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Cash boost for netball qualifying bid

Bermuda's netball team hopes to compete at next year's Commonwealth Games

The Bermuda Netball Association’s bid to have the island’s team compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia has received a welcome boost.

The association has received a $30,000 grant from the Bermuda Olympic Association via an application that was made on behalf of netball under the Commonwealth Games Federation Developmental Programme 2015-2018.

“The Bermuda Olympic Association is an excellent source with a wealth of knowledge and can assist the National Sports Governing Bodies in many ways,” Kimale Evans, the BNA president, said.

“This [grant] will assist with the BNA’s efforts to regain our international ranking. Hopefully there will be further opportunities through the BOA.”

The funds are specifically earmarked for Bermuda’s Commonwealth Games qualification bid and can only be used for training and regional competitions that target the qualifying process.

In order to qualify for next year’s Commonwealth Games, a multi-sport event, Bermuda must be ranked among the top 14 countries in the world by July and have played in at least eight international fixtures.

The BNA are hoping to fulfil that quota of matches at the Netball Europe Open in Aberdeen, Scotland, in May.

“This is a tournament that gives us more bang for our buck,” Evans said.

“This tournament will allow us to play international matches and help us get our ranking.

“We have to play eight international matches to get our ranking back.

“We aren’t ranked at the moment. But we fit into the category of being a rated team.

“Other teams have to go through a longer process, while we just have to go through the process of playing eight matches and be ranked in the top fourteen by July for the Commonwealth Games.”

Team members are presently training indoors three times a week at CedarBridge Academy and Somersfield Academy.

A pool of 25 players, including five based overseas , will be whittled down to 12.

“We have an excellent pool of players based on potential and talent,” Evans said.

“The majority of the players in training have represented Bermuda in netball at some level.

“We do have a few new faces because this tournament opens it up for Bermuda residents for two years, so we have a few new players who can potentially fit into the fold who also have international exposure at some level.”

The Netball Europe Open will take place from May 11 to 14.