Divisional netball leagues target return
President Tricia Robinson says Netball Jamaica (NJ) wants to start the Divisional League competitions next month.
Robinson told The Gleaner that NJ has already got permission from the Government to stage this year’s competition.
“We have got our approvals from ODPEM and we are working to get other approvals in place for the league,” she said. “We are hoping that we will be able to have some play on court this year and we are looking at around November. The clubs have been told and they are sending in their application forms for the various leagues.”
The Divisional League competitions, which usually attract over 60 teams, was last contested in 2019.
Robinson says the Divisional Leagues are crucial to development because this is where future Sunshine Girls grow.
“It is our foundation netball because this is where we see the future Sunshine Girls come from and, therefore, we are looking to have these leagues up and running as quickly as possible,” she said. “They have not been able to participate on court for several months and so I am sure that the umpires, the officials and the players, everybody is looking to come together.”
Robinson said that this year’s competitions will be played without spectators. “We are operating under new conditions and the Jamaica Premier League played and they had a good season, and so we are hoping to have a good season.”
Tivoli Gardens netball team’s coach Christopher Campbell is eager for the return of netball.
“People haven’t played netball in two years and netball is playing everywhere else in the world and other sports are coming along, so I think it is only reasonable that they try to do a league,” he said.
“We really need to start playing netball again and get our girls back in training and active and to bring back the netball vibes in the country.”
Global United manager Derrick Brown says once the proper protocols are in place then they will be competing in the leagues.
“We need to have some netball playing locally because it is long overdue,” he said. “However, for my club to enter, it will depend on the protocols that have been put in place to protect the players from the virus. But once these measures are in place, then we will be able to play.”