Island netballers to clash with Canada
Bermuda’s netballers will put their skills to the test against international competition later this month.
The senior national team will lock horns with Canada in a three-match series with matches taking place at Whitney Institute on July 29, 30 and 31, beginning each day at 6pm.
Sandys 360 has been designated as a rain venue.
The upcoming series will mark the first time Bermuda have hosted international matched in more than a decade.
“This will be an exciting time for the family of netball as we embark on a new journey when we meet Canada, who are currently ranked 21st in the world, on our home grounds,” said Bermuda Netball Association (BNA) president Tracey Sharrieff. “Canada will be bring a wealth of experienced players representing the provinces of Vancouver, British Columbia, Montreal and Toronto.”
Bermuda are ranked 28th.
Canada defeated Bermuda 49-31 when the teams met last year at American Federation Netball Association (AFNA) Championships in Trinidad and Tobago. Both countries have been inactive since.
“With close to a year of non-competitive international matches, Bermuda will be the meeting ground for several of their players,” Sharrieff said.
BNA have selected a squad of 13 players for the upcoming series who are currently being put through their paces by head coach Jene Charles and assistant coach Merle Parfitt.
“The local team has quietly gone about their business, training hard during the past three months four times a week making a huge sacrifice, committing themselves either as a player or coach for this special Tri-Series tournament,” Sharrieff added.
Coach Charles added: “The team has been training hard these past few months, committed themselves and therefore the work is paying off. We will look to each for leadership. This is a veteran team that provides experience, and from that, we can only get better.
“Overall, this is a great opportunity for our team to compete against Canada. This will set the stage for us going forward. The Bermuda Netball Association (BNA) is excited about this tournament and so are the players and their coaching staff.”
Bermuda’s senior national squad for this month’s three-match series with Canada is as follows: Marissa Brangman (captain), Jadirra Harvey (vice-captain), Danielle Raynor, Ebonie Burgess, Jamila Godwin, Dominic Richardson, Asante Chapman, Chaquita Simmons, Arkeita Fubler, Nina Webb, Kimale Evans, Karlandra Smith, McKeisha Smith.
BNA chief Sharrieff said the three-match series with Canada was the brainchild of United States of America Netball Association (USANA) secretary Carole Hoekrein.
“The Tri-Series tournament came about when secretary Carole Hoekrein formulated the idea when it became extremely expensive for countries such as the United States, Canada and Bermuda to travel and compete in the Caribbean for international matches,” she said. “More than a decade has passed when Bermuda last hosted an international match.
“Due to the inconsistency regarding availability of appropriate courts and venues, and available finances, it has been a challenge to host an event of this magnitude. Our sincere hope, is that one day a venue can be created and utilised at any time to host more than one international ranked team participating in Bermuda. Moreover, the overall cost is less expensive for us hosting a tournament in Bermuda.”
Also due to tour Bermuda this month is the England All-Saints team who will play a series of practice matches with the senior national squad.
Canada will also play practice matches against Bermuda’s Under-21 team and potentially against local league opposition.
Bermuda’s Under-21s are currently preparing for next month’s 2013 World Youth Netball Championships to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.