Jhaniele Fowler scored 57 goals as Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls defeated England’s Roses 63-53 for a consolation victory in the England Roses Vitality Series that concluded on Sunday.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls were unable to get back on level terms against the England Vitality Roses, after suffering a heavy loss in the second match of the series in Nottingham on Saturday.

The lopsided 66-47 loss pushed the home team to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series, having won the opening match opening game of the series 55-45 last week.

In the first encounter between the teams, it was the Sunshine Girls that had led at the half, this time around a devastating England attack led by 8 goals after the first quarter, and defensively managed to restrict the Jamaicans to 6 points as they doubled their advantage for a 35-19 half-time lead.

Similar to the first match, the Jamaicans were plagued by numerous turnovers but managed to make inroads into the lead at the start of the third quarter.  The damage was, however, mostly done with England managing to give several non-regular players game time with the win all but secured.  The teams will play the final match of the series at the same venue tomorrow.

 

Sunshine Girls Head Coach Connie Francis is considering making changes to the team’s mid-court ahead of the second Test between Jamaica and England on December 4.

 This as she believes turnovers, especially those in mid-court was among the key factors contributing to why Jamaica lost 45-55 to England’s Roses on Sunday after having held a lead over the home team for the first half of their contest at the Copper Box Arena in London.

Jamaica led 27-25 at half-time but was outscored 16-9 and 14-10, in the third and fourth quarters, respectively, as England surged to a commanding victory.

Speaking with Sportsmax.TV after the team arrived in Nottingham on Monday, Francis also said the Sunshine Girls lacked match fitness and as a result, were not at their best in the second half. She also takes some of the blame for not adjusting to a few tactical changes England made during the game.

Notwithstanding those issues, Francis believes England are in a much better place than her team at this juncture.

“England right now is a better-conditioned team than us. They are an in-form team coming off a successful tour in New Zealand and they have a really good squad. Nevertheless, we took a really good squad but we have some players in our group that have not been playing netball for 18 months,” she said.

“So, for one, I don’t think we have reached our fitness goals as yet and, two, we lost our focus because we should have gone out there and capitalized in that third quarter.”

That said, Francis revealed that they are going back to the proverbial drawing board as they begin preparing to correct the errors made in the opening match of the three-Test series.

“We are in Nottingham now and we are going to a training session. Tomorrow we have another training session, we have a video session, so we have some days to also try some new persons in that mid-court area because at times I think out mid-court is a little too stagnant,” Francis said.

“Trying to get some players who have been there done that to add to that rotation and that didn’t help so it’s about moving out some other players from their comfort zone into that mid-court to see if we can get some more height and strength in because I think that having 27 turnovers wasn’t good enough and most of them were in that mid-court.

“If we had fixed some of those passes, some of those through-court plays, those feeds into our shooters then it was possible (the result) would have gone the other way around.”

Where Francis blames herself is that she didn’t react adequately to personnel changes England made in goal attack and goalkeeper positions, which made a significant difference.

“I think that possibly I could have done something a little different because when I looked at the tape I see where they had made a tactical change and I tried to fix it but it just didn’t happen,” she said.

“I thought that our defending team stood up extremely well for the most part but when England made those crucial changes and instruction was given, we didn’t rise to the instruction. So we are going back to the drawing board looking at where we have gone wrong and try to fix it.”

Considering the circumstances, Francis said she was proud of her team’s performance on Sunday.

“I am really proud of the girls and their effort,” she said. “They tried to stay with England for the most part but the continuous unforced errors, we just had to pay for them.”

Games two and three are to be played on December 4 and 5 at the Motor Point Arena.

 

 

 

England’s Roses took a 1-0 lead in their three-Test series against Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls after they rallied to win 55-45 before a packed Copper Box Arena in London on Sunday.

Jamaica started well, outscoring their opponents 11-10 and 26-25 at the end of the first quarter and half-time, respectively. Jamaica’s lead was largely down to outstanding performances from Kadie-Ann Dehaney and Shamera Sterling, who caused England’s shooters significant challenges in the first half.

England’s defensive players turned the tables against Jamaica after the interval Eboni Usoro-Brown kept Jhaniele Fowler quiet and forced multiple changes in Jamaica's attack-end as the home side took control of the game to outscore Jamaica 16-9 in the third quarter and 14-10 in the fourth to pull off a commanding victory.

