St James hoping to become nursery for national netball
More players worthy of a national call-up will emerge over time form the St James Netball Leagues, says Gena Haughton, the St James Netball Association president.
Pointing to national age group representative Carlalee Tingling and Shameera Sterling as examples of the potential that exists, Haughton said there are players of a similar ilk that could over time find their way into the national set up squarely on merit.
"The future of netball in St James and also the quality of western Jamaica on a whole is looking great," said Haughton, while taking stock of the recently concluded 2016-17 domestic netball season.
Teachers were crowned champions of St James, outlasting Montego Bay Boys and Girls Club (MBGGC) 33-27 in overtime, after the teams were locked at 24-24 at the end of the fourth quarter.
The talented Tingling and the versatile Sterling are both pursuing their degrees at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
Haughton is hoping for continued development of the sport through skillful coaches, organised competitions, good quality players and the support of sponsors.
"There is a plan to put a competition in place that will have our youngsters in the high schools playing in this competition and this will significantly boost their visibility and gain them valuable experience," Haughton said.
"We are moving ahead with additional plans which the sponsors have taken up. We continue to bring through talent, such as Tingling and Sterling," she added.
She said the objective of the association is also to keep young ladies fully engaged in the sport by giving them the opportunity to be drafted by clubs, through the direct association with the leagues, something Haughton said has been a core function of her administration.
"It remains a challenge to keep these young women active in the sport. There are countless other areas of life in which they may choose, but we have been doing well so far," explained Haughton.