Veteran netballer says greats never got their due

Former national and West Indies goal shoot, Karen Joseph (right) with West Indies batting great, Sir Vivian Richards during a past National Sports Awards. (File photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

Veteran netballer and a former president of the Antigua and Barbuda Netball Association (ABNA), Yvette Francis, believes the sport and some players have not been truly recognised for the role they played in putting the twin-island state on the map from a sporting standpoint.

Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Francis believes that players like former goal shooters, Karen Joseph and Sybil Walling were never duly recognised for their contributions to the sport from a national standpoint.

“At one time, Antigua had three players on the West Indies side and that was a big feat but we didn’t get the publicity and the accolades that we should have had for the sport, but we have come a long way from that and netball has gotten its due right now,” she said.

Although Walling would have played before the advent of the West Indies netball team, many believe she was good enough to make the cut. Joseph would have however represented the regional squad on more than one occasion.

Francis, who would have made her contribution both as a player and administrator, said she personally did not serve with recognition in mind.

“I am a sporting person, a person of sports, and whatever I’ve done for sports I’ve done because of my love of the game or love of the sporting discipline I was working with so I didn’t do it for any fame or fortune, that doesn’t mean anything to me,” the former player said.

Francis also served as president of the Caribbean Netball Association (CNA) and would have also coached and managed a number of teams.

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