The Rising Stars Under-21 netball players continued training in preparation for overseas competition this year when other teams took a break for the summer.
Rising Stars Netball Club is invited to the annual invitational section of the USA Netball Association’s National Championships. This year’s competition was held in Delray Beach, Florida last month.
Rising Stars policy is to provide skill building opportunities for their players, both locally and overseas, so the club tries to make the best of these invitations whenever possible.
The girls fundraised and trained tirelessly to ensure that this trip could be a success. At the tournament, all their hard work and dedication paid off as the girls emerged first place winners in the USANA Invitational Junior category.
As well as playing in the U-21 category, they were also slated to compete against several senior teams who they played fearlessly and even won a few games. Rising Stars also had the pleasure of playing a friendly against the Flying Eagles, the USA national team, who were conducting trials at the championships.
Coaches-Tricia Skyers-Palacio and Orvin Palacio were impressed with their players. Palacio said: “It was a pleasure seeing these girls make the best of this opportunity. They shone like the stars that they are on and off the court.
Skyers-Palacio said: “The exposure and experience that these girls have gained from playing in the Adult Open League here in Grand Cayman, was well displayed in the USANA Championships.
“We are very pleased with the growth and maturity displayed by our youngsters. With everything that is going on around us with our young people, it is uplifting and encouraging to see them realise their value through hard work and commitment.”
As a club without a sponsor, the entire Rising Stars family worked hard to ensure that the girls could have this opportunity. The management of the club instituted a mentoring system-where the trip team players were paired up with senior members of the club who would assist the girls with their personal fundraising efforts as well as keeping them motivated to come to training and be disciplined.
This initiative worked very well and the U-21 trip team and their coaches thanked the mentors and the other club members for their support.
The club also thanked the individuals who assisted with and supported the many fundraisers, the parents of the players who were very supportive and had faith in the coaches and the vision of the management and the chaperones who ensured that the girls were taken care of at all times.
Gillian Lee, the new technical director, also worked with the girls in the final preparations for the trip. Her assistance was greatly appreciated by the team and the girls learned a lot in a short period from her.
The Rising Stars U-21 trip team members were in order of age: Annique Blake-13, Shanai Allen-13, Alexis Carias-14, Tennille Rankin-14, Aaliyah Webb-15, Rose Marie Wilson-16, Gelyssa Rankin-19, Karla Rankin-19, Chane Watt-20 and Brittny Rose (capt)-21 Coaches: Orvin & Tricia Palacio, Manager: Kady Myers, Chaperones: Dellroy Myles, Patrice Boothe, Ann Marie Moiten and Gwendolyn Brown.
To be a sponsor for the Rising Stars Netball Club, contact Tricia Skyers-Palacio on 925-2958 or 917-2805 or at [email protected]