By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA) could shoot off 2022 with a village league competition.
This is according to president and former national goal shoot, Karen Joseph, who said an assessment of all the village courts has been completed and that most are in good and usable condition.
“Most of the courts in the villages are in very good condition and hence, our first competition in the New Year will be a village league, and I must say that I am very pleased with the courts around the island. The conditions are good, but at some of them we will have to put porta-potties, but I am not too worried about that aspect of it as yet, but I am pleased with the courts in the communities,” she said.
There has been no netball on the local front in over a year, which is mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The country’s main courts located at the centralised YMCA Sports Complex is however still abuzz as the senior national women’s team prepares for the Battle of the Saints competition to be held this month in St. Maarten.
Although utilised for training however, Joseph said that most of the YMCA complex is in need of repair.
“The courts at the YMCA are in very good condition, but the building itself is horrible. The fencing is horrible and sadly to say, even though we train there, there are no bathroom facilities, it’s deplorable, but as I said the courts are good and because it is a central spot, we have to use it as it’s easier to get the girls to and from. If we had other options we would have changed positions, but as I said, the court is very good and we have to make use of it for now,” the former player said.
As for the association’s plans to seek permission from the government to manage the facility, Joseph said it is still a work in progress.
“We are still putting a contingent together so we could go forward with that, and then we will try to get a hearing with the Minister of Sports [Daryll Matthew] first and then proceed from there,” she said.
Antigua and Barbuda will compete in the November 17-22 Battle of the Saints tournament as they seek to pick up crucial ranking points.