Barbados to host Jean Pierre Under-16 Youth Netball Championships


The Barbados Netball Association will host this year’s Caribbean Netball Association Jean Pierre Youth (Under-16) Netball Championships which are slated to be held April 2nd to April 8th. The Barbados national team are not only three time winners of the annual event but also are the reigning champions and will look to successfully defend their title next month.
The Championships are to be held at the National Netball Stadium with opening ceremony commencing at 4:00 p.m. and the first game between Barbados and Grenada to begin promptly at 6:00 p.m. The games will be run on two courts so the next game between Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda will start fifteen minutes later at 6:15 p.m. and run concurrently with the game on court two.
Team Coach, Julie Phillips, stated yesterday at the press conference held at the Barbados Olympic Centre that the Bajan Gems as they are known, will represent Barbados well and do the country proud. She also stated that the team had been in training since August last year, three days a week to prepare the girls physically and mentally for the tournament. The girls were led through the paces of everything to expect at the tournament in terms of the rules and regulations along with responsibilities of being a national player. Former national players were brought in to answer questions and also give their own experience of being a national player and representing their country. There will also be the presence of the media and Marsha Boyce was assigned the task of preparing the girls to answer and questions by the media in a professional manner. The championships allow for a fourteen member team to be registered, twelve to play and two as reserves. The Barbadian team consists of Amanda Knight (Captain), Japhia Lucas (Vice- Captain), Tower Lorde, Chante Moore, Quantya Rudder, Stephian Shepherd, Sheridan Straughn, Rashana Thorne, Dayna Babb, Rhenea Gaskin, Zhane Greenidge, Brianna Holder, Shonica Griffith and Chiara Chase. The national management team includes Tracey Leacock (Manager), Julie Phillips (Coach), Alicia Brewster (Primary Care Person) and Denise Alleyne (Assistant Coach).
The Barbados Netball Association has an outstanding netball youth program. The Under 16 team is the primary training ground for the more senior netball teams. They move from Under 16 to the Under 21 team and then finally the national senior team. The Jean Pierre Youth Championships is more than just a tournament according to Kathy Harper-Hall, the president of the Caribbean Netball Association. It was created to provide an avenue for the girls to have cultural experiences and fun during the championships. She stated that it was an expensive affair and that no corporate sponsorship had been found so far and they were in need of assistance that could be given in order to finish finance the championships. The price tag to host the championships is north of $100 000, with the accommodation for the team taking $22 000 of that figure. The government as well as the Barbados Olympic Association have both aided in alleviating some of the expenses by providing the venue free of cost and other small but welcome donations. Nisha Craigwell, the President of the Barbados Netball association expressed the interested of receiving local corporate sponsorship to assist with prizes and also to attach a local sponsor’s name to the main trophy which would give a lot of advertising associated with it since it travels from country to country throughout the year. Sponsorship to provide prizes for the top sixteen players would be welcome as well by the association.
The captain of the team Amanda Knight made a request to the public to come out and support the local girls in their Blue and gold/yellow. The tickets are ten dollars ($10) per person and the foundation recommends that tickets are purchased early in order to ensure one receives a ticket. (AS)

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