Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Netball Jamaica's van Dyk delight - Former star shooter set to visit island for development sessions

Published:Friday | July 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
New Zealand's goal shooter Irene Van Dyk (left) catches the ball under pressure Jamaica's goal keeper, Nicole Aiken, during a match at the National Indoor Sports Centre in 2009.

President of Netball Jamaica (NJ) Dr Paula Daley-Morris says that her association is delighted after signing a partnership with the New Zealand High Commission to bring South Africa-born New Zealand netballer Irene Van Dyk to the island, as part of their 60th anniversary celebrations.

Daley Morris told The Gleaner that Van Dyk, who played for both South Africa and New Zealand during her illustrious career, will work with players, coaches and teachers and children between the ages four to 10 in a programme on her visit to the island between August 14 and 17.

"I am elated that we are able to pull this off because Joy Watson, who is now deceased, started it with the Piney Netball and it was a wonderful programme, but we haven't been able to institutionalise the programme," said Daley-Morris.

"They have a similar programme in New Zealand that is called Netball Go and so when she comes, she is going to bring kits, she will bring the curriculum that they follow, and she will provide the training for persons here," she said.




"It is a government-to-government exchange and so the information and activities around Irene's visit will come through the Ministry of Sports," Daley-Morris continued.

The NJ boss added that her association will also be collaborating with three main agencies in the Dodley Branch Foundation for early childhood education, Institute of Sports and the Jamaica Independence Schools Association, which are some of the bodies that are responsible for the kids between the ages of four and 10.

She also noted that as part of their commitment to developing the sport in the region, they have arranged for van Dyk to stage a number of netball clinics in Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados.

"Netball Jamaica wasn't selfish, and so what we did when we approached them (New Zealand High Commission) in this manner, we also asked them to provide the benefit to the region and so Irene will also on this tour, go to Barbados, then she will move on to Trinidad and Tobago, and then she will come to us last," Daley-Morris stated.

Van Dyk, who was once rated as the best goal shooter in the world, played 72 matches for South Africa before switching allegiance to New Zealand in 2000. She also had a stellar career for New Zealand, while helping them to secure the gold medal at the 2003 World Championships in Kingston.