Our players need scholarships too: Netball association head says opportunities must also be given to OECS countries

President of the Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association, Karen Joseph.
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By Neto Baptiste

There are not enough opportunities for scholarships for young netballers within the OECS.

This is the assessment of head of the national association here in Antigua, former goal shoot Karen Joseph, who believes that some of the opportunities given to other countries around the Caribbean should be diverted to the smaller but equally talented OECS countries.

“The INF [International Netball Federation], needs to push more for scholarships for the OECS countries because when you start from that route, you would see more interest in netball coming from our area because most of the scholarships are given to countries like Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados and so on, but if they concentrate more on scholarships for the OECS and expose our athletes from this area, then you would see a difference in terms of the netball in the region,” she said. 

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show at the time, Joseph was addressing concerns raised regarding the lack of opportunities for scholarships and other educational offers for players.

There was also a suggestion that the sport could become more inclusive as it is seen as one that mainly caters to women.

Joseph said that there is an ongoing push for more male inclusion in the sport over the last few years.

“They want to introduce both male and female and even mixed. They are having a world netball male tournament coming up later this year, but based on what the world body is saying though, is that if they introduce both males and females in the sport, that it would make a big difference in terms of the world body for 2022,” the former player said.

“We have some very talented males in our country who play netball, and if it’s a case where we have to adapt in order for us to get in that area, then we have to do what we have to do, because when we train, we train with males as well to get the toughness in the girls, and if that’s the route the world body sees as the best for netball, then we have to adapt to it,” she added

The netball association recently invited its members to participate in a level one coaching course organised by Americas Netball and endorsed by the World Netball Coaching Advisory Panel. The course is part of ongoing efforts to bring coaches and players up to speed with the rules and laws of the game on a global scale.

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