By Neto Baptiste
If given the authority, the Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA) would seek the necessary funding to repair and cover two courts at the YMCA Sports Complex in their bid to bring regional netball competition back to Antigua.
This is according to president of the association, Karen Joseph, who said she is further motivated following the recent Battle of the Saints ranking tournament in St Maarten where they competed at an indoor venue.
“We only need two courts. We have three there [at YMCA], two for netball and one basketball, but if they give us the basketball court and the one beside the basketball court, we can convert YMCA into a covered stadium. It’s not a lot because the one [stadium] in St Maarten is literally the size of YMCA, and the good thing about it is that it has basketball in it so when you finish playing netball the guys just wind down the rims from up in the roof and it comes down for basketball,” she said.
The former number two ranked international goal shoot also revealed that some level of informal discussion has taken place with at least one international partner regarding funding for the project.
“We had a discussion with the AFNA [The Americas Federation of Netball Associations] body about two months ago at a governance workshop and there is some funding we can get but it’s not to that maximum amount, but we can look at that and also try to drum up interest from the corporate sponsors in Antigua. If we pool sponsorship together or if somebody is willing to be that major sponsor, then we can make that the objective for 2022,” Joseph said.
Joseph, who has been at the helm of the netball association for two terms now, said she intends to solicit the advice of former presidents and players regarding the way forward.
“What I am trying to do is bring all the past presidents together, put something in place and then we go forward, and it has to be sooner than later because when we expose our athletes and you get that kind of feedback you see the true potential of our girls, but we need to market our girls. We can host a series here in Antigua but we need to have the proper facilities,” she said.
Antigua and Barbuda recently returned from the Battle of the Saints tournament where they played several matches against hosts St Maarten to claim the title.