(SNO) – Saint Lucia is getting set to contest the 2018 Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)/Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Under-23 Netball Tournament in St Kitts and Nevis at the Pam Tyson Netball Stadium from July 7-21.
The 28th edition of this competition, which Saint Lucia last won in 2014, and back to back in 2004 and 2005, will be contested by Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Nevis, St Kitts, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines. Defending champions, Grenada will be absent.
Saint Lucia’s 11-member team will see the return of former national captain and the tournament’s Most Valuable Player in 2014, Ianna Hippolyte, an elite attacking player from Soufrière. Ianna was missing from last year’s squad.
Returning from the team that finished third and won Best Team Spirit in 2017 are Verne Alexander (C/WA), Jermiah Evariste (GD/WD), 2017 debutante Aaliyah Estephor (C/WD/GD), Everlou Linor (GS/GA), Shaneika Paul (WD/GD), Tamara Samuel (GD/WD/GK) and Tanny Williams (GA/C/GS/WA).
Joining Ianna on their return to national colours are centre Joselyn Hubert and goal shoot Kamala Mangal, whilst rising shooting star Dasha Eugene is set to make her debut at this level. The team will be coached by Donnalyn Joseph.
Ianna, Joselyn, Kamala and Daysha come in for Nena Joseph, Siana Jameson, 2017 debutante Abigail Fedee and a pair of teenagers who have been part of the last two U23 teams, Kiana Nelson and Megan Nestor. Kiana and Megan are to play in a schools tournament in Jamaica this month.
The ECCB has been the official sponsor of the tournament since 1991, and over the years has been collaborating with the OECS Commission to stage this regional competition.
In keeping with its commitment to the overall development of the region’s young netballers, this year’s developmental session, which has been a key feature of the tournament since 1999, will focus on the theme: Youth Employment: Create or Await.
Special Project Coordinator to the President, Monroe College, Kimarah T Isaac, will facilitate the session.