NO NETBALL competitions have been played in Jamaica for more than three years. The unscheduled break is something Netball Jamaica (NJ) President Tricia Robinson is now hoping to rectify as early as the first quarter of this year.
Robinson told The Gleaner her association has scheduled a series of meetings with stakeholders in the coming weeks. Once those meetings are concluded, the organisation will be taking the next steps to restart the competitions.
“We are scheduled to have a meeting with our membership in the second week of January,” said Robinson.
“We have our sponsors on board and we have everything in place, and so we just need the COVID-19 pandemic to subside for us to move ahead,” she said.
The NJ boss said the organisation’s COVID-19 protocols for the resumption of the various competitions have already been approved by the Government, so a restart should be sooner rather than later.
According to Robinson, the absence of the leagues has severely affected the development of the sport in Jamaica.
“It is depressing and it is unfortunate that we have not been able to play any of our leagues for such a long period,” Robinson said.
“The players are very anxious to go on the court and to begin playing competitive netball because it has been a while, and so we will be making every attempt this year to restart our leagues,” she said.
Development of the sport
“Our leagues are very critical to the development of the sport because this is where our future Sunshine Girls players come from, and so we will be doing everything possible to ensure that our local players are back on the court,” Robinson stated.
Derrick Brown, manager of Global United, said he is looking forward to the stakeholder meetings with the NJ because his organisation is also very anxious for the leagues to resume.
“We would love to see a restart of the leagues in 2022 as none was held in 2021,” said Brown.
“We are are hoping that the association will put the necessary plans in place to have the leagues restart because netball has been going through a rough time during the pandemic while other sports have restarted. We need to have local leagues back on track,” he said.