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Sunshine Girls pull out of Carib Champs

Published:Monday | August 7, 2017 | 12:00 AMRobert Bailey
Dr Paula Daley-Morris (right), president of Netball Jamaica, greets Jermaine Allison-McCracken upon appointment as national head coach in April. Allison-McCracken has since left the role.
Sasher-Gaye Henry

Interim coach of the Jamaica senior netball team, Sasher-Gaye Henry, said that the Sunshine Girls' withdrawal from this year's Caribbean Netball Championship is a major blow to their preparation for the upcoming international assignments.

The championship was postponed following the withdrawals of Barbados and Grenada.

Jamaica was notified of the postponement of the tournament last Friday, a day after the board of Netball Jamaica (NJ) decided to withdraw the senior Sunshine Girls team from the tournament.

"We were really looking forward to it, but unfortunately, they have postponed the championships," said Henry.

"We were really training hard for it, but we just have to continue our preparations because we have to prepare now for Fast5, which we're kind of late in preparing for, but we still have to push as hard we can," she said. "We also have the Commonwealth Games coming up, too, and so the preparations cannot stop," she said.




Henry added: "We just have to explain to them what it is that we are really looking forward to, and to try our best to motivate them because, yes, the motivation has dropped significantly, and so have to try and rebuild that motivation within the girls.

Netball Jamaica said that they took the decision to withdraw from the tournament because it would be of little benefit to the country's netball programme, and there would be the potential loss of ranking points for the Sunshine Girls, who are currently ranked fourth in the world.

"The tournament would involve teams that have not yet attained rating points, and teams that currently hold less than 100 points. Consultations were also held with the players, coaching staff and the technical committee of Netball Jamaica."

Netball Jamaica added: "The review presented revealed that participation would result in a loss of five rating points. Jamaica currently has a world ranking of fourth, which is based on a rating of 149. The country that is ranked third has a rating of 159, while the fifth ranked has attained a rating of 137.

The report noted that assuming that Jamaica wins every match played during this tournament, on its conclusion, the country could lose five rating points, which mathematically results in a rating of 144. This would effectively widen the gap between Jamaica and England, who are ranked third in the world, to 15 points. At the same time, it would narrow the difference in rating points between Jamaica and South Africa currently ranked at fifth from 13 to eight.




Meanwhile, Henry, along with veteran coach Marvette Anderson, were installed as interim coaches until the end of the year, following the resignation of Jermaine Allison-McCracken on July 31.

According to a statement released by Netball Jamaica, "The president and technical manager of Netball Jamaica were advised through email by McCracken of the terms under which she intends to remain in the position of coach of the senior Sunshine Girls. She also indicated in that communiquÈ that if the desired terms were not adhered to by NJ, she would tender her resignation effective July 31, 2017.

Netball Jamaica said details and requests were discussed at a meeting of the board of directors last Thursday and the agreeability of the terms put to a vote.

The board voted unanimously to reject the proposed terms and accept the resignation of the head coach. Allison-McCracken was on a probationary period of six months that would have concluded at the end of September 2017.