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EDITORIAL: Fijian Pearls Boast A Proud Record, Give Credit To Netball

It’s been a week of celebration for Fijians as our sportspeople do our nation proud once again. The achievements of our Vodafone Fijian 7s team in winning the Glasgow 7s
17 May 2015 09:29
EDITORIAL: Fijian Pearls Boast A Proud Record, Give Credit To Netball

It’s been a week of celebration for Fijians as our sportspeople do our nation proud once again.

The achievements of our Vodafone Fijian 7s team in winning the Glasgow 7s and automatically qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games is exceptional.

The Vodafone Fijian Under 20 rugby team winning their first game in Lisbon, Portugal, is commendable.

The Telecom Fijiana 7s team continues to bridge the gap against top nations in the World Women’s Sevens Series in London.

And while we celebrate our victories on the rugby field, we must never forget the equally fantastic record of our Fijian Pearls.

And congratulations must go to the hardworking officials and players over the years who have won gold medals for Fiji in the Pacific Games since 1995 and since the inception of the Pacific Netball Series between Fiji, Samoa, Cook Island and Papua New Guinea.

The Pearls are definitely the undisputed champions of the Pacific and we have been in the top 10 in the world ranking since 1999.

At the last 2011 World Netball Championships in Singapore, the Pearls were ranked 10th

But with collective effort, good planning and having the right people to administer the sport, the Pearls are currently ranked 7th.

This is a remarkable record that has brought great credit to the sport.

Netball Fiji wants to better their current world ranking and the players passionately want to achieve this objective at the 2015 Netball World Cup in August.

And they could not have achieved this without getting the right support.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, Cabinet ministers, businessmen and supporters raised $136,000 at a cocktail fundraising event to help the team prepare for the Pacific Games in July.

Netball Fiji president Wainikiti Bogidrau was grateful for the support.

“We are just so thankful that the business community supported us and we’re definitely humbled. This is to help us on our road to Sydney and it does not stop here. There are other companies who were not present at the event, but will be donating as well later on in the week,” she said.

“We have quite an intensive programme which is part of our road to Sydney campaign. Unlike some of our brothers and sisters in other sports, netball does not derive any financial assistance from our parent body, the International Netball Federation (INF).”

Netball is getting the right help from the right source because they have the right people taking the sport forward.

The Fijian Pearls will definitely get tough competition in Port Moresby after the introduction of the international eligibility rule where it allows Samoa and Cook Islands to include players from Australia and New Zealand.

But the Fijian Pearls, under the guidance of Kate Carpenter, have been preparing well with hit-outs against the Silver Ferns, Pepes, Singapore and Samoa.

And they could only get better.

At the 1991 South Pacific Games, Fiji dropped to its lowest of the low, losing to Tonga in the bronze medal playoff at the Rita Flynn Netball Court.

The Pearls return to the same venue 24 years later in July.

The team boast a good record; it’s time we give netball credit as they have done Fiji proud over the years.

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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