Westmoreland netball restart uncertain
Netball stakeholders say that their organisations have taken what they describe as a major financial hit as the likelihood of resuming local sporting events remains uncertain.
Westmoreland Netball Association first vice-president Nikhesia Pearce says that the association is unsure about the future of netball in the parish.
She says that the only competition that was held was the Dwayne Vaz League, and he was the sole sponsor. However, he will not be returning as the parish’s member of Parliament (MP).
“In terms of development, netball was pretty stagnant in the parish, so that was the only competition we would have looked forward to,” Pearce said. “If we don’t get any sponsors in the near future, no netball will be taking place in Westmorland.
“As the association, we’re thinking about approaching George Wright, who is our incoming MP, about continuing the competition or even doing his own thing,” Pearce said. “In terms of a league, it would be on hold unless someone says they want to host a one-day netball rally or maybe a fun day, which is not development because it is for a day.”
St Thomas Netball Association President Andre Anderson says no netball has been taking place in the parish since the Government banned public gatherings.
“We’re in wait-and-see mode as to when the Government will give the green light as it relates to sports,” Anderson said. “The plans are already in place as it relates to what we want to do, but we just have to sit and wait.
“Where we are presently, we don’t have the necessary resources to put protocols in place, and that is something we would have to negotiate with our sponsors to come on board,” he said. “We would need to do temperature checks, hand sanitisers, handwashing stations, water bottles, one central venue, and no spectators, which will take funding that we don’t have.”
Anderson is hoping that the association will receive assistance to continue competitions at the primary and senior levels and to launch their St Thomas Netball Association Junior Competition next year.
Netball Jamaica President Tricia Robinson says the possibility of the association offering support to the respective parish associations is uncertain at this time.
“We ourselves as the governing body for netball are also short on funding,” she said. “Our girls will travel to England in December and again in January, and we are prepping the Under-21s for their World Cup Tournament.
“We are strapped for cash, and we have to be creative in our various activities. We’re not in a position to assist the parish associations presently, but like everybody else I know, they are creative to fill those gaps.”