Funding key to Gold Coast bid, says Gideons
Bermuda finished their Netball Europe Open campaign with a 50-36 win over Israel yesterday to remain on course to earn a world ranking by July.
Ilze Gideons’ side placed third with two wins over Israel, having beaten them 70-28 in the opening game, and a pair of defeats against Gibraltar and Ireland.
With a tri-series against the United States in Brooklyn next month, Bermuda are on target to reach the eight games needed to begin qualification for next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Reaching the Gold Coast will still be a tall order for Bermuda as they must be ranked among the top 12 countries in the world.
Gideons, who was appointed part-time head coach in February, admits funding is another major stumbling block facing Bermuda’s ambitious bid.
“What an opportunity for this young team to play in this competition; they have achieved so much!” said Gideons, whose side also received ranking points after Switzerland withdrew from the competition in Aberdeen, Scotland.
“If we keep this going we could possibly have a good chance of moving forward [to qualifying for the Commonwealth Games].
“We really need some financial support and I will be trying to arrange a meeting with the Minister of Sport [Nandi Outerbridge] to see what we can do. I’ll also be speaking to Gina [Benjamin], the team manager, to strategise our next moves.
“We may have to get creative and I’ve been networking like crazy to build some international contacts. Everyone wants to come to Bermuda!”
Bermuda finished the tournament on a high note against Israel, jumping out to a 16-8 lead after the first quarter and never allowed their opponents back into the match.
The previous day Gideons’s side suffered a double setback, losing to Ireland 44-24, with Danielle Raynor sinking 20 goals, before being narrowly beaten by Gibraltar 50-44.
Bermuda’s shooters converted at a rate of almost 90 per cent, Raynor scoring 32, but paid for losing each quarter until the last, when they outscored Gibraltar 15-12.
“We should have beaten Gibraltar but our lack of international experience got the better of us,” Gideons said. “We only lost by six goals and we should have beaten them by about ten at least.”
The Bermuda Netball Association received a £30,000 grant from the Commonwealth Games Federation Developmental Programme, facilitated through the Bermuda Olympic Association, in January and have hired Gideons until June.