Unity carries Green on and off the court

This week marks the return of local
netball after a brief break.

Four matches take place at the
netball courts at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex. Two are on tap tonight at
6pm with two others coming up at 6:30pm on Saturday.

One team slated to be in action is
Team Unity. Leading the side as always will be team manager Faye Green. The
middle-aged Jamaican national will be hoping for a lot of effort from her girls
and a win.

So far the club has not done well
in division two of the Cayman Islands Netball Association senior women’s
league.

Through the first month of the
season the side has not won a match. To be fair all of those losses came by
seven points or fewer.

As Green (who is here on a work
permit) states her side has struggled due largely to the effect of the rollover
policy on team chemistry.

“The rollover has affected the team
very much. Once we get strong players they have to leave,” Green said. “I put
in new people but they don’t gel well. With new people I find you have to learn
that person and their abilities and configure the team all over.

“When we get a strong one often
times they have to focus on their work and that damages the team a lot. All in
all there is still a learning curve this year. There are a lot of young ones
and not enough of the older ones on the team. It takes time to figure out how
things go.”

As the Windsor Park
resident alluded to, the squad has been in a funk for some time. Last year the
club was also near the bottom of the rankings as it finished fifth with just
one win in its division.

However the side has seen a fair
amount of talent over the years.  Green
named a couple of those stalwarts.

“Natalie Shaw, Tanesha Scafe, Zanya
Smith (the team captain and Green’s grand-daughter), Christine Grant and Elaine
Broomfield are the older players on the team,” Green said. “Since the team
started two years ago all but Elaine have been on the team.

“Juliet Mullings was with the team
over the last two years as well but she’s not on the team this year.”

In spite of the talent level and
performance of the team Green prefers to focus on the themes of togetherness
and harmony, which she states are at the core of the club.

“My motivation out there is to
connect and fellowship with the teams we face,” Green said. “It’s not about
winning but rather uniting with other people. In times like this we have to
unite any way we can else we’ll break down.

“Our team name comes from a desire
to get the adults and youth together. We feel everyone should be brought
together and know that there are people who are trust-worthy.”

 Team Unity, which started in 2008, is actually
the second local team Green started. The first was a club called “Stay Alive”
that began in 1994.

As always Green (assisted by Unity
team coach David Wilson) keeps the team rooted at New Testament church on North Sound Road in
George Town.

“I first came to Cayman in 1991,” Green
said. “I left in 1999 to go to the United States to spend time with my
sister and I’ve been back here since 2006.

“I was involved in netball here
since 1994 when I started “Stay Alive.” I was there alongside Jean Pierre
coaching, playing and umpiring. I still play these days (any position you put
me in I can do) and I coach though I do not umpire now. I help instead with
timing and score-keeping for the leagues.

“We train by New Testament church
every Thursday evening for two hours. I’ve been a member of the church for 36
years (coming from Jamaica)
and I’ve been in charge of the sports facilities at the church here since 1994.

“We practice with Roma now and they
give us good support. They push us to come up and they stay by our side. When
they’re not playing they come to our games and support us.”

Green (the mother of eight children:
five boys and three girls) credits her love for the sport back to her days in
her native Kingston.

“I’ve been in netball 30 odd years.
I started many teams back in Jamaica.
I also worked with many clubs like the Constance Springs Police club and I
still support them.

“I’ve always been into sports as I
enjoy cricket and football. But I really love netball dearly, mainly because I
know I can play. I give extra effort and I like imparting my knowledge to the
younger ones who can take the mantle from me.”

Team Unity is always on the hunt
for more players and netballs. Interested persons can contact Faye Green at
328-6681.

SPORTSzanyaSTORY

Zanya Smith is the team captain this year.
Photo: Matthew Yates

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