The Honourable Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, has unveiled a significant token of appreciation for the remarkable achievements of Jamaica's Sunshine Girls netball team at the recent Netball World Cup held in South Africa.

Minister Grange announced on Tuesday that the Ministry will provide direct payments totaling more than JMD$6 million to the players and coaches who represented Jamaica with distinction on the international stage.

During a heartwarming courtesy call held at her New Kingston offices, Minister Grange welcomed the triumphant Sunshine Girls, who secured a bronze medal at the World Cup. She expressed the Ministry's profound gratitude and admiration for their outstanding performance.

"The Sunshine Girls will each receive a direct payment of JMD$300,000, which will be promptly credited to their accounts. This gesture reflects our deep appreciation for your dedication and accomplishments," the minister proudly declared.

In addition to acknowledging the players, Minister Grange extended her gratitude to the coaching staff, who played an instrumental role in the team's success. Coaches will receive JMD$200,000 each, and members of the management team will be rewarded with JMD$100,000 each.

 Minister Grange emphasized the significance of the support team and encouraged the Sunshine Girls to recognize their invaluable contributions. Highlighting the Ministry's unwavering commitment to sports development, Minister Grange revealed that a sum of J$20 million was allocated to Netball Jamaica by the Ministry to facilitate Jamaica's participation in the Netball World Cup. This investment underscores the government's dedication to promoting excellence in sports.

Further, Minister Grange disclosed plans for an upcoming celebratory event dedicated to honoring the exceptional achievements of the Sunshine Girls and other national representatives in various sporting disciplines throughout the year.

The event will bring together the Sunshine Girls, the Reggae Girls, and the successful female volleyball team that excelled at the CAZOVA championships. Minister Grange emphasized the importance of celebrating the accomplishments of Jamaican women in sports.

Regarding the celebratory function, Minister Grange stated, "I am pleased to announce that I will be hosting a special congratulatory function that will encompass the Sunshine Girls, the Reggae Girls, and the female volleyball team. As women, it's time to come together and celebrate our remarkable achievements."

Details regarding the format and date of this celebration will be unveiled at a later date. The Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport remains committed to uplifting and supporting Jamaica's athletes and recognizing their exceptional contributions on the global stage.

In a historic and heartwarming gesture, the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) announced today, Monday, August 28, that they will be rewarding the stellar achievements of Jamaica's netball players with JMD$1 million each (about USD$6000) for their triumphant performance at the Netball World Cup, where they clinched the bronze medal.

The JOA's rewarding initiative encompasses a comprehensive approach, aiming to not only honor the team's success but also contribute to their future financial stability. Each player from the bronze medal-winning team will receive JMD$1 million from a joint reward from Supreme Ventures Limited and Mayberry Investments.

The JMD$13 million in rewards will go towards funding investment accounts at Mayberry Investments for each medallist. The funds will be under management at Mayberry Investments for a period of three years or until the athlete's retirement from netball, whichever comes earlier.

The announcement, made at the JOA headquarters on Cunningham Avenue in Kingston on Monday, August 28, marks a momentous occasion as the JOA has never before rewarded a team and their coach for their exceptional performances. Following the Tokyo Olympics, the JOA had rewarded the track and field athletes a total of JMD$45 million.

This unprecedented decision is a testament to the remarkable journey and victories of the Jamaican netball team. Over the years, they have showcased their prowess, securing victories like the CAC gold, which ultimately culminated in their monumental success at the Netball World Cup.

Ryan Foster, General Secretary of the JOA, expressed the significance of this moment and the association's pride in the team's accomplishments:

"Today, the Jamaica Olympic Association celebrates and acknowledges your achievements on the court but we also want to reward them. We have watched with pride over the years of the success and progress made by our Sunshine Girls and are elated that we have been a part of that journey along with our partners SVL and Mayberry."

Foster recounted the dedication of the team and the vital role that the JOA, along with its partners, played in supporting the sport's resurgence after the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic:

"I remember when President (Tricia) Robinson came to us seeking ways to restart the sport after COVID and the most important goal was to get the Elite League and the National League going, and the JOA along with SVL and Marathon have invested over JMD$9 million in the restart of the Netball leagues."

