Analysis

Netball Must Shift To Retain Popularity 

Netball is popular that apart from the usual IDCs there are other organisations that organise their annual tournaments alongside fundraising drives, soccer and rugby sevens tournaments.
30 Sep 2021 13:54
Netball Must Shift To Retain Popularity 
From left Fijian Pearls squad members Matila Vocea and Ema Mualuvu (played for the PacificAus team during the Born To Shine series last month. Photo: Netball Queensland

Netball is the most popular and oldest female dominated sport played with unfaltering enthusiasm in all age groups in Fiji.

Schools’ Inter District Championships usually boast the participation of more than 700 primary and more than 500 secondary schoolgirls who would converge over two to three days playing in their respective grades.

Netball is popular that apart from the usual IDCs there are other organisations that organise their annual tournaments alongside fundraising drives, soccer and rugby sevens tournaments.

Now with many male dominated sporting bodies introducing women competition, netball can lose its popularity if the authorizing body does not have clear plans and the right people on board.

Following the Fijiana’s sevens rugby bronze win at the recent Olympics in Tokyo there has been noted enthusiasm among women to swap the round ball for the oval ones.

Fiji Rugby Union first woman director Mere Rakoroi rightfully said that women’s rugby is heading towards a brighter future.

Meanwhile hope is on the horizon for Netball Fiji following the three appointments this week of chief executive officer Vivian Koster, sports development manager Sandeep Prasad and financial administrator Amit Singh.

Pacific Women in Sport Administration programme managed by Netball Australia is financially backing NF.

NF with a good strategic plan on hand should achieve its goals and targets. First it must improve its ranking in the world. This can entice players to stick with netball.

Fiji has competed at nine World Netball Championships and two Commonwealth Games since 1975 and 2002 respecively. Its standing plunged from number six to being on the 14th position now.

Fiji has won gold the South Pacific Games since 1991 and currently Pacific champions winning all Pacific series since its inception.

There has been change of hands in the coaching department with Julie Hoornweg the first expatriate to coach the national side.

Her being coach in the late-1990s saw Fiji finishing sixth place in the 1999 World Netball Championship in Christchurch, New Zealand which was Fiji’s best world ranking so far.

As of 2019, Fiji is at the 17th position in the INF world rankings.

With Brisbane hosting the 2032 Olympics there is a possibility that netball be included – if things work right, NF should be on track for that. NF must have the right people on board to execute their mission.

Feedbackkaralaini.waqanidrola@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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