Ferryman: We’re paying Gumbs the same amount as Lee

Local netball is making sure its top coach has financial support.

The Cayman Islands Netball Association is continuing to spend the majority of its government grant on a national coach, in spite of decreasing public sector funding. Technical director Andrea Gumbs is reportedly being paid $50,000 per annum on a two-year deal. Association vice president Norma Ferryman said Gumbs will be implementing a lot of initiatives for that salary.

“The association advertised the post for technical director in local and overseas papers, such as the International Federation of Netball Association news magazine to members,” Ferryman said. “Ms. Gumbs is getting the same salary as Gillian Lee, roughly $50,000-$60,000 per year with deductions as per the labour law.

“The association expects her to increase the number of individuals playing netball, build a strong foundation by working with the primary and high school levels, improve the levels of our national squads – from Under-12s to adults and train coaches and work with schools to improve their netball skills and organize leagues and rallies. The association has more expectations for Ms. Gumbs but those listed are the most important ones.”

According to the 2014-2015 purchase agreements between Cabinet and the association, government is giving less funding for netball. The sport is being granted $64,125, down from $69,654 for the 2013-2014 fiscal period. By comparison, former technical director Gillian Lee was paid $50,000 out of the $77,393 and $69,654 government budgeted for the sport in the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 purchase agreements, respectively.

Gumbs, who arrived in Cayman late last month, hails from England. She previously said her goals included increasing Cayman’s international standing, setting up junior clubs and establishing more volunteer coaches and umpires.

She will be looking to improve on the job done by Lee, who came from Australia. Her most notable achievement during her two-year stint was the formation of the national Under-21 team that finished 17th out of 20 countries at the 2013 World Youth Netball Championships in Scotland.

Local netball is in the early stages of its new season, with primary and high school leagues ongoing. The Turtle Netters youth development program started this month and the annual uniform parade to launch the adult competition is slated for next month.

Ferryman says Gumbs is ready to lead the sport.

“Ms. Gumbs loves her job and loves working with children and schools. She had to spend some time settling in and she is now ready to begin coaching. She is looking forward to meeting the principals and physical education teachers in the schools. She is ready to move netball forward.”