Highlighting the team's historic accomplishments, Mr. Foster emphasized that the bronze medal at the World Cup was the perfect culmination of their remarkable journey:

"Following upon the Commonwealth Games, Caribbean Games, and CAC, all historic performances, it was only fitting that the icing on the cake was the World Cup. The JOA and our partners salutes you and your contribution to Jamaican pride, sports prowess, and generally being great ambassadors of not only yourselves but also of the JOA and our partners."

Acknowledging the pivotal role of Coach Connie Francis, Mr. Foster announced a reward of JMD$2 million for her extraordinary leadership.

"For the signal work done by Coach Connie Francis, the JOA will reward the coach extraordinaire with an amount of $2 million," Foster said.

Recognizing the strength of their netball family, the JOA extended a helping hand to Latanya, contributing $1M towards her recovery. Wilson recently lost her home and all her personal belongings including her trophies and medals when arsonists set her home on fire.

"It is in times of distress and crisis that we see the heart of our family, and Latanya, you are family. With that said, the JOA will contribute JMD$1 million towards your road to recovery."

As the JOA, SVL, and Mayberry unite to celebrate the achievements of the Sunshine Girls, Foster assured that the journey is far from over, with the promise of continuous collaboration and support.

"Life is what you make it. Journeys are made to be explored and memories last a lifetime. Your memorable accomplishments have warmed our hearts, and similarly, when you were to restart the sport, we will continue the journey hand in hand, a marriage that won’t be broken."

Foster extended gratitude to SVL and Mayberry for their partnership and dedication to the athletes' success, foreshadowing further exciting announcements as the journey towards the Olympic year continues.


The Jamaica Olympic Association has lavished praise on the country’s netball team that won the bronze medal at the just-concluded Netball World Cup in South Africa. After losing their semi-final 57-54 to eventual champions on Saturday, the Sunshine Girls rebounded on Sunday to defeat prior champions New Zealand 52-45 to secure the bronze medal, their first at the championships in 16 years.

According to the JOA, the Sunshine Girls quest for gold at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in South Africa, which had been the home of the Netball World Cup for the couple of weeks,  ended with a well-deserved bronze. But their heroic journey remains imprinted in the sporting landscape and hearts of many and foremost the apex local body.

“Gold was not the medal but golden was the achievement, golden is the future of the sport and golden will be the legacy,” said Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer, Ryan Foster.

“The JOA is reveling in the sunshine as we celebrate the commitment, courage, purpose and professionalism of our girls who continue steadfastly to keep their appointment with destiny.”

The hour will come when the world will acknowledge the Sunshine Girls as its champion in netball and the hope is “that the cup will, in the near future, come home to Jamrock where it will become the cornerstone of the ambitions of young girls in the sport and the foundation of Jamaica’s dominance on the global stage,” Secretary General Foster further commented.

The JOA is of the view that netball has earned a right locally to be a flagship sport and with the accomplishment in Cape Town and the historic gold medal in the recent inaugural tournament at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in San Salvador, it has nothing more to prove.

“Netball’s credentials are well established and its pedigree as a leading sport is not up for debate for as we say ‘argument done,” JOA President Christopher Samuda stated.

“The Tricia Robinson-led netball administration and national coach, Connie Francis, can be justly proud of the sport’s achievements which continue to gain the applause of a global audience. The future continues to be bright and secure in safe hands.”

England head coach Jess Thirlby admitted it would take some time to get over defeat by Australia in the Netball World Cup final, but believes her squad can be proud of their performances throughout the tournament.

The Roses were making their maiden World Cup final appearance and knew they had to be at their best to win the trophy against a side they had edged out by just a point in their group-stage match.

But Australia dominated the turnover battle and, after the first-quarter honours were shared, steadily built an unassailable lead to run out comfortable 61-45 winners and secure a 12th World Cup crown.

“We are really grateful for that silver medal and over time I think that will sink in, with that bit of history we made (in reaching the final), but right now it is a measure of the belief we had in ourselves, the route we took to the final… (that we are disappointed),” Thirlby told BBC Sport.

“We are obviously going to be gutted with a losing margin like that in our first final, but such is the difference between a team that has been in 12 of them and a team that has just broken into their first one, it’s a tough lesson.

“Today was always going to be a tough ask, you just can’t throw ball like that against Australia in a final. If we do that, we need to find a way to win it back. Unfortunately both of those things eluded us for long periods during the match.

“We fought very hard in the first half to keep a foothold in it, but you could kind of feel we didn’t quite have the flow and the confidence.”

