Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Fowler eager to get back on court

Published:Tuesday | June 2, 2020 | 12:16 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler (right) outjumps Uganda’s Muhayimina Namuwaya to collect a pass during the Netball World Cup at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool in 2019. Jamaica won 61-48.
Jamaica’s Jhaniele Fowler (right) outjumps Uganda’s Muhayimina Namuwaya to collect a pass during the Netball World Cup at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool in 2019. Jamaica won 61-48.

National senior netball captain Jhaniele Fowler has expressed her delight at the announcement that the Australian Suncorp Super Netball competition is set to begin on August 1.

The league was originally scheduled to begin on May 2, but it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been sweeping the globe.

Australia has recorded more than 7,200 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in the deaths of 103 people.

Fowler, who is the league’s back-to-back Most Valuable Player, told The Gleaner from her base in Australia that she is eager to return to the court of play.

“I am excited because at least we have a start date, and so I am happy that the league has a date that it will resume,” said Fowler.

“It cannot come quickly enough for me because I have been away from my team for a very long time due to this pandemic, and so I am looking forward to getting together with my teammates very soon,” she added.

With several social-distancing restrictions still in effect in Australia, Fowler, who is rated as the best goalshooter in the world, is uncertain when her team will resume contact training, but she is hopeful that the green light will be given in short order for a full resumption.

“Certain restrictions are still in place, and as soon as the restrictions are lifted, then we can all train together with contact. I hope this is not very far away, but it all depends on the government over there and not the netball organisation,” Fowler said.

The 30-year-old, who plies her trade for the West Coast Fever in the competition, is among six Jamaicans that play in the competition.

She noted that despite the suspension of the league, she has kept herself in good shape with a lot of home workouts.

“My team has sent me some gym equipment, and my trainer has been sending through some programmes for me to work with, and I have been doing other stuff to make sure that I am keeping up to par so that when I go back on court, I will be working on kills and not so much on fitness,” Fowler said. “I think that I am in good shape, and so it is for me go out there and execute with the rest of my teammates on the court.”

The other Jamaicans that will be competing in the league this season are Romelda Aiken, Shamera Sterling, Shimona Nelson, Kadie-Ann Duhaney, and Jodian Ward.