Sherry Ann Blackburn, president of the TT Netball Association (TTNA), stated that in order to help this nation prepare for the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, the association must immediately step up preparations by bringing in experienced minds.
At the Americas Netball World Cup Qualifiers on Wednesday night at the National Indoor Sports Centre in Kingston, Jamaica, TT qualified for the World Cup with a 43-27 victory over USA.
This was TT’s sixth straight triumph in the qualifying rounds. Before playing the United States, TT won over Antigua and Barbuda, Cayman Islands, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, and Grenada.
Blackburn stated, “This is really a terrific thing for TT netball.” To reach to this location, we would have worked hard. It hasn’t ended yet. Even if we have already qualified, there is still plenty to do to keep netball at the top of the sport’s rankings.
At the most recent Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England, in 2019, TT came in ninth place. Blackburn stated that the TTNA will take action to aid the team’s World Cup preparation.
“We’re going back to the drawing board, putting our heads together once more, inviting some wise people into the boardroom, and formulating a plan for the World Cup. We are going to plan our strategy to win because we genuinely want to take back the sport and win as we did in 1979.”
TT shared the championship trophy with Australia and New Zealand at the 1979 World Cup in Port of Spain. It is TT’s lone netball championship.
Samantha Wallace, a prominent player for TT, is out injured for the qualifications in Jamaica.
Blackburn noted that other players had the chance to participate in the qualifiers in Jamaica. He is expecting that all players will be healthy when the World Cup kicks off.
“We have high hopes that players won’t be hurt and that we’ll take the necessary steps to speed up their recovery. In contrast, these (injuries) are some of the difficulties that can arise when playing a team sport, and if we do not have the people we are accustomed to, we must develop new relationships in those settings. Activities like these will assist us in doing this.
Joelisa Cooper was the star performer for TT against the USA, scoring on 20 of her 24 shot attempts. 15 of 16 were scored by Afeisha Noel.
TT surged off to an early lead, leading 18-8 at the end of the opening quarter and 27-13 at the half.
They maintained control of the game in the second half and led 38-19 at the end of the third period. In the fourth quarter, USA outscored TT 8-5, but they were unable to overturn the gap.
After press time on Thursday, TT was attempting to defeat Barbados in Jamaica with a seventh straight victory.