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Regional netball boss unhappy with Jamaica

Published:Friday | March 23, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer

President of the Caribbean Netball Association, Kathy Harper-Hall, has expressed her disappointment at Jamaica's decision to skip the 2012 Jean Pierre Under-16 Championships.

The junior Sunshine girls, who have dominated the tournament over the years, will be absent from championships for the second consecutive year, as they have decided to tackle England in a three-match series next month in Birmingham.

"We are all disappointed that Jamaica are not participating and the entire Caribbean is disappointed," said Harper-Hall in an interview with The Gleaner on Wednesday.

"Jamaica made their choice that they will not participate, but one country can't stop the tournament from going on," she said.

"We must admit that their (Jamaica's) standard of netball is way ahead of the rest of the Caribbean and if they choose not to come the Caribbean tournament and play elsewhere, then we have to respect that," Harper-Hall said.

"Jamaica were out of Caribbean netball for probably 10-15 years and we went on and things happened," she added.

The Jamaicans won the tournament in 2010 in Barbados, the last time they participated. The Under-16 tournament will be held from April 12-20 in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The CNA boss added that her administration is even more saddened by the fact that a lot of other Caribbean countries look forward to having Jamaica at the tournament because it gives them the chance to measure their level of improvement and develop their netball.

"They look forward to playing against them. The fact that Jamaica might beat them by a lot still helps them to lift their own standard of play," Harper-Hall said.

"This is two consecutive years that Jamaica will not be taking part in the tournament and we don't know if they plan to participate again," she remarked.

Harper-Hall, a native of Barbados, also disclosed that the Jamaicans' absence from tournament would affect their chances of hosting future championships.

"There will be no sanctions from not participating in the tournament. It is only that you will have to participate in the last two tournaments before you can host one," Harper-Hall said.

"They will also have to attend the council meetings and Jamaica was not at the last council meeting in St Kitts last year, and we don't know if they are sending anybody to council meeting this year," she said.