Daley-Morris: Sunshine Girls made Jamaica proud
Netball Jamaica president Dr Paula Daley-Morris has said that Jamaica's runner-up finish at the Fast5 Netball World Series in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday shows how resilient Jamaican people, as a whole, can be in times of hardship.
The Sunshine Girls, who were unbeaten on their run to the final, lost 34-29 to rivals England in the showpiece game, but had creditable wins against them and New Zealand in the earlier stage of the tournament.
Daley-Morris praised the Sunshine Girls and their coaches Sasher-Gaye Henry and Marvette Anderson as well. She said that the team did well, given how little time they had to prepare for the competition, and added that the nation should feel proud of the performance.
"Wow! That (finishing second) was just magnificent! For us, it shows what potential we have in these girls and how hard they have worked over the last couple of months just to be able to do Jamaica proud.
"I am just going to ask Jamaica to celebrate, because we are a small island, and every time we take on the world, we do well.
"It is a good thing for us. It shows younger Jamaicans what's possible. It shows persons who are in despair how resilient we are as a people. That's what we are about - making others proud, making Jamaica proud. That's why we do this," Daley-Morris said.
She added that much more could be achieved by the team, if the association had the funding it needs to develop the sport.
"I sat there and I'm like, 'Wow! What a lot of potential! If only we had the money.' That's all that kept going through my mind - 'if only we had the money'," she said.
Daley-Morris said that the association had been preparing Henry for coaching for a number of years, and it has begun to pay off. Henry had been a Sunshine Girl herself, until her retirement from playing two years ago.
"One of the first things we did was to make sure that Sasher-Gaye became qualified as a physical educator, and as a coach," Daley-Morris shared. "I don't think the public realises how long she has been coaching. She is well prepared and we knew she was the future. For us, we are happy for Sasher-Gaye. We think that the all-round experience of having played at this level with some of these girls, and having been trained as a coach, it worked well for her.
"We congratulate her and Marvette Anderson, another person whom we have invested a lot in and have trained to perform in this way. We are just happy when we see persons sticking to the task and getting the job done and following what they were taught to do in training. We're happy for both coaches."
The runner-up finish equals Jamaica's best-ever placing in an international tournament, as they also finished second at the World FastNet tournament in England in 2009.
The team returns to the island at 6:45 this evening.