Netball needs injection

$200,000 needed for Australia world tournament trip

The Barbados Netball Association (BNA) is on a quest to raise $200,000 for their trip to Australia for the World Netball Tournament which comes off later this year.

President of the BNA Neisha Craigwell said it has been a task so far in raising those funds for the tournament, which comes off August 7 to 16.

President of the BNA Neisha Craigwell
President of the BNA Neisha Craigwell

“Traditionally we have been having assistance from the National Sports Council and the Barbados Olympic Association and those were our main sources but due to how the financial situation is now in Barbados, it is a tall order to get just over $200,000. We are still relying heavily on those two entities,” Craigwell said.

She added they have been having other fund-raising activities but these were specifically geared toward the Under-16 netball team which also have an upcoming tournament in St Lucia next month.

“Traditionally our fund-raising events are focused to when netball is played which is from March to June. We would not have gotten the opportunity to have support from our membership outside of the time period because we also have another team that is travelling in less than two weeks. Our Under 16 team is going to St Lucia to compete in a regional tournament so we also needed to concentrate on them. They placed second last year and we expect them to win this year. The fundraisers that we did in summer and Christmas last year were focused on the Under-16 group but now that they are almost on their way we can focus on the seniors as well,” she said.

Additionally Craigwell said the BNA now had two major sponsors from corporate Barbados who were offering much assistance.

“We have been continuously reaching out to corporate Barbados. For the first time in a long time we have two major sponsors on board. Freakz Customz –– they are assisting in the local season, which we also needed assistance with. They are sponsoring our division one league competition. Little League Gym –– they are the title sponsors for the senior knockouts. So the fact that they are taking care of those two elements means that we can concentrate on the funds for Australia,” the president said.

But she said there was still a long way to go to raise the $200,000 to reach Australia in August, stressing that it was crucial that they did not miss the tournament.

“We need to get to Australia because if we don’t go it would affect our ranking which is tenth in the world, “ she said.

This is coming on the heels of Saturday’s launch of the BNA’s 2015 season, which this year coincided with the 40th anniversary, celebrated on March 15.

Over 20 teams took to the busy streets of Bridgetown for a motorcade, which made three stops in Lower Broad Street, Cave Shepard and Independence Square.

They were greeted at the Garfield Sobers Sports Complex by Mother Sally and the green monkey and ushered into the gymnasium by the sounds of Poonka and the Tuk Band.

In delivering the feature address, Member of Parliament and Leader of Opposition Business Santia Bradshaw spoke in glowing terms about the history of netball and saluted the early builders of the game.

In giving advice to the young ladies gathered, Bradshaw encouraged them to stay focused and to continue to see netball as a family. She sympathized with the netballers in their quest to raise the hefty sum of money for their Australian tour.

Carolyn Sinckler, former national player and former chairman of the National Sports Council, in giving her reflections, spoke about how netball had shaped the lives of young ladies and how over the years she had seen the format change. She said she still believed netball was the preferred sport among females.

During the launch, there was also a celebrity netball game which saw the likes of Eric “Archibald Cox” Lewis, Carl “Alff” Padmore, Mikey, Ian Webster, AnnMarie Burke, Shaki K, Sammi G, Nubian Queen, Brian Holder and Antonio Moore. Red Plastic Bag was the manager of the celebrity team.

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