England – bronze medallists at the last three World Cups and six times overall – had built on their group win over the Diamonds to go on to beat New Zealand as they booked a first World Cup final appearance.

Despite the setback, Thirlby feels the squad can return stronger.

“For us now it’s OK to feel a little bit disappointed just because of the level of belief and the capability of this team,” she said.

“I am incredibly proud despite the final result, we absolutely deserved to be there.

“We had to battle to get there and it’s just proven to us that you’ve got to be able to go again in a big game against the number one, and we just fell short today.”

Australia mid-court Ashleigh Brazill brought the curtain down on her netball career with a World Cup winners’ medal.

The 33-year-old – set to retire after the tournament – felt the Diamonds set the record straight following their defeat to England in the group stage.

“To beat England like that, they beat us in the group and everyone loved what Helen (Housby) said, that they were fitter and more energetic than us, that just fired things up,” Brazill told BBC Sport.

“The fact we have done it the way we wanted to, playing some of the best netball we have played in a long time. I’m just so proud of the girls.

“It has taken all of us to get here, the entire 22, all of us, and the fact we are stood here world champions, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending.”

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls gifted their country a bronze on Independence Day on Sunday when they defeated New Zealand 52-45 in the play-off for third place at the Netball World Cup in South Africa.

It was the first time that Jamaica was defeating New Zealand twice in the same global tournament relegating the Silver Ferns to their worst ever World Cup result.

Needing to rebound from the disappointment of losing 57-54 to Australia in the semi-finals, which denied them the chance to play for the gold medal, Jamaica took control of the match against the injury-riddled Ferns, who were among the favourites to win the tournament.

The defending champions had lost star shooter Grace Nweke to injury during the pool games and then were hit with an injury to Gina Crampton who was forced to leave the game with an ankle injury.

Jhaniele Fowler scored 43 goals at 98 per cent accuracy to help lead the Sunshine Girls while Shamera Sterling and Jodi-Ann Ward defended stoutly to ensure that the Sunshine Girls would have some consolation from the competition.

Ward said she is proud of the way her team rebounded from the loss to Australia on Saturday.

“We were very disappointed because obviously we wanted to be in the gold-medal match but we had to shake it off and came out here and we’re proud of the girls how they came out here and performed,” she said.

Ward added that the team simply wanted to play well to end the tournament on a high following Saturday’s let-down.

“We, as a unit, just wanted to execute because we didn’t do that very well yesterday (Saturday) so we just wanted to come out and execute as best as we could. Kudos to New Zealand they really put on a performance; they forced us to change a lot of things that we would normally do but I am extremely proud we came out with the win.”

Maia Wilson was the leading scorer for New Zealand with 19 goals.

Barbados Gems secured a 55-50 win over Singapore while Trinidad and Tobago’s Calypso Girls were handed a 28-69 defeat by hosts, South Africa, as action continued in the 2023 Netball World Cup at the Cape Town International Convention Center on Monday.

The Gems and Singapore played a tight first quarter with Singapore coming out with a 13-12 lead. The second quarter was a different story, however, as the Caribbean side won it 17-11 to go into the break with a 29-24 lead.

The third quarter saw Singapore roaring back to take it 16-11, meaning the teams entered the fourth quarter knotted at 40.

The Gems held their nerve in the final period to take it 15-10 and secure a 55-50 win. Kadeen Corbin had 41 goals from 43 attempts while Latonia Blackman had 14 goals and 13 assists for Barbados.

Amandeep Chahal led Singapore with 39 goals from 46 attempts.

On the other hand, Trinidad & Tobago’s Calypso Girls were hammered by South Africa.

After a relatively close first quarter, which South Africa won 18-12, the second quarter sealed T&T’s fate as they were held to just three points to go into halftime down 33-15.

The third quarter was no different as South Africa continued to dominate, winning 18-6 to go into the fourth period up 51-21.

The hosts won the fourth quarter 18-7 to complete the 69-28 win.

Nichole Taljaard had 24 goals and 15 assists for the hosts while Afeisha Noel had 11 goals for T&T.

Barbados Gems now have four points to lead Group E in the second preliminary stage while T&T are at the foot of Group E without a point.

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls moved one step closer to booking a spot in the last four of the 2023 Netball World Cup in South Africa after a 61-49 win over Uganda in their first game of the second preliminary stage at the Cape Town International Convention Center on Monday.