Fowler scored 40 of 41 attempts for the Sunshine Girls, who also got five goals from Shanice Beckford.

Jo Harten scored 30 of 39 and Eleanor Cardwell 20 of 22 for the Roses.

England had lost four of their last five games against Jamaica.

The second and third Tests will be played on December 4 and 5 at the Motor Point Arena

History will be made at 2023 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games scheduled to take place in San Salvador where the sport of netball will be contested for the very first time, thanks to the advocacy of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA).

"Netball got, deservedly, our approval to take a seat at the regional table and with this accomplishment, the journey now begins to globalize the sport and the JOA stands ready to again play a signal role," said JOA President Christopher Samuda.

Samuda is a member of the Executive Board of Centro Caribe Sports which owns the games.

An established sport in English-speaking regional territories and now a staple on the sporting agenda of several Spanish-speaking countries, Secretary-General and CEO of the Jamaica Olympic Association, Ryan Foster, was never in doubt that the sport would transition.

 "I have the privilege of sitting on the Technical Commission of Centro Caribe Sports and from the get-go, I inked my finger and campaigned for netball for I was confident that the sport's credentials would result in a landslide victory," he said.

As the number of Olympic sports on the agenda for multi-sport games increases, the need for a non-Olympic sport to ensure that it is "first to market" becomes increasingly critical for entry to such events as the CAC Games.

 "Insofar as netball is concerned, we at the JOA understood that in order to become a resident of the household of multi-sport games of the Olympic movement, the sport had to muscle its way to first in the line and present, persuasively, credentials for occupancy,” Samuda explained.

Jamaica’s netball pedigree is well known and in the run-up to the 2023 San Salvador CAC Games, the JOA and Netball Jamaica in partnership with Centro Caribe Sports, will be hosting educational workshops and training sessions for teams from Spanish-speaking countries with a view to enhancing their skill sets and technical competencies in the sport.

"What is the value of knowledge and expertise if they're not shared in creating greater capital and opportunities for others in the sporting fraternity?" JOA Secretary-General and CEO Foster queried.

With the withdrawal of Panama City as host of the games, the Executive Board of Centro Caribe Sports moved quickly to re-start the bidding process to secure an alternative host and recently formalized the contract with the Government of the Republic of El Salvador, the municipality of San Salvador and the Local Organizing Committee.

There were no surprises at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Wednesday night when Jamaica demolished Trinidad and Tobago 73-22 to complete a sweep of the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series.

Led by Jhaniele Fowler’s near-perfect shooting, Jamaica took a 2-0 lead over Trinidad and Tobago, after winning 64-32 in the Margaret Beckford Sunshine Series at the National Indoor Sports Complex on Tuesday.

Fowler, arguably the best shooter in the world, did not start as Sunshine Girls head coach Connie Francis chose to open with Gezelle Allison and Shanice Beckford. However, the pair of attackers were unable to sufficiently spur the Jamaican attack as the first quarter ended 12-8.

They fared slightly better in the second quarter and they extended the four-point lead to 10 to lead 24-14 at halftime.

However, once Fowler was substituted in at the start of the third quarter, the Sunshine Girls got an immediate lift and extended their lead to 22 and led 44-22 at the end of the third. Fowler would eventually score 36 goals from 38 attempts as Jamaica won by 32.

Allison finished with 13 goals from 20 attempts while Shanice Beckford scored 12 from 14.

Afisha Noel led the scoring for the Calypso Girls with 17 goals from 20 attempts with support from her captain Kalifa McCollin, who scored 15 goals from her 16 attempts.

Jamaica will go for the sweep tonight when the teams meet again in the final match of the series.

 

Sunshine Girls Head Coach Connie Francis is expecting a much better performance from her shooters when they play Trinidad and Tobago in the second game of their series at the National Indoor Sports Centre on Tuesday.

Jamaica demolished their Caribbean rivals 71-22 on Saturday night with Jhaniele Fowler leading the way with 43 goals. Defensively, Jamaica was stifling limiting their opponents to only six second-half goals in a comprehensive victory.

However, Francis was not pleased with certain elements of the Jamaican execution.

“I was a bit disappointed with the shooting. I thought we were more than capable of doing a better job,” said Francis, who said the only player who she would excuse was Shanice Beckford who has not played in 18 months.

