By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda senior netballers have resumed preparations for next month’s Battle of the Saints competition in St Maarten.
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA), Karen Joseph, said the team had been in preparation several months earlier but was forced to halt sessions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“They have been training for a couple of months well, but we have had to abort training due to the Covid situation, but even though we did, eventually we started to go to YASCO to get in some of the physical aspect of it for maybe an hour or so and we are presently back at the YMCA for training,” she said.
Antigua and Barbuda recorded their best finish in over five years in netball when in 2019, the national team grabbed a second place finish at international ranking tournament.
Joseph said participation in the November 17-22 tournament is crucial for the country’s rankings.
“As you know, netball has not been played in terms of competition throughout the Caribbean for three years or so and hence the reason we are trying to push because the rankings is an issue. Jamaica and Trinidad played a series two weeks ago and Barbados is also having a series in December so what we are doing in the Caribbean is starting to play more netball in terms of keeping up our rankings and to get active in terms of going forward in netball in terms of netball for Commonwealth next year and different competitions,” the president said.
The former national goal shoot said that although they have had good responses where it pertains to funding for the trip, the association continues to seek support.
“We have been seeking finance through the NOC and as you know they have always supported us and the girls are really trying. We did a luncheon last month and the girls are also trying to help themselves but I must give thanks to the NOC,” Joseph said.
The team is being coached by Carl Casey and is expected to leave Antigua mid-November.