By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA), Karen Joseph, has made a public appeal for all players interested in representing the senior national squad to turn out for training sessions at the YMCA Sports Complex.
The call comes as the country seeks to intensify preparations for two regional tournaments slated for later this year.
“Two years ago, we played in St Maarten in in a tournament [Battle of the Saints Tournament]. It was a ranking tournament and we came second and we want to go back for that championship which is to get first place, because I know we are capable and that is to be hosted in St Maarten in October. The OECS International Series should be held in Dominica, which is something we normally take part in, and those two tournaments and international ranking tournaments,” he said.
There has been no competitive netball in Antigua for over a year following the country’s first recorded case of the coronavirus in March 2020.
Reports are that although training sessions have been ongoing for some time now, players have not been attending on a regular basis.
Joseph said that, for now, sessions have been curtailed to a limited number of days during the week.
“We are preparing for two tournaments and want to have a lot of variety, so we are inviting other netballers to come out and train. We train on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 pm to 8 pm and we will be having a meeting on Monday just to encourage players to come out, and we will just talk to them about the way forward,” he said.
Last month, it was revealed that a lack of ample and adequate facilities that would allow organisers to meet strict Covid-19 guidelines and protocols during matches, forced organisers of the OECS/ECCB International Netball Series to move the planned hosting of the postponed 2020 instalment of the under-23 competition from Antigua to Dominica.
The tournament was slated for Antigua in September but will now take place in November on the Nature Isle.