Education ministry looks to defend netball rally crown
Defending champions Ministry of Education are hoping their best will be good enough when they shoot to defend their title in the season-opening Business House Netball Association Rally, which takes place at the Leila Robinson Courts this afternoon, beginning at 4 p.m.
One of the team's leading players, Tracy-Ann Robinson, noted that the start of the competition has caught them a little off guard, but noted they are looking to retain the title they won in their very first time competing last year.
"We're a little off in terms of training and the availability of players for tomorrow because we weren't aware of the start of the competition until this week," Robinson said on the eve of the 35-team contest.
"We will be looking to retain our title. Hopefully, we'll be strong enough to pull it off," she continued, noting that their major challenge rests in getting enough representatives for battle.
Highlighting the problems with which they are faced, Robinson noted her own uncertainty and that of captain Nardia Hanson, both of whom will be attending to charges in the Jamaica Teachers' Association Championships, which will also be taking place at the National Stadium today.
"Hanson and I, we'll also be here tomorrow at these championships, so we'll be looking to balance our time so that we'll be able to play," explained Robinson.
Former national players Sasher-Gay Henry and Paula Robinson also number among their key players, along with top shooter Sadiki Hamilton-Barnes.
The activities will commence with an opening ceremony and uniform parade, with Mike Fennell, President of the Jamaica Olympic Association, down to deliver the opening address.
Four participants are new, Jamaica Fire Brigade, EduCom Co-operative Credit Union Limited, Lasco and Jamaica Customs Agency, while Maritime and Transport are returning after a brief absence.
Ministry of Education, which also won the Senior League title at first go, will have as one of their main rivals, Scotiabank, which won the Open League last year.
Still, Robinson is backing her team to deliver.
"Once all the players who are available come out, definitely, we can pull it off," she said. "In a rally, the team which makes the least number of errors can pull it off. We stand as good a chance as anybody else. We never take anybody for granted. It's the performance on the day."