Jamaica didn’t have things all their way in the first quarter thanks to a very solid start from the Ugandans.

Uganda scored the first two points of the game but the Sunshine Girls still led 15-12 after the first quarter.

Jamaica picked up the pace to start the second, jumping out to a quick 19-13 lead within the first three minutes of the period.

The Jamaicans stretched the lead to 10 for the first time with 8:00 left in the first half and never looked back.

Eventually, Jamaica won the second quarter 23-9 to enjoy a 38-21 lead at the half.

Despite having less possession than Uganda in the first half, Jamaica forced their opponents into 15 turnovers, eight more than them.

Offensively, Jamaica completed the first half without a missed shot.

Goal Shooter, Jhaniele Fowler, was her usual dominant self throughout the first half with 28 goals while goal attack, Shanice Beckford, had 10 goals. Beckford also had 12 assists while wing attack, Khadijah Williams, had 18 assists in the first half.

Jamaica coach, Connie Francis, made a number of changes for the second half.

Uganda fought back in the third quarter, winning it 16-11 to face a 37-49 deficit going into quarter number four.

Jamaica’s lead built up in the first half proved to be too much for the Ugandans in the end with the final score being 61-49 in favor of the Commonwealth Games silver medalists.

Romelda Aiken-George had 16 goals from 16 attempts in the second half after replacing Jhaniele Fowler.

The Jamaicans entered stage two of the preliminaries with four points and this win puts them level on points with New Zealand on six at the top of Pool G. The top two teams from Pool F and Pool G will advance to the semi-finals.

Jamaica will next play Caribbean rivals, Trinidad & Tobago, on Wednesday.




Trinidad and Tobago suffered a discouraging loss 34-74 to Uganda on Sunday at the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town.

Despite a valiant effort from Afeisha Noel, who scored 29 goals, the Calypso Girls were no match for the She Cranes, who used their trademark physicality to dominate at both ends of the court.

Goalkeeper Muhameed Haniisha proved especially troublesome for the Trinidad & Tobago shooters for Noel and Joelisa Cooper, who only scored three times. After establishing a three goal lead at the end of the first quarter, Ugangda tightened their hold on game as Mary Cholhok and Irene Eyaru seemingly scored at will as their team extended their lead to 33-18 at the half-time break.

If the Trinidadians were hoping for a let-up from their opponents in the third quarter, those hopes were quickly dashed as Uganda upped the pressure even as the Calypso Girls tried to rally. The final quarter was a mere formality and Trinidad were unable to get a foothold in the game as they headed towards their second defeat in three games.

Meanwhile, Barbados suffered their third consecutive loss of the tournament when they went down 48-84 to Malawi.

The Gems were outplayed in every phase of the game but produced a sterling effort led by Kadeen Corbin, who scored 32 goals. Latonia Blackman scored 14.

However, their efforts were never going to be enough against the outstanding Suncorp Super League player Mwai Kumwenda who sunk 42 goals and Joyce Mvula, who scored 37.


 Jamaica's Sunshine Girls continued their triumphant run at the 2023 Netball World Cup, securing their third consecutive win and handing South Africa's Proteas their first defeat in a thrilling showdown on Sunday.

With a resounding scoreline of 67-49, the Caribbean team displayed their dominance on the court, leaving a sold-out crowd at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in awe, even if disappointed at the outcome.

Led by star players Jhanielle Fowler, who scored 39 goals and Shanice Beckford, who had 19, Jamaica asserted their authority from the outset, taking the lead in all quarters and establishing a 32-26 advantage by half-time. Despite the spirited support of the home crowd, South Africa struggled to close the gap against the Commonwealth Games silver medalists.

Goal shooter Lenize Potgieter, who was making her first appearance at the World Cup after recovering from a mild niggle, put on an impressive performance, scoring flawlessly with 17 goals. However, the Sunshine Girls were unstoppable, maintaining possession and extending their lead in the third quarter with an impressive 18-3 scoreline, putting them ahead at 51-29.

As the game reached its climax, South Africa made a valiant effort to bounce back, but Jamaica's precision and determination were unmatched. The final score of 67-49 firmly established Jamaica's supremacy, signaling their dominance in Pool C.

While Nichole Taljaard and Ine-Marí Venter tried their best, making 11 out of 14 shots and 8 of 9 shots respectively, it wasn't enough to halt Jamaica's relentless assault.