“I thought Jhaniele was too casual. Her style has changed a bit since she began playing in the Super League. She is not catching or elevating as she usually does.”

Francis also believes the team needs to tighten up defensively.
“Trinidad was able to get the ball through from the Jamaica attacking area into midcourt and into their shooting area without much pressure,” she explained.

She said she plans to tackle those areas of concern before the next game on Tuesday.

“We have a training session today (Sunday) and another on Tuesday morning, these ladies are professionals playing in leagues abroad, we should be capable of making those adjustments,” she said.

The Jamaica men’s team will replace South Africa for the Sunshine Girls upcoming tri-nation series, which will also include Trinidad and Tobago.

Originally the three teams were expected to part in the series, which was scheduled to begin on October 9th.  The fixture opponents have, however, been modified after South Africa pulled out of the series due to countries rising number of Covid-19 cases. 

With short notice to find a replacement, the decision was made to employ the assistance of the country’s male team.  The dates for the fixtures have now also been moved forward, with the opening game of the tri-series now expected to be on the 14th.

The Jamaicans ranked fourth in the world, are expected to play against in a three-match series dubbed the ‘Vitality Roses Reunited’ set for London, in September.  Many of netball’s top teams will be looking to step up their preparations with the Commonwealth Games set to take part in Birmingham, England next year.  The Jamaican team has not played in international competitions since the World Netball Cup in 2020.

 

For a record third year in a row, Jamaica’s standout shooter Jhaniele Fowler has been voted MVP of the West Coast Fever franchise of the Suncorp Super Netball League. She is now also the first winner of the Stacey Marinkovich Medal.

The MVP Award was renamed the Stacey Marinkovich Medal this season to honour the former captain and coach’s legacy at the club, which included being appointed inaugural captain and coaching 104 games, including two Grand Finals.

Fowler won the Stacey Marinkovich Medal with 55 votes ahead of captain Courtney Bruce with 35 votes and rising star Sunday Aryang with 21 votes.

“I am very grateful for all that this team has invested in me as a person and as a player and always believing in me, year in, year out,” said Fowler, who topped the scoring this past season with 883 goals at 96 per cent accuracy.

 “Since I’ve been here in 2018, I’ve only wanted to do my best by this club to perform my best.

“I’m so much more mature in my game and in my personal life since I’ve been here and I’m very grateful for that. This wouldn’t have been possible without my amazing teammates so I’m very thankful to them too.”

In her four seasons in Super Netball, Fowler has scored 3455 goals for the Fever. Her 57 offensive rebounds were second overall and she was the Nissan Net Points leader board with a total of 1611 points.

The towering Jamaican recently signed for two more years with the Fever.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls could be forced to make adjustments for next month’s tri-series following the reported withdrawal of South Africa from the tour.

Originally, the series was set to feature the no 4 ranked Jamaicans, 5th ranked Australians and 10th ranked Trinidad and Tobago and was set to tip-off on October 9th.  However, negotiations between Netball South Africa and the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) are said to have broken down due to the island’s rising number of Covid-19 cases.

The JNA is expected to give an update on the situation in the next few weeks with a replacement team being added being another possibility that is being looked at.

The series will be the first for the Jamaicans since the Netball World Cup in 2020, the team is, however, also expected to travel to England, in September, where they will face the England Roses in a three-match series.  The Sunshine Girls had been due to face England in January of this year, but those plans were postponed due to then-existing Covid-19 travel restrictions.  The team will be looking to vastly increase its activities in the coming months with the Commonwealth Games scheduled for next year.

The Jamaica Sunshine Girls are set to take on England in a three-match series dubbed the ‘Vitality Roses Reunited’ set for London, in November.

The teams were originally set to face-off in a series in January but that was postponed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and strict travel restrictions.  The upcoming series will still be subject to Covid-19 travel restrictions but will be played in front of a maximum capacity stadium, with measures regarding crowd sizes eased in England.

The series will help both teams begin preparations for the next year’s Commonwealth Games, which will take part in Birmingham, England next year.  The Jamaicans have not played in an official international competition since the World Netball Cup in 2020.

The series is set to tip-off on November 28th at the Copper Box Arena, before moving on to the Motorpoint Arena in Nottingham, with consecutive games on December 4 and December 5.

