Netball

Save Netball, Revive Club Competitions

Netball Fiji relies on affiliates for the development of the sport in their own districts which is not right. We need national executives that have similar interest in netball leading the way - Timaima Vulimailaucala
08 Aug 2019 14:34
Save Netball, Revive Club Competitions
NewWorld IGA Suva netball Roses grade competition action between Ablaze and Grasshoppers at National Netball Centre on July 13, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Netball can only thrive if the national body does some serious development and reviving of club competitions.

With only three functioning associations at the moment in NEWWORLD IGA Suva Netball, Nadroga/Navosa Netball and Nasinu Netball, this is a clear indication of the lack of plan and strategy put in place by Netball Fiji in creating awareness on the development of the sport at grassroots level.

Gone are the days when district/club competitions were actively organised on a weekly basis around the country alongside with the primary and secondary schools competing in their respective grades as well.

This has died out over the years and without doubt explains the impact it had on the underperforming 17th ranked Fijian Pearls.

New World IGA Suva Netball Association president Timaima Vulimailaucala said there was a lot work need to be done by Netball Fiji in making sure grassroots level benefit from it.

“It is sad that club level competitions are not as active as they used to be,”she said.

“Netball Fiji relies on affiliates for the development of the sport in their own districts which is not right.

“We use to actively organise club competitions every Saturdays where we use to have the central tournament for all the central based clubs competing. This had really boosted the interest of the sport in the country.

“I believe if sport like rugby has their main body the Fiji Rugby Union going down to district/club level to develop the sport and lift their standard of play why cannot Netball Fiji do the same?”

“There are no proper mechanisms or rather strategies in place for the development of the players especially at grassroots level. We have so much raw talents out there at club/district level that needs such awareness and proper development programmes in assisting them and getting them opportunities to represent at national level.

“We need NF executives going down to these districts/villages and looking at the potentials we have.

“Also, another concern I have is that we need national executives that have similar interest in netball leading the way.

“If you see for instance Nadi is a dead association. There hasn’t been any update on how the association is progressing, however, Lautoka has been slightly coming back in the limelight while Suva, Nasinu and Nadroga have been active.

“Good sponsorship backing is very vital as all clubs needs finance to organize competitions and I feel Fiji National Sports Commission should relook at the amount funding they give out every year since it’s not enough.”

Meanwhile, Nadroga West Netball Association president Judy Kumar also shared her disappointment on the lack of work done by Netball Fiji in the development of the sport at grassroots level.

“There should be a lot of prominence and opportunities given for the development of the club and district level and Netball Fiji have a huge part to play in this,” Kumar said.

“Lack of sponsorship is another aspect and I support Netball Fiji president Wainikiti Bogidrau for being able to get sponsorships. But she needs the assistance of a whole lot of people to accomplish the goal of developing the sport right from the grassroots.

“Looking at our association, our primary and secondary schools are doing tremendously well with their weekly competition being organized. But there is still a lot to be done in monitoring in the development aspect of the sport in the country.”  Tomorrow: Netball Fiji?

Edited by Osea Bola

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