Netball is one of six focus sports
in the Cayman Islands. In 2010 the discipline came into focus on a number of
occasions at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts in George Town.
It all began in January with the
start of Cayman’s annual national netball league. Put on by the Cayman Islands
Netball Association the competition featured a number of teams in the first and
second division. In the end Roma, behind spectacular play from scorer Kay
Copeland and captain Sudan Powell, would claim their first national title by
beating perennial contenders Butler Properties All Stars in the division one
final in May.
March saw the sport’s first ever
all-star night which featured an exhibition game and shooting competition.
Organized by the Department of Sports and the Cayman Islands Netball
Association, the game featured over 15 of the sport’s best players. Pauline
Bodden, Lexie Solomon and Rosemarie Wilson claimed the shooting trophies on the
evening and the West all-stars won the all-star game.
Mid-March would see East End
primary and Prospect primary claim the 2010 primary school netball league
championships. East End were the B division winners over George Town in extra
time while Prospect defeated John A Cumber primary by one point.
In April Cayman’s Under-16 team
took part in the Jean Pierre memorial tournament in Barbados. The squad placed
fourth in its four-team division during the 10-day competition after facing
three other countries in Bermuda, Guyana and St. Kitts (Bermuda was the
winner). Among the notable players on the team were Shanai Allen, Rosemarie
Wilson and Lexie Solomon.
Summer was unusually quiet for
netball though the sport honoured the top performers in the 2009-2010 national
league season. In addition to the winners and runners-up, individual awards
were given in areas such as best effort and most disciplined.
The first weekend in September saw
the start of the 2010 mixed league. The competition saw a delay from its usual
August starting period due to a lack of numbers. However the competition would
prove fierce and crown a new champion in November in the form of local
sportsman Richard Allen and the Frank Hall Homes Blazers. Made up of a number
of last year’s All Stars mixed league champions, the side cruised to the
tournament title ahead of both the All Stars and Roma.
By the end of September the
association put in place a number of new initiatives for the 2010-2011 season.
For starters matches will see an admission fee of CI$3 for adults and CI$1 for
kids. In addition a Youth Development Committee was formed that has planned an
Under-17 Inter-District Netball competition along with the introduction of a
U14 and U17 leagues in 2011.
Lastly in November the annual
opening parade for the upcoming national league took place. Numerous teams came
out in their playing kits and club banners. This year’s guest speaker was Linda
McField and the Minister of Sports Mark Scotland was in attendance.
Ultimately netball has been on the
forefront of local sports for years. Based on the happenings in 2010 that
position does not seem like it will change in the New Year.