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Boys’ verdict: ‘More tiring than football’

Eyes on the prize: Jada Richards, 16, of North Village Lady Rams, looks for an open team-mate against Storm (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Phoenix Heat defeated North Village Lady Rams 23-13 to lift the Senior Double-Elimination Netball Tournament at Bernard Park on Saturday.

In the Mix Up Switch Up Under-16 competition — which featured three boys on the court at all times for each team — Storm Lightning beat Phoenix Flames 8-0, North Village Lady Rams Too 7-2 and North Village Lady Rams 6-5 en route to the title. Storm claimed the title in the Under-12 tournament.

Kimale Evans, the Bermuda Netball Association president, said that having boys compete alongside girls offered an interesting dynamic to the matches.

“We thought it would be nice to do a Mix Up Switch Up [in the under-16 tournament], which enables three boys to be on the court at one time. The boys told me, ‘It’s more tiring than football!” said Evans, who replaced Tracey Sharrieff as president in June last year.

“We often find that the Mix Up Switch Up format draws a larger crowd with the males and females playing together.”

Evans coaches Storm Lightning, who also won the under-16 league title, and said she was delighted with her team’s efforts during the Mix Up Switch Up Tournament.

“These young ladies have been playing for a while and they very much deserved to win this tournament,” she said.

“They put the hard work in during training and they’re reaping the rewards.”

Evans added: “The standard of netball is definitely improving and we have some true talent on the island.”

The BNA’s bid to have the island’s team compete at next year’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia received a boost in September.

It 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.

In order to qualify for the 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 hope to fulfil that quota of matches at the Netball Europe Open in Aberdeen, Scotland, next month.