Wilson preps for Calgary scores

Teneisha Wilson feels Cayman netball has prepared well for foreign opposition.

Wilson, 26, is a member of the national women’s team and has been in the sport for over 17 years. She says the squad has sound leadership.

“I am very excited to be a part of the national team training to compete in Calgary in the tournament,” Wilson said. “Over the past years of playing netball, I have been fortunate to be coached by the likes of the late Jean Pierre and now by two of her students, Nicola Williams and Lyneth Monteith, in which they have dedicated the time necessary to get us prepared for the competition thus far.”

The Cayman Islands Netball Association is preparing its top ladies for the 2014 American Federation of Netball Associations Championship on August 19-29. The Calgary tournament serves as a qualifier for the 2015 World Netball Championships in Australia, with the top teams earning automatic berths. Cayman is among the association’s member countries in the Americas region.

Cayman is looking to catch up with its Caribbean neighbors. Jamaica is fourth in the world, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago are ninth and tenth, respectively, St. Lucia is 15th and Bermuda is 31st. A pair of Caribbean countries are in the process of gaining a world ranking in Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Wilson says her expectations for Canada are modest.

“For the team I am hoping that we go out there and make our country proud and hopefully coming away with a place to move forward to the World Championship in Australia next year and for myself just looking forward to the challenges and definitely more exposure.”

Wilson is one of 13 girls on the roster, the others are: Carrie Barnett-Carter, Marsha Campbell, Alexis Carias, Kayon Clarke, Katherine Gow, Nickesha Lynch, Tashena Parks, Nicola Pringle, Karen Smith-James, Keren Watson, Aaliyah Webb and Rosemarie Wilson. The group has been training since January.

This is the first women’s team Cayman has fielded at an international event in years. While the ladies have significant experience on the local scene, few have competed on the international level with Carias, Webb and Rosemarie Wilson competing for Cayman’s national Under-21 team at the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships in Scotland.

Teneisha Wilson, listed at 5-feet, 10-inches, plays Goal Defense and Goal Keeper for the Conyers All Stars in Cayman’s national women’s league. Netball, which is one of her passions along with her three sons, has taken her to St. Vincent – where she won the Under-16 Youth Championship – and Jamaica, where she claimed the 2003 World Netball Championship in Kingston.

Funding has been an issue for the trip as the association is short of roughly $38,000 for the trip. According to association secretary Onicia Mitchell, a total of $60,000 is needed and in the past few months, approximately $22,000 has been raised through fundraising events, such as fish fries. The association is now planning a raffle on June 30 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex netball courts to make a further dent in the amount required.

Teneisha Wilson states playing in Canada would be a huge honour.

“I would be extremely overwhelmed to represent my country as it is would be a true testament of my hard work and dedication.”