Sun | Jul 25, 2021

Hope for netball

Robinson expects approval for sport’s return this week

Published:Sunday | May 2, 2021 | 12:20 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Jamaica’s goalshooter Shanice Beckford in action against Malawi during the Fast5 Netball World Series in October 2017.
Jamaica’s goalshooter Shanice Beckford in action against Malawi during the Fast5 Netball World Series in October 2017.
Robinson
Robinson
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President of Netball Jamaica, Tricia Robinson, is assuring stakeholders that her organisation is extremely close to securing approval from government authorities for the resumption of contact training for the Sunshine Girls, as well as competitive netball in the country.

In fact, Robinson told The Sunday Gleaner that her administration should have received the go-ahead from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management for the Sunshine Girls to resume contact training last week, but a few glitches have caused their approval date to be pushed back.

“We have ensured that everything on our end is ready in anticipation for approval soon,” said Robinson. “The dialogue has been complicated and so we have made the adjustments to it and we were expecting it (approval) from last week, but I am positive that we will get the approval within the next week (this week).

“The good thing, also, is that the borders have reopened for international travel between England and Jamaica, and so that is good news for us and we are anticipating that we will get our approvals straight to the courts,” Robinson added.

There has been no netball competitions in Jamaica for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

VIRTUAL PREPARATIONS

The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked fourth in the world, are currently preparing virtually for a tri-nation home series against South Africa and Trinidad and Tobago, which is set to take place in September. The Jamaicans are also scheduled to face rivals England in a three-Test series in November. Robinson pointed out that these international games will form a very important part of the Sunshine Girls’ preparations for next year’s Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Birmingham, England.

She also underscored that the development of the sport has been suffering a lot during the pandemic and related lockdown of the sport, and that her administration is eager to restart competition.

“The Sunshine Girls are really anxious about returning to the courts because we have some very important assignments coming, and so everyone is looking forward to the return of international matches,” Robinson said.

“The return to play will be good for all the stakeholders involved because they have been off the court for quite some time, and so this will certainly be a welcome change for netball in Jamaica,” she said.

robert.bailey@gleanerjm.com