St. John’s Antigua- A 12-member Under-16 netball team left Antigua yesterday for St Vincent & the Grenadines where they will contest the 2012 Jean Pierre Under-16 Netball Tournament slated to run from April 12 to 20.
The team, which comprises of players from the Inter-Schools Championships, will be coached by former national youth coach Olena Knight and managed by another former national coach and player, Joyce O’Donoghue.
The squad, according to O’Donoghue who is also responsible for the coordinating and running of the Schools League, will enter into the Development Division of the competition and not the Open Division in which they normally compete. This she said is due to a number of factors.
“Actually we are going into the development part of it because there are two sections, an open and a development part of it. We cannot go into the open part now. We will not be ready for the open part of it. This time of the year it is kind of funny for these kids to come out to train. We have problems with that. They have sports going on. They have SBAs, exams coming up, and people who actually should have been able to go, they have exams and we can’t take them so it is a problem around this time,” she said.
The team, O’Donaghue added, has been in training since January after they were asked by Antigua & Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA) to represent the country at the event.
The association, according to reports, are unable to field a team owing to the fact that the sport has been dormant at the association level for a number of years.
“Remember the Ministry of Sports is not in charge of (netball). This comes from the Antigua & Barbuda Netball Association (where) there is no competition going on and we had just come to the end of our schools league,” she said.
“We had some elite athletes in training for our usual development tour and so this is how this comes about. They came to us sometime in January asking us if we could (attend) so we were training.”
The team comprises Briana Lewis (captain), Kizzy Hughes, Nekara Francis, Kyan Francis, Keisha Francis, Kelisha Dyette, Kay Joseph, Shakea O’Garro, Juvon Richards, Krizia Duncan, Iyenoma Edolagi and Kyla Burton.