It’s official, we’re on the #RoadToFiji. The journey to the Netball World Youth Cup, 2021 began last month in February 2020 when we launched our campaign #RoadToFiji which will take you to the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Over the upcoming weeks, we will be focusing on the history of the tournament starting from when it very first began in 1988.
As part of the Australia Bicentenary celebrations in 1988, a new international youth tournament took place in Canberra, Australia. The World Netball Youth Championships were established with Australia taking home the first gold medal.
In 1992, the World Netball Youth Championships headed to Suva, Fiji where 11 teams competed to be crowned champions. New Zealand defeated Australia in the final to gain their first championship title and the Cook Islands took home the bronze.
The tournament moved to the North American continent for its third edition of the event in Toronto Canada, 1996. After the success of the first two events, this year saw 18 teams compete with Australia claiming its second gold championship title.
2000 was the year that the World Netball Youth Championships headed to the United Kingdom. Cardiff, Wales hosted the fourth edition of the event with 11 teams participating. Australia secured its third gold medal win, and Jamaica took home its first-ever World Youth Championship medal as they finished in silver.
In 2005, it was back to America and the Sunshine State for the 5th edition of the event. Fort Lauderdale, Florida hosted the event which saw 20 teams participate, a significant increase from the last event. The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand was intense with New Zealand claiming back the World Youth Championship title. England took home their second silver medal and Australia went from gold to bronze.
After Australia’s performance in 2005, they came back fighting in 2009 in Rarotonga, the Cook Islands as they regained their title of World Youth Champions after defeating England and New Zealand.
2013 saw the World Netball Youth Championships take place in Glasgow, Scotland. New Zealand took home gold, Australia silver, and Jamaica bronze, claiming their second medal in tournament history.
In 2017, the World Netball Youth Championships became the Netball World Youth Cup. The event headed to Gaborone, Botswana for the first International Netball Federation event on the African continent. It was another tense match between Australia and New Zealand, but the Kiwis managed to gain a 3-point lead securing their 4th gold medal win. England took home bronze after a comfortable 70-35 win against Fiji.
2017 was the first event that all matches including the qualifiers were streamed live via the NWYC social media channels. Catch up on what happened in 2017 here.
In the past 32 years, we have seen 8 Netball World Youth Cup events take place in 8 countries across four continents. Not only does the Netball World Youth Cup provide an opportunity for young women and girls to experience international netball it also empowers women and girls around the world and puts the sport on a world stage.
In 2021, the Netball World Youth Cup will be held in Suva, Fiji at the Vodafone Arena. As international netball heads back to the heart of the Pacific, we can’t wait to experience another world-class event with our athletes, teams, members, officials, fans and the island of Fiji.
To find out more about the Netball World Youth Cup, click here.
To register your interest in the Netball World Youth Cup 2021, click here.