Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
In an effort to unearth talents for the national teams, the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) is set to kick off a 'Star Search' drive across the island today.
The talent search will be launched in St James at the Montego Bay Cricket Club and will also address recruits from Trelawny, starting at 11 a.m.
The second star search drive will be held at the Titchfield High School in Portland on February 22. The JNA will then journey to the Breds Treasure Beach Sports Complex on February 26.
The final recruitment drive will take place in Hanover and Westmoreland on March 17 at a venue and time to be announced.
Marva Bernard, president of the JNA, said her association would be targeting players between the ages of 17 to 21. She said these players must be at least 5' 7" if they are to be consider for the national teams.
"This search is a result of the JNA seeking players across the island because sometimes it is hard for these players to come to us, and so the selectors will be going around seeking players for the various national teams," said Bernard.
She added: "Some of the Sunshine Girls will be going on these trips so that people can see them, and they can also interact with their support on the ground."
Maureen Hall, high performance director of the JNA, along with head coach Oberon Pitterson, Annette Daley and members of the JNA selection panel are among some of the persons who will be conducting the star search drive.
The Sunshine Girls have been depleted as a number of the senior players have taken a break from the game, following their poor showing at last year's World Netball Championships in Singapore, where they failed to retain their bronze medal. The team finished fourth, suffering humiliating defeats to eventual champions Australia and England in the semi-finals and third-place play-offs, respectively.
Jamaica also failed to win a medal at the World FastNet Championships in Liverpool, England.
The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked fourth in the world, will have a busy schedule this year, as they are set to participate in the Caribbean Championships in July. They will then oppose South Africa in a Test series, after which they will compete in the World FastNet Championships in New Zealand.