Wed | Oct 21, 2020

Sunshine Girls need to get back on court - Netball Jamaica president to lobby Government to approve protocols

Published:Thursday | September 17, 2020 | 12:07 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Robinson
Robinson
Sunshine Girls Adean Thomas (left) and Nichole Dixon ( right), along with other members of the team, go through their paces during a recent  training session at the Leila Robinson Courts.
Sunshine Girls Adean Thomas (left) and Nichole Dixon ( right), along with other members of the team, go through their paces during a recent training session at the Leila Robinson Courts.
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President of Netball Jamaica Tricia Robinson is making an urgent appeal to the Government of Jamaica to approve their protocols, which would allow for the national senior netball team to return to the training courts.

The Sunshine Girls are scheduled to face rivals England in a three-Test Series at the Copper Box Arena in London, England, from December 1-6.

Robinson told The Gleaner that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the girls have been doing a lot of virtual training for the series, as their proposed protocols, which would see the team return to the courts, have not yet been approved by the Government.

“We have submitted our protocols to the Government, as you know, and so we are going to focus on imploring them to allow the girls to go on court to train,” said Robinson. “Except for the girls who are overseas playing in the Suncorp League, we have only done online training and so we need the girls to be on court.

“It is very important for us to get match-ready and comfortable on court with the passing and off-the-ball movements, and so the coaches are depending on us to speak to the relevant parties to get the girls on court,” Robinson added.

Jamaica currently has six players plying their trade in the Suncorp Super League. They are captain Jhaniele Fowler, Romelda Aiken, Shamera Sterling, Shimona Nelson, Jodi-Ann Ward and Kadie-Ann Dehaney.

“She (head coach Connie Francis) is anxious to get her girls on court because this series is very important to us, as the last time the girls played together as a unit was in January of this year,” Robinson said.

The Sunshine Girls are ranked fourth in the world, one place below England in the standings.

“It is a ranking series because you know that funds are critical, and so you have to utilise the opportunities that you get to ensure that the ranking is there,” said Robinson.

“I know that the Government is under constraints because of the pandemic, but I need the squad on the court. We are happy that the minister of sports has been appointed, and so we are going to be making contact with her regarding this series,” she said.