Americas Netball (AN) in its continued drive to educate all its member associations on issues of governance in the sport of netball, launched the second in a series of governance webinars on Saturday, August 14 via a Zoom conference.

 Marva Bernard OD, President of Americas Netball and a Director of World Netball and recently appointed Ambassador of Teamwork by World Netball, in delivering her opening comments opined that “A sport organization needs leadership. The dynamic environment in which an organization operates requires sports leaders, and potential leaders to be constantly learning and retooling themselves”. 

The webinars are one such tool that Americas Netball utilizes to keep its members abreast of policies, procedures and regulations in the sport of netball.  She added that this year AN would partner fully with the University of the West Indies Faculty of Sport to plan the course content.

The next session is set for August 21 with the ensuing sessions to be held two Saturdays each month for the next three months culminating in November, will focus on administrative procedures and guidelines, fulfilling reporting requirements, team and stakeholder management as well as communication planning.

Other topics of focus will be Strategic planning, policy alignment and implementation, operational planning, implementing a business model, revenue generation, organizational restructuring, business plan models, governance during crises, emergency management and business planning.

Following the federation’s official rebrand to World Netball, the international governing body has announced appointments of two of Jamaica’s best-loved netball stars – Marva Bernard OD, and Shamera Sterling - as official ambassadors.

World Netball has declared its intention to make the case for the Olympic Games to include netball by the Brisbane games in 2032.

The sport’s governing body acknowledges that the best opportunity to showcase Netball on the Olympic stage will come when the host nation is a strong Netball nation and one that supports and proposes netball’s inclusion to the IOC as one of its additional sports.

 “All our Member Nations are excited at the potential of being part of the Olympic Family in 2032. We are committed to ensuring that our case for inclusion adds significant value to this very special Olympic movement,” said World Netball President, Liz Nicholl CBE.

The governing body outlined its objectives in a statement released earlier today.

“World Netball congratulates the City of Brisbane on the announcement confirming that it will host the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and declares its intention to work with Netball Australia to make a compelling case for Netball’s inclusion in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games,” WN said in a statement.

“As the first step towards Olympic inclusion, a sport has to be governed by an IOC ‘recognised’ federation – World Netball achieved this recognition in 1995 and has enjoyed a good relationship with the IOC since then.

“As Netball Australia currently holds the number 1 world ranking and Sydney has already been confirmed as the host venue for the Netball World Cup 2027, 2032 provides the perfect opportunity. World Netball is aware that Organizing Committee and IOC decisions on this matter will be made many years from now and so we will use the time available to work with our colleagues at Netball Australia to present a compelling case for inclusion.”

Netball was originally developed by women for women and girls at a time when their opportunities to participate in and achieve through sport were very limited. The sport initially spread across the Commonwealth through the education sector but soon developed and grew.

It now has more than 20 million participants across 76 Member nations and 5 continents and TV, digital audiences and social media followers are rapidly growing. Netball is a core sport in the Commonwealth Games programme and the 5 top-performing nations at the world level are spread across five continents.

Netball’s World Cup attracts record crowds. When the event was held in Liverpool 2019, over 100,000 tickets were sold to over 30,000 unique spectators from across 40 nations; over 6 million people attended, watched and/or followed the event which achieved a Net Promoter Score of 81 per cent.

“Over 30,000 adults were inspired by the event to start playing netball or play netball more, and 60 per cent of spectators were inspired to increase their participation in sport or active recreation as a result of attending the event,” it said.

According to World Netball, it recently launched strategy focuses on further growing global participation, reach, revenue, impact and capacity and also commits to the sport being ‘open to all', with a focus on three core strategies to grow, to play and to inspire, all underpinned by great governance.

“Over recent years the number of participants and Member nations has increased and more men and boys are participating in Netball. There is significant growth potential, and World Netball is committed to supporting increased engagement from men and boys while building on its female-focused foundations that have shaped the culture and values of the sport,” the statement said.

“World Netball will continue to drive game development and the worldwide delivery of thrilling major events - which will include the further development and promotion of Netball's modified format of the sport, Fast5 – has 5 players a side and features dynamic rules changes, shorter quarters, power plays and super shots.

World Netball is also in the process of establishing a new Foundation to harness the power of Netball to change lives by creating a vehicle to promote, support and fundraise and partner with NGOs to deliver life-changing projects through netball.”

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