The St. Vincent and the Grenadines National Female Senior Netball Team touched down at the Norman Manley International Airport in Jamaica on Thursday October 13, 2022,, to officially begin their campaign to qualify for the 2023 Netball World Cup scheduled for South Africa in July of that year. They were greeted on arrival by Marva Bernard, President of Americas Netball and Dwayne Gutzmer, Head of the Local Organising Committee.
Their long journey began yesterday morning, Wednesday October 12, 2022, when the twelve players, along with the coaches and management, left the island bound for Trinidad and Tobago on the first leg of the journey.
Wednesday,before boarding the CAL flight to Port-of-Spain the Vincentian Netball delegation met with Acting Prime Minister Montgomery Daniel, Minister for Sports Frederick Stephenson, and Minister of Health St. Clair Prince at the VIP Lounge at the Argyle International Airport. All three Cabinet officials wished the team success in their endeavours in Jamaica.
During the event, the team took a call from Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves from his location at the time in Barbados. He wished the team success in their efforts in Jamaica. Team captain Ruthann Williams on behalf of the team, thanked Prime Minister Gonsalves, then Acting Prime Minister Daniel, and Ministers Stephenson and Prince respectively.
Meanwhile, president of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Natasha Baptiste is confident of the team’s success in Jamaica, as they seek to qualify and gift St. Vincent and the Grenadines with World Cup qualification. “These 12 young ladies who have been selected are energetic, they are hard working and are dedicated to the cause. We have recently developed a mantra which thanks to Mr. Robertson Henry ‘12 players…One Flag…One Country…One Mission…One Road to South Africa.’
“We are confident that we have what it takes to qualify because the young ladies are mentally prepared for this task. We want to bring back an independence anniversary gift to the nation because we return to the country on the 26th October.
The team held its first practice session on Friday, and their first game is on Sunday morning against the USA at the National Indoor Centre. The twelve players are: Kimesha Antoine, Joseann Antoine, Kaywanna Charles, Shanice Daniel, Shellisa Davis, Nerissa Delpesche, Mary-Ann Frederick, Niya Miller, Shania Pompey, Jo Maria Quashie, Dilonie Sam, and Ruthann Williams.
The management team is Natasha Baptiste – Head of Delegation, Joan Foster-Baynes – Manager, Godfrey Harry – Head Coach, Vasha Adams – Assistant Coach, and Javed Marksman – Physio. Accompanying the team to Jamaica is sports journalist / photographer Robertson S. Henry, as the team’s media liaison.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is seeking to grab one of two available spots. When the qualifiers ends on October 22, 2022, two countries apart from Jamaica, would have qualified for the Netball World Cup in South Africa next year.