Read our President’s Christmas message
When I reflect on 2018, I am filled with great pride for everything that has been achieved throughout the year. Netball continues to grow in many ways; welcoming new officials, gaining recognition and continuing to make important strides in all our three key strategies – Governing with Integrity, Empowering through Netball and Thrilling World Class Events.
The Commonwealth Games were held in April, in the Gold Coast, Australia. The netball competition did not disappoint and culminated with the England Roses making history by winning their first ever Commonwealth Games Gold Medal, beating the Australian Diamonds.
2018 saw the five regional qualifier events for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2019; congratulations in particular to Zimbabwe on qualifying for their first Netball World Cup.
In December, England Netball excelled at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards 2018, winning both Team of the Year and by popular vote by the general public the Greatest Sporting Moment of the Year. This is fantastic recognition for the team and our sport. Congratulations to Coach Tracey Neville and the England team.
Fast5 Netball World Series 2018, held in Melbourne was won by Netball New Zealand, proving their dominance in this short form of our game. Fast5 is really taking off with competitions happening worldwide. You can watch the Series on our YouTube Channel here.
The latest INF World Rankings have shown great improvement in many of our members. New Zealand returned to 2nd place, with Jamaica rising to 3rd. We saw a great improvement from Sri Lanka, moving up 7 places into 19th. Congratulations to St Vincent & Grenadines, USA, Thailand and Argentina who have re-entered the rankings. We finish the year with 39 teams in the INF World Rankings and a further 11 countries well on the way to playing the requisite number of games.
Netball’s leadership development opportunities continue to grow throughout all areas of our sport and I am thrilled that during the past year the INF have appointed new members to our Coaching and Rules Advisory Panels. We recently announced the five Regional Officiating Coordinators who will start their term of office in January. Many thanks to those who have contributed to all these roles especially those who have stepped down in 2018.
In 2018, 4 newly qualified International Umpire Award (IUA) holders, 7 new International Talent Identified Umpires (ITID) and 1 new International Umpires’ Award Testing Panel (ITP) Cadet have been awarded.
Our Governance Committee has been leading us through a programme to ensure we operate with high standards of transparency and good governance, drawing on a wide range of best practice from within the sports movement and outside. We continue to work with our Membership to promote safeguarding and the welfare of all our participants including children, administrators, technical officials and coaches.
Netball continues to grow from strength to strength at the grass roots, with many amazing development schemes creating opportunities worldwide. We are so grateful to all our volunteers who give so much time, skill and energy to ensure netball is active within their communities and regions, delivering benefits to the health and wellbeing of our participants.
In the final quarter of 2018 our Netball World Cup Bid Evaluation Committee has been assessing the two strong bids to host our premier event in 2023 – one from Auckland, led by Netball New Zealand and one from Cape Town, led by Netball South Africa. We will announce the host in 2019.
2019 is set to be another extremely exciting year for world Netball as we plan for the Vitality Netball World Cup, Liverpool. This will be a great opportunity for the world’s best netball players to showcase their talent in the heart of this vibrant international city. INF is working with Lagardère Sports and Entertainment to ensure viewers around the world will have access to see the games as they take place.
I am extremely proud of everything that Netball has achieved over 2018 and, in what will be my final period as INF President, I am excited to see what 2019 holds for Netball.
I wish you a very happy festive season and a successful year ahead.
With my very best wishes
The Hon. Molly Rhone OJ, CD
International Netball Federation