Tue | Aug 3, 2021

Under21 Sunshine Girls falling behind in World Cup prep

Published:Saturday | March 27, 2021 | 12:05 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer -

With less than nine months to go before the start of the Netball World Youth Cup, Netball Jamaica (NJ) President Tricia Robinson said the national Under-21 team’s preparation has been hampered by their lack of court practice.

The tournament, which was postponed last year because of COVID-19, will be held in Fiji from December 1-19.

Robinson said that the junior Sunshine Girls are yet to take to the courts for practice sessions because NJ is still awaiting approvals from the Government.

“It is a huge setback for us because everybody has been training around the world and we are the only ones at this moment who are not training, so right about now we are behind everybody else,” she said.

“Right now we are anxiously awaiting the approvals for the girls to return to the courts because for us now, it is a race against time to get these girls properly prepared for this tournament.

"Nothing beats being on court and working with the girls and right now that is all that we need. So we are waiting for that and we are just keeping our fingers crossed.”

The Jamaicans finished fifth in the last tournament, four-years ago in Botswana, and Robinson said that the team’s head coach Annett Daley and assistant Dalton Hinds have been doing all that they can in their virtual training sessions to ensure they are on par with the rest of teams in the world.

“The coaches have had to be creative with the virtual training, but this is not ideal, so the entire team is anxiously awaiting their return to the courts," Robinson said. "I am hoping that we will be on court for April 1 because we have resubmitted our protocols and we are here just awaiting the approvals.

“This is very important to us because this is a major development tournament for us. It is Under-21 players and their transition into the senior team and therefore we must give the girls the right sort of preparation in order for them to do well in this tournament.”