By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA) will be seeking permission from government through the Ministry of Sports to manage the YMCA Sports Complex, the country’s main netball facility.
President of the association and former national and internationally ranked goal shoot, Karen Joseph, made the disclosure during a recent interview, expressing confidence in the body’s ability to properly manage and maintain the St John’s venue.
“Yes, we can [manage the YMCA] and I know it has been done in the past where previous executives have written to the ministry asking for permission to manage the YMCA, but we [current executive] have not done it since we took office but it is something we have discussed amongst ourselves and we’re going to look at it,” she said.
Just recently, organisers of the OECS/ECCB International Netball Series originally slated for Antigua, were forced to move the planned hosting of the postponed 2020 instalment of the under-23 competition from Antigua to Dominica. Reports are that the venue did not meet the requirements of the tournament organizers.
Joseph said the YMCA is in need of immediate repairs.
“The fence needs to be fixed, the building needs to be looked at and we’re not financially able right now but the building needs to be looked at. I know some time ago there was talk of taking down the building but I don’t know if that is in the future plans coming up but it needs to be looked into. Hosting tournaments at the YMCA we need to have a place with offices so the executive of the CNA [Caribbean Netball Association] could be hosted there and the umpires need an office for themselves and because of that reason we have to look more at developing the building at the YMCA,” she said.
In the future, the former player is hoping to coordinate with the basketball association for possible use of the JSC complex when asked to host regional or international tournaments.
“There are three courts at YMCA. We have the basketball and we have two netball courts but the netball court that is closest to the volleyball court is not in good condition and we cannot use it during a tournament so most of the time we have to be using the basketball court on the western side so I am saying that JSC is there and it is probably something we can coordinate with the minister and the basketball association so netball can probably have a home,” the netball boss said.
Competitive netball could return later this year with the staging of a village league competition.