Still no sponsor for Elite League
THOUGH NETBALL Jamaica’s first staging of the Elite League in nearly three years is just a matter of weeks away, the organisation says it still has not found a sponsor to offset some of the costs associated with hosting it.
The organisation is, therefore, renewing its appeal to corporate Jamaica to get on board in helping to come up with the magical figure of $3 million.
The Elite League, the country’s top netball competition, has not played since 2019 because of the global COVID-19 pandemic as well as the resultant financial pinch.
Simone Forbes, first vice-president of NJ, told The Gleaner that her organisation is planning to stage a version of the Elite League next month, which will see players from the ongoing divisional leagues playing on the six Elite Leagues teams in the competition.
“We haven’t had an Elite League in two years, and this is the top netball league in Jamaica, and so we haven’t been able to have it due to funding,” said Forbes.
“I think for netball to really grow and for us to get to the stage where we have a similar league like Australia, New Zealand, and England, it is important for this semi-pro league to happen,” she said. “The idea behind it is to have the other teams, and then the outstanding players from other leagues will be invited to play in the Elite League,” Forbes said.
She pointed out that this competition would help to provide excellent preparations for the local-based players who are part of the Sunshine Girls who are gearing up for the Commonwealth Games in July.
“We will be running it for weekends this summer before the Commonwealth Games, and this is a chance for our local players who are a part of the Commonwealth Games squad to have high-level netball to assist with their preparations for these Games,” said Forbes, who is a former Sunshine Girls captain.
“We have been trying our best to source the funding, but it has been really difficult, and we have teams preparing for the Commonwealth Games, and we want to have this league to give them that extra preparation,” he said.