The victory places Jamaica at the top of Pool C, securing their spot as the pool leaders, while South Africa takes the second position. The Sunshine Girls' impeccable performance and consecutive wins have boosted their confidence as they advance in the Netball World Cup, further fueling hopes of a first World Cup title.

As the highly anticipated Netball World Cup in South Africa gears up to begin, player security fears have shaken the competition. Jamaica's netball captain and West Coast Fever star, Jhaniele Fowler, fell victim to a robbery just 24 hours before the tournament's tip off.

The 34-year-old shooter took to Instagram to share the distressing incident, revealing that she had been robbed and faced attempts of intrusion into her room in South Africa. Fowler expressed her frustration, stating, "This is so unfortunate, this place isn't safe. First, they stole money from my purse, now people are trying to come in on us in our rooms. Really!"

Fowler's experience has heightened concerns about the safety and security of players during the prestigious event. With the World Cup set to begin on Friday, players and officials are anxious about ensuring the safety of all participants.

Despite the unsettling incident, Fowler remains focused on leading Jamaica to a first-ever world title. Speaking about Jamaica's World Cup campaign, she expressed their strong desire to "bring gold back to Jamaica." With Fowler's experience and leadership, the team is optimistic about their chances of winning the coveted title.

"Our aim is to be here until the end and be on that podium, but we have to take it one game at a time," said Fowler, emphasizing the team's focus on taking each match step by step.

Trinidad and Tobago, like every other team at the Vitality Netball World Cup, have big ambitions.

Though achieving those are easier said than done, particularly where winning the title is concerned, Head coach Joel “Twiggy” Young-Strong, has every confidence that her team will perform with much gusto and prove competitive throughout the tournament in Cape Town, South Africa.

The twin island republic, currently ranked at 10 in the world, is grouped in Pool D alongside Uganda, Singapore, and defending champions New Zealand.

"We have taken a clinical approach for each match, carefully tracking their performances in the lead up to the World Cup, while ensuring the team is building momentum towards the opening clash against New Zealand," Young-Strong told

"Our realistic goals are to improve our rankings and to minimize goal difference, as well as to increase our goals against each of these teams per quarter. We would also like to capture the audience with our rhythmic style and flare, hence the reason why we are called the Calypso Girls," she added.

While they may be small in stature, when compared to the top ranked teams, it should be noted that Trinidad and Tobago is one of only three teams to have lifted the Netball World Cup trophy in the tournament’s 60-year history.

The other two are of course powerhouses Australia and New Zealand. 

Trinidad and Tobago boast this unique distinction, having shared the title with Australia and New Zealand in 1979. Back then the tournament was played over two round-robin group stages with no play-offs, and after the three nations all finished with eight wins and one loss, they were declared joint winners.

They also placed second and third at the 1983 and 1987 editions and though they have lost competitive shape to some extent, that legacy still lives on in the Caribbean team.

In fact, Young-Strong, a former international umpire, pointed out that her team has drawn inspiration from those teams of the past, especially with one member of the championship winning team Peggy Castanada, still involved on the coaching side.

"It is an Honor to be counted amongst the great. It is always a feeling of nostalgia and what we will use to inspires our Calypso Girls to work towards and continue the journey for greatness. I believe that it (winning the title again) is not out of our reach, but we have to start from the ground up and build different and strong foundations," the coach noted.

Despite losing Samantha Wallace to injury, Young-Strong revealed that things are gradually falling into place in terms of readiness, with the likes of Afeisha Noel, Shaquanda Green-Noel and Daystar Swift, among others, expected to carry the fight.

"The preparation has been a challenge. Moreso with the absence of Samantha Wallace due to her injury. Nevertheless, the team continues to build capacity with a blend of experienced and young talent. They have settled down quite nicely coping and adjusting as we go along and the preparation is ongoing, so we are expecting them to give of their best when game time comes," she ended.

The Calypso Girls plays the opening match of the tournament against New Zealand on July 28 with a clash against Singapore the following day before they come up against Uganda on July 30.

Having had much success as a player and now as a coach, former Sunshine Girls captain Nicole Aiken-Pinnock knows all too well about the significance of continuity which is why she is heartened by the presence and, by extension, the exposure of a number of young prospects to senior level competition.

