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Team Saint Lucia set for OECS/ECCB International Netball

By Terry Finisterre, St. Lucia News Online freelance sports writer

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Netball Saint Lucia has put together a very intriguing squad to contest the first-ever Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) International Netball Series, sponsored by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

The tournament, which will contribute to International Netball Federation rankings points for the teams involved, replaces the former OECS / ECCB Under-23 competition. The series is being held in St Vincent and the Grenadines, 15-21 June.

Team Saint Lucia is led by veterans Shem Maxwell, Rommela Hunte-Prospere, Roxanne Snyder, and Judie Mathurin. An intriguing addition to the team is Makeba Alcide, Saint Lucia national record holder for women’s heptathlon, transitioning to a new sport. Lerkisha Felix and Sharm Jn Pierre are also young veterans, who have represented at various levels in the past.

Meanwhile, the unit includes five youth players, two of whom are straight out of the under-16 division. Those are Dasha Eugene and Racquel John. Bernet Joseph and Tanny Williams are recent U16 players, whilst Kiana Nelson is an U20 player who has been part of Team Saint Lucia for the Windward Islands School Games competition.

Those five are eligible for the National Under-21 Netball Team that will participate in the World Youth Netball Cup 2020 Qualifier for the Americas in Trinidad in July 2020. Missing, though, is multiple junior netballer of the year Megan Nestor, who opted out of training with the national team.

The Saint Lucia team is managed by Veronica Harris, with Donalyn Joseph as coach and Lyndel Forde as the assistant coach. Other team officials include Sanya Monerville, Gemma Lionel, and Netball Saint Lucia president Rufina Paul.

Five teams will do battle for the first Gloria Ballantyne Championship Trophy in the inaugural OECS/ECCB International Netball Series, under the theme: Excellence and Empowerment Through Sports. Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines will compete for netball supremacy at the Arnos Vale Sporting Complex.

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