Tue | Jul 7, 2020

Sunshine Girls OK for now Down Under

Published:Saturday | March 14, 2020 | 12:16 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Sunshine Girls shooter Jhaniele Fowler in action against England at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
Sunshine Girls shooter Jhaniele Fowler in action against England at the National Indoor Sports Centre.

National senior netball captain Jhaniele Fowler says that the Sunshine Girls, now in Australia for the Suncorp Super League, are all a bit worried about their safety following an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in that country.

Australia has recorded 156 confirmed cases of the virus. Three people have died.

Fowler plays for the West Coast Fever in Perth, where there have been 14 confirmed cases of the virus. She is one of six Jamaicans who are preparing to compete in the league, which is set to begin on May 2. The others are Shimona Nelson, Jodi-Ann Ward, Romelda Aiken, Kadian Duhaney, and Shamera Sterling.

“We speak to each other very often, and so everybody is a bit timid because we are far away from home, and we are not around our families,” said Fowler from her base in Perth.

“However, everybody is okay, and we are doing what we need to do to stay healthy and away from the virus,” she said.

“The league is not cancelled, but preseason tournaments have been cancelled. I don’t go on the road unless I have to do so, and I am always washing my hands every time I touch something. I also live alone, and so that makes it a little bit better for me,” Fowler said.

The 30-year-old Fowler, who is rated as the best goalshooter in the world, was named the Most Valuable Player in the league last season. She said that they are being kept abreast of the latest happenings with the virus by the league organisers. Fowler noted that they have also been in contact with Netball Jamaica.

“I am also trying to keep my immune system up and to stay as fit and healthy as possible. We are currently on a four-day break, but since the cases of the virus in Perth, our training has been limited to the players and management staff alone,” she said.

“They have been cancelling a lot of sporting events over here but not events that last for a few months, and so everybody is optimistic that the season will go ahead as normal, and so we are just taking it one day at a time,” Fowler said.

“Netball Jamaica has been sending out emails and reaching out to us, and if we need any information, we can always contact them,” she added.