Aiken-Pinnock, who during her time as a defender won a Netball World Cup bronze in 2007, among many other accolades, recently served as Head coach to Jamaica's team which won an historic gold medal at the Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games in El Salvador.

It is no secret that the involvement of youth in sports has the potential to generate positive effects on the fundamental skills for development and having watched the manner in which the young players, in particular, conducted themselves on and off the court in El Salvador, Aiken-Pinnock has no doubt that Jamaica's netball is in a good place.

"The young ladies were very responsive and positive from before they went into the tournament and it was amazing to see how well they conducted themselves professionally and supported each other which is what I think got us over the line, especially in the final against Trinidad and Tobago," Aiken-Pinnock told

"This is a big year for netball in Jamaica and we can only get better from here. These young players are hungry to improve their skills and so we just have to keep working on them from early so we can improve on the quality of netball and that we can also build on the next cycle of players for next World Championship," she added.

 That next cycle Aiken-Pinnock referenced is due to the fact that a number of the country's stalwarts, Shanice Beckford, Jhaniele Fowler, Romelda Aiken-George and others, could possibly bow out of the sport after the upcoming Netball World Cup in South Africa.

It is for that reason why Aiken-Pinnock is even more pleased at the inclusion of rising stars Crystal Plummer, Abigale Sutherland and Kimone Shaw in the 15-member squad to the July 28 to August 6 showpiece.

"I think it is very important that we have these young players in the squad, and I am pleased to see them there. Not only will they have a whole lot of experienced players around them that they can learn from, but being at the World Cup, which is the pinnacle of any player’s netball career, will give them great insight in what it takes to compete at the highest level, and what they need to instill into their own development to get there again," Aiken-Pinnock reasoned.

While the hope is that the Sunshine Girls will break a lengthy World Cup medal drought on this occasion, Aiken-Pinnock pointed out that even if it doesn't happen now, the fact that there is a good platform in place for continuity, means a podium finish could come at the next World Cup.

Along with that 2007 bronze medal, Jamaica also won bronze in 1991 and 2003, and have failed to get on the podium since then, placing fourth, fourth and fifth at the last three tournaments. 

"I am expecting the ladies to do their best, concentrate throughout the tournament, and just execute the quality netball that we know that they are able to showcase. Once they do that then I know they will be on the podium much like they did at the Commonwealth Games last year," she said.

"But for me the key is education and experience like I said, for the next cycle of players. The more we expose our young players to the highest levels of netball, both regionally and internationally, the closer we will get to achieving our objective.

"Once we have continuity within our system, then we will achieve consistent success and the historic CAC Games win which we are beyond grateful for was testament to that and also God's timing. Despite all our challenges, the ladies understood what our goals and objectives were, and they ensured they connected with and supported each other right through out that tournament," Aiken-Pinnock ended.

The Sunshine Girls squad is scheduled to depart for Cape Town on Friday and will open their campaign against Sri Lanka on Friday, July 28. They will then face Wales on Saturday, July 29, before a clash against South Africa on Sunday, July 30.

Jamaica's Netball World Cup squad: Romelda Aiken-George, Shanice Beckford, Jhaniele Fowler, Shimona Nelson, Rebecca Robinson, Nicole Dixon-Rochester, Crystal Plummer, Abigale Sutherland, Adean Thomas, Khadijah Williams, Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Kimone Shaw, Shamera Sterling, Jodi-Ann Ward, Latanya Wilson

Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls have not won a Netball World Cup medal since 2007 when they took bronze in New Zealand.

When they descend upon Cape Town for the 2023 edition of the sport’s showpiece global event, the Commonwealth Games silver medallists will be very aware of their World Cup medal drought, according to Head Coach Connie Francis.

“They are very anxious and hungry to go out there and get one,” Francis told SportsMax.TV.

“We have not medalled in 16 years and I know that the girls are aware of that, especially this bunch. It will be fantastic,” Francis added.

As far as preparation goes, Francis says everything is going according to plan.

“It is going well. We took a break in our preparation for the girls to get some court time playing against each other and it’s really for the selectors and myself to assess and see the players that we need in our squad and I thought that the Elite League provided that,” she said.

“We see some young talent coming through and that’s a positive,” she added.

An initial squad of 28 players will be selected on May 13 before it is cut down to 21 a week later. On May 27, the final 15-member squad will be selected for the World Cup.

Francis described the selection of the squad as a “work in progress.”

