By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA) and former national goal shoot Karen Joseph is expecting a larger than normal turnout for the body’s Village League Netball slated to shoot off on March 13.
Joseph, a former internationally ranked player, said the long layoff from the Covid-19 pandemic has left players hungry for competitive play.
“We have had queries from a lot of the village teams like Cedar Grove, Liberta, All Saints, John Hughes and we’ve had newcomers in terms of people calling and wanting to come in. I think people are hungry for netball and I can see there is going to be a vast improvement in terms of membership for this year,” she said.
The village league competition will see teams travelling to play at home and away matches as the association seeks to rebuild community interest in the game.
Joseph said that although she has not personally assessed the courts as yet, indications are that preparations are ongoing in the various communities.
“I haven’t physically been there as yet, but we have had plans to go. I have been speaking to the members of different communities that have courts and I think they are basically trying to get the areas together. We are looking for a vast amount of communities to be able to host matches because we are looking at Cedar Grove playing in Willikies, we are looking at Liberta and All Saints and Old Road, so I think we are going to have more in terms of facilities available this year than we normally have,” she said.
The association is set to meet with clubs next week in an effort to finalise plans for the start of the league.