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|IFNA Rhone calls on T&T Gov’t to build indoor \cComplex .... to be able to bid for World Netball Championships|
|Tuesday, 17 July 2012 21:20|
MOLLY Rhone, president of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA), called upon the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to build an Indoor Sports Complex to host future World Netball Championships.
The Jamaican-born Rhone made the clarion call during her feature address at the opening ceremony of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) Championships held at the Jean Pierre Complex, Port of Spain last Saturday.
Speaking after the nine participating teams including debutants Guyana and Bermuda; Rhone, who was once head of the Caribbean Netball Association; said that “It is my hope that in the near future the Complex will be converted to an indoor facility so that Trinidad and Tobago can once again bid to host a World Netball Championships or have sustained competition with top-ranked teams.”
Trinidad and Tobago played host for the 1979 World Netball Championships and its national team shared the overall title jointly with Australia at the same venue that was later named after its greatest shooting star and charismatic Jean Pierre.
Rhone thanked the T&T Government and the SPORTT Company for their approval and generous support and emphasised the importance and magnitude of hosting the AFNA Championships. She stressed that: “hosting a Championship is no easy undertaking and requires the involvement of so many persons, so I must say a big thank you to the Government of Trinidad and Tobago for their approval and support; also thank you to the SPORTT Company for ensuring that the Jean Pierre Complex was ready to host the Championships.”
She also thanked the Organising Committee members, the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association officials for their dedication, to the volunteers who have willingly given of their time and the sponsors for their support.
Rhone paid tribute to Lystra Lewis who was one of Caribbean’s greatest netball officials and pioneer; and legendary Jean Pierre; both now deceased. The IFNA president said: “We cannot sit in this Complex without paying tribute to two special netball stalwarts (now deceased). Firstly, Ms Lystra Lewis who was responsible for this complex being built to host the World Championships in 1979 and Ms Jean Pierre, in whose honour the Complex was named. We salute them both and we know that their names are indelibly etched in the history of netball.”
Rhone’s call was timely and the events that transpired during the opening day of the nine-team tournament merit serious consideration for the successful staging of future regional and probably world level competitions.
The opening ceremony was delayed and there was further chaos and disgruntlement among fans when the first-round match between Trinidad and Tobago and debutants Guyana was switched from the indoor arena to the open court.
Four special rubberised-type courts were prepared for the championships but showers during the day left them in treacherous state for players whose footwear were unsuitable.
In addition, water was lodged below the playing surface and despite feverish efforts officials were forced to switch matches to the indoor surface.
The USA versus Grenada started and midway of the match there was an announcement that the T&T versus Guyana match will be played indoors. That caused a rush by spectators to find a seat in the limited accommodation. Many expressed their disappointment but in the end they celebrated T&T’s senior team’s commanding performance against the inexperienced Guyanese team.
It was a complete rout and a shocking embarrassment for Guyana team which comprised many short-statured as well as very young players. They looked like a bunch of high school students coming up against top level University graduates. For all their admirable efforts, they were totally outclassed and outplayed and it was not surprising when they succumbed to a crushing 94-point defeat.
Bermuda were the other team that made their debut at this year’s championships and they, like Guyana; also received a stern lesson and rude awakening of what it takes to be competitive at the regional senior level.
They were severely trounced by Barbados 102-13, and although the hapless Bermudans did slightly better than Guyana, the 89-point margin of defeat is alarming because of the psychological effect it can have on impressionable minds dreaming of stardom.
If there was a prize for the best team on parade for the opening ceremony that award would have gone to Trinidad and Tobago for their military-like precision marching and fully decked out in track suits depicting T&T’s national colours.
The Guyana team sported their playing outfit for the march past and they certainly would have been impressed by the Trinidadians’ display which can be emulated in future series.
Guyana and West Indies cricketer Shivnarine Chanderpaul, T&T’s 1976 Montreal Olympics 100-metre gold medallist Hasely Crawford as well as some members of the T&T’s 1979 World Netball Champions team were also present on the opening day of the championships.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 July 2012 21:24|
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