“It’s not close, especially for the ones here in Jamaica. It’s a work in progress,” she said.

“It’s about that effort behind the work and seeing players improve every time they’re out there because we’ll be playing nine games in ten days. So, it’s about executing our sessions well and replicating the same things in competition,” she added.

The squad departs the island on June 14 with their first match of the World Cup coming against Sri Lanka on June 28.




It was a happy and hopeful environment at the Summit in Kingston on Friday when Netball Jamaica kicked off their Road to Cape Town campaign ahead of the 2023 Vitality Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.

With just 100 days to go before the start of the World Cup scheduled for July 28-August 6, Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls are going full speed ahead in their preparation for the long-awaited showdown.

In anticipation of the excitement, President of Netball Jamaica, Tricia Robinson, said a provisional team of 23 players will be selected in May before the squad is cut down to 15 in June for the event.

The first edition of the tournament to be held on the continent of Africa will see 16 teams taking part with Jamaica slated to compete in Pool C against the hosts, Wales and Sri Lanka.

“We are hopeful that our selections will dominate the courts in Cape Town,” Robinson said.

Our girls have worked hard and shown tremendous dedication over the past few years and I know that they are ready to take on this challenge,” she added.

Jamaica qualified automatically for the tournament due to their current global ranking of four.

In addition to getting the Sunshine Girls in shape, Netball Jamaica is labouring to secure funding for the World Cup as well as their pre-tournament camp in South Africa.

Approximately $51 million is needed to get the team to South Africa and the local governing body is responsible for raising the funds independently.

So far, $25 million has been secured through sponsorship. Robinson underscored that the organisation is grateful for the contribution from entities like lead sponsor Berylium Limited and main sponsors the National Baking Company, Wray & Nephew and Seprod Limited, who have been playing a critical role in helping Jamaica prepare for the World Cup.

Gilbert has joined the cause in providing kit and ball support while Wisynco is serving as the hydration sponsor. Marathon Insurance Brokers sponsorship of the Elite League has also aided in the team’s preparation.

Additionally, the government has, so far, committed $10 million to partially cover the cost of accommodation, ground transportation, luggage and airport transfer for the Sunshine Girls, while the team’s overseas travel insurance will be covered by the Jamaica Athletes Insurance Plan (JAIP).

Robinson remains hopeful that more sponsors will come on board and support the national team.

“I invite all Jamaicans to join us in supporting our group as we go for gold. Whether you are cheering from home or joining us at the World Cup, let us make Jamaica proud!” Robinson said.

Individuals will soon be able to contribute to the team through the popular crowd funding platform, GoFundMe.

New Barbados Netball Association (BNA) President Dr Carmeta Douglin has announced the establishment of a new coaching structure for the national senior team as they get ready for the Netball World Cup in South Africa this summer.

Dr Douglin told the SportsMax Zone Thursday that the BNA is taking applications for an international coaching director who will work with a three-member local coaching staff.

“That person will come and work with our coaches to really help our netball. It’s a whole team, it’s not just a coach and an assistant coach so we are putting a lot of effort in and we do expect to get some results coming out of that,” Dr Douglin said.

The local three-member panel will comprise a shooting coach, mid-court coach and defensive coach, with one of them to be appointed the head coach. That three-member panel is expected to be confirmed by mid-January and the international coaching director should be chosen by month-end.

“So we will have three local coaches supported by the international coaching director, four persons in our coaching arena and they will be working closely together to develop plans going forward,” said Dr Douglin, who was elected new BNA president early last month after topping unseated President Nisha Craigwell 24-19 at the BNA’s annual general meeting.

Barbados qualified for the 2023 Netball World Cup as No.2 behind winners Trinidad and Tobago at the Americas Netball World Cup qualifying series last October in Kingston, Jamaica.

Currently ranked 14th in the world, Barbados are joining automatic qualifiers Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago as the three Caribbean countries set to compete at the July 28 to August 8 Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa.

Barbados will contest Pool B in Cape Town alongside World No.3 England, Malawi and Scotland. Reigning champions, World No.1 and 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallists Australia are in Pool A with Tonga, Zimbabwe and Fiji, while Pool C has World fourth-ranked Jamaica, South Africa, Wales and Sri Lanka, and Pool D is headed by five-time world champions and World No.2 New Zealand, Uganda, Trinidad and Tobago and Singapore.

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