The Saint Lucia National Netball Association has outlined a 10-point priority list for the year, running from October 2014 to August 2015.
The organisation held its election of officers in early September, and a new executive (led by Mrs Liota Charlemagne-Mason as President) was put in place to run the affairs of the sport for the next two years.
One of the few bright spots for Saint Lucia netball in 2014 was victory in the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Under-23 Championships. But after a year in which national netball teams wer last at the Caribbean Under-16 Championhips, Commonwealth Games and Windward Islands School Games, the new executive knows its work is cut out.
In 2015, SLNNA will be looking to field teams in at least three or four regional competitiions. On the cards for the next year are the Under-16 tournament, to be hosted by Saint Lucia in April; the OECS Under-23 in July; the Caribbean Senior Championships in August in St Vincent & the Grenadines; and possibly a regional under-13 competition.
Towards fielding more competitive teams in the coming 12 months, first vice-president of the SLNNA, Melesia Charles, says preparation for 2015 will begin in November. “We are hoping to begin training much earlier than we have in the past, and we will have those squads in training by next month,” she said in a rcent radio interview.
But President Charlemagne-Mason says the full priority list, which includes changing the look and feel of the organisation, a stronger relationship with affiliate bodies, focus on club development and human resource development, and early planning for the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, is geared towards building stronger national teams.
“The executive has been busy making plans for the upcoming year,” she explains. “Our priority areas include rebranding the Association, setting up a database of clubs/teams/players/officials/volunteers, engaging in more competitive quality netball year-round, club development, officials development, certification of officials, fundraising and participation in all regional tournaments.”
Starting on Saturday 4 October, the exectuvie will be staging a series of whistle stop tours in various communities to meet with and build the membership of the organisation. These drives will involve meetings with affiliates, members, schools, teachers and Youth and Sports Councils. The first tranche of membership drives will encompass the west coast, Anse La Raye to Vieux Fort.
The Association has also given top priority to marketing and rebranding the sport. PRO Genevieve ‘Jenny’ St Croix says $500 is on offer as first prize in a logo competition which runs until 31 October. The competition is open to anyone under the age of 23, and the submitted logo must include the theme of netball and should have a national connotation. Interested persons can email [email protected] for more information.