Sat | Nov 18, 2017

Daley-Morris: Sunshine Girls still have a way to go

Published:Tuesday | November 14, 2017 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott
Jamaica’s goal shooter Shimona Nelson in action against Malawi during the Fast5 Netball World Series on October 27. The Sunshine Girls finished the tournament as runners-up.

Netball Jamaica President Paula Daley-Morris says that although Jamaica currently has what she describes as a "powerhouse" netball team, she believes that the Sunshine Girls still need support if they are to come any closer to winning their first international gold medal.

Daley-Morris told Gleaner reporters yesterday that although the association has generated significant sponsorship during her tenure, it is still difficult to compete with the sport's big teams such as Australia, New Zealand, and England because of the disparity in resources.

"I am not doubtful we are going to get there (winning international gold), but I can't tell you how close we are because of the resource challenges that we have.

"So although we have a lot of sponsorship, it is still not enough. We still can't keep up with the rest of the world because they are doing it full time. So until we can get full-time coaches and players, we won't be able to make that kind of prediction," she commented.

The Sunshine Girls have been the dark horse of the sport for years, and Daley-Morris said that the association intends to protect Jamaica's world ranking during off periods.

"We have a powerhouse team," she said. "It's just to get them in the right shape at the right time so they can perform. And we expect they are going to continue on the same path. But the world never doubts us because on a given day, we can show up and upset anybody. So we can rely on the element of surprise," she said.

 

NEED TO PROTECT RANKING

 

"But we cannot focus on just World Games and Commonwealth Games because we have a ranking to protect. So we have to spread it so we meet all the needs.

"So Test matches are towards ranking. Even while the World Games is out, the ranking is perpetual. Every three months is a new ranking, so we have to keep our eye on the ranking system and the readiness of the team to perform over a two-week period, whether in the World Games or Commonwealth Games.

"Plus, this year, we have nine professional players, and that affects how we prepare for the Commonwealth or World Games. We have to get them to train, whether they are on our soil or not, and it changes the whole dynamic of how we prepare," she added.