gold," she told The Gleaner.
"One of the main things we have as a unit is that whole camaraderie that you need in a team. We have each others' backs, no matter what. We are really together and we really support each other. We try to do things as a team and I believe that is a positive thing going forward," she continued.
With two world championships already under her belt, Aiken-Pinnock knows her experience and the experience of other stalwarts such as Romelda Aiken and Jhaneile Fowler-Reid will be crucial as there are five World Cup debutants in the squad, though she insists it's all for one, and one for all.
"I am not the only person in the team going to a third World Championship. I can't do anything by myself, so I have to feed off the energy of the ladies, just like how they feed off my energy," she stated.
She also added, "All I need from Jamaica is their support and that they continue to pray for us. We are very focused, and whatever the result, we will be very proud because I know the ladies will give of their best. But we have only one aim in mind, and it's to get the gold."