Net­ball’s loss

Daily Nation (Barbados) - - World/region - Ria Good­man

Sports are tak­ing the back seat again at an­other of their ma­jor fa­cil­i­ties. The Ba­jan Gems were un­able to dodge what may be con­sid­ered a ma­jor set­back on their road to the 2019 Net­ball World Cup in Liver­pool af­ter be­ing forced to can­cel a four-team Test se­ries due to the un­avail­abil­ity of the Wildey Gym­na­sium. The re­cent de­vel­op­ment quashes any hopes the team had of gain­ing much-needed com­pe­ti­tion against ninth-ranked Scot­land, Samoa and Grenada be­fore next sum­mer’s World Cup. Pres­i­dent of the Bar­ba­dos Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion, Nisha Craig­wel, told WEEK­END SPORT there was a clash at the Gym as the Bar­ba­dos Can­cer So­ci­ety had al­ready booked the venue for its Caribbean Christ­mas event on De­cem­ber 8 and 9. “The Gym­na­sium was not avail­able for the dates that we had pro­posed. That can­cel­la­tion now leaves a gap be­cause we now have to ne­go­ti­ate for some type of com­pe­ti­tion be­fore we go off to the World Cup which is in July,” said Craig­well. “It was quite con­ve­nient for teams to be com­ing to Bar­ba­dos. With a team com­ing from as far as Samoa and with a team like Scot­land that is ranked higher than us, that was com­pe­ti­tion we were wel­com­ing so we have to start from the be­gin­ning to try to se­cure com­pe­ti­tion.

“We may ei­ther have to go some­where, but that will take fi­nances, or even try again to get some­body to come,” she added .

It’s the sec­ond such in­ter­rup­tion in as many weeks for a na­tional sport­ing team as the Bar­ba­dos Pride are now slated to play their first two home matches of the CWI Re­gional 4-Day Cham­pi­onship at the 3Ws Oval in­stead of Kens­ing­ton Oval.

Ap­par­ently the Oval has been booked to stage Hen­nessy Artistry be­fore the In­ter­na­tional Rugby 7s takes to the pitch at Kens­ing­ton a week later.

Pro­pos­als de­nied

Bar­ba­dos Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Conde Ri­ley ex­pects no ma­jor set­backs with the move, but Craig­well ex­plained that they reached out to other coun­tries only to have those pro­pos­als de­nied be­cause those na­tions al­ready had their cal­en­dars fixed.

“They plan for an en­tire year in ad­vance. We don’t have the lux­ury of do­ing that be­cause of both fi­nan­cial rea­sons and the avail­abil­ity of the Gym­na­sium so you can’t plan for the Gym­na­sium be­cause we are shar­ing it with the other sport­ing bod­ies and who­ever else wants to host an event there,” said Craig­well.

“It all comes down to when the Gym­na­sium will be avail­able be­cause we are at home and this is the only in­ter­na­tional court we have. We gained some new spon­sors but in all fair­ness to the spon­sors we would have to speak to them on what we re­quire, de­pend­ing on where we de­cide to go or if some­one is go­ing to come here.”

In the mean­time, while they get their heads around ac­quir­ing that com­pe­ti­tion, the team is stead­fast in their train­ing.

The Gems have also gained a new man­ager in na­tional bas­ket­baller Shakira Shorey, who Craig­well be­lieves will be a valu­able ad­di­tion with her ex­pe­ri­ence in the Un­der-16 na­tional team and ac­tively play­ing in the league an­nu­ally.

“Train­ing is still very in­tense, it is truly a sac­ri­fice. They are train­ing at the Net­ball Sta­dium three days a week with some other ac­tiv­i­ties which in­volve giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity and some other com­mu­nity projects,” said Craig­well.

by ria­good­[email protected] na­tionnews.com

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