Carrie Barnett-Carter has visions of Cayman netball rising to glory overseas.
Barnett-Carter, 28, is a member of the national women’s team and has been playing netball for 18 years. She says there will be a breakthrough performance in Calgary, Canada.
“I feel confident that we are going to come out victorious as our coach is doing a great job and we are getting better and better,” Barnett-Carter said. “My expectation is to come back from Canada undefeated or at least having qualified for the 2015 world championship, nothing short of that will show off our hard work!”
The Cayman Islands Netball Association is preparing its top ladies for the 2014 Americas Federation of Netball Associations Championship on Aug. 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 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 18th and Bermuda is 30th. Grenada is in the process of gaining a world ranking.
Barnett-Carter is among 13 girls on the roster, the others are: Marsha Campbell, Alexis Carias, Kayon Clarke, Katherine Gow, Nickesha Lynch, Tashena Parks, Nicola Pringle, Karen Smith-James, Keren Watson, Aaliyah Webb, Rosemarie Wilson and Teneisha Wilson. The group has been training since January.
Barnett-Carter says she is honored to be on the team.
“It is such a great honor to be on the final squad, representing Cayman in a game I love so much.”
This is the first women’s team Cayman has fielded at an overseas event in years. While the players have significant local experience, few have competed on the international level with Carias, Webb and Rosemarie Wilson having played on Cayman’s national Under-21 team at the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships in Scotland. Funding had been an issue for the Canada trip as the association needed a total of $60,000 and struggled to raise over half of that sum in the past few months.
Barnett-Carter, listed at 5-feet, 7-inches, is a star defensive player. The Roma netball club member has played goal defense, goal keeper and wing defense over the years. She also competes in the sport of flag football and says her motivation for Canada is to replicate gridiron success.
“It is indeed a great honor to be a part of the Cayman team as I have called Cayman home for seven years and nothing gives me more pleasure than representing the place I call home at this level. As a team, we hope to make the Cayman association president, our coaches and Cayman proud. I represented Cayman in flag football in the Bahamas invitational tournament and we came back undefeated. I hope to accomplish the same in Calgary.”