- Jamaica’s National Under-16 netballers are being urged to challenge themselves and to push for places in the squads performing above their age group.
- The team returned to the island on Saturday (April 9) following their win of the 2016 Jean Pierre Youth Netball Championship in Barbados, where they defeated the host country 35-21 in the finals.
- Jamaica’s success was led by Latanya Wilson, Zandria Cohen, Denay Thomas, Shadine Bartley and Captain Abigale Sutherland, all of whom have been selected to the Caribbean All Stars team.
Jamaica’s National Under-16 netballers are being urged to challenge themselves and to push for places in the squads performing above their age group.
The team returned to the island on Saturday (April 9) following their win of the 2016 Jean Pierre Youth Netball Championship in Barbados, where they defeated the host country 35-21 in the finals.
At the Norman Manley International Airport they were met by Dr Paula Daley-Morris, president, Netball Jamaica among other netball officials, sponsor representatives and Allie McNab, who represented the Minister.
In a statement the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange said, “it is important that these young girls challenge themselves and push for a spot on the team that will go to Botswana to compete in the World Youth Netball Championship next year. Next year, they’ll be one year older, stronger and wiser than today”.
Minister Grange noted that netballers, Christine Salmon and Romelda Aiken in recent times; and Janet Johnson in the 1970s had represented the National Under-21 or senior team when they were still in high school.
“Therefore they should not allow their age to limit such ambitions if they believe in their God-given ability and are prepared mentally and psychologically to do the hard work in training,” she added.
The Minister said it was important that the girls push themselves further in a sport which has developed lucrative leagues in the top playing nations.
“Netball is developing into a sport where you can earn a decent living from as it is in the present case of Romelda Aiken and Jhaniele Fowler – both big stars in the ANZ Championship in Australia and New Zealand,” she said.
According to the Minister, netballers, Shanice Beckford and Nicole Dixon were signed by Team Northumbria to play in the Vitality Netball Super League in Great Britain where they will be studying.
“This is telling us that the top netball leagues are looking at Jamaica for talent, so it is up to our girls to realize their dreams and aspirations,” she added.
“I have been told that some of the world’s best netballers – and Jamaica have some in its team – command between US$50,000 to US$100,000 per season. So you do the math. A season last for about five months during which you can earn over J$10 million,” the Minister said.