To start the new year World Netball President Liz Nicholl CBE sat down with Caroline Barker at BBC World Service Sport to discuss the Commonwealth Games, World Netball’s goals for the year ahead, and Olympic potential.
In October 2021 it was announced that there would only be two compulsory sports at the 2026 and 2030 Commonwealth Games, Swimming and Athletics, as the Commonwealth Games Federation set out a new roadmap.
This meant netball would now be an optional sport, however Nicholl explained that World Netball would remain committed to being included in the games.
“We have to now work hard to make sure that our sport is a sport of choice and within the up to 15 sports that can be presented.
“It is clearly going to be a higher risk when it is not a strong netball nation that hosts the event, we have to think about what we need to do to actually continue to develop our sport in a way that actually adds value to these multi-sport events and to evidence that added value.
“I remain convinced that netball has a very strong part to play in the Commonwealth Movement.”
In World Netball’s 2021 Strategic Plan under the core value ‘play’ a goal was set to deliver an International Event Strategy that showcases the very best of our sport to more people, more often and included a clear and credible position on multi-sport games, including the Olympic Games.
In August 2021 World Netball, alongside Netball Australia, then declared their intent to see netball become part of the Olympic Games’ sporting programme at Brisbane 2032.
Speaking on World Netball’s intention of being included in the games, Nicholl said: “Whatever our proposition is for the Olympic Games, it must be good for our sport.
“Win or lose, it has to be good for our sport, every effort we put in, every ounce of energy, every ounce of resource we put in has got to be in the direction of our strategic plan so that it is good for netball anyway, then it wouldn’t be a failure because we would have achieved lots on that journey.”
To finish of the interview, Nicholl spoke about how proud she was of the Netball Family and how well all nations had dealt with the challenges of the pandemic.
“I have been absolutely amazed by how our volunteer network has coped and managed over this period, how positive they have remained and how innovative they have been.
“I have just been amazed that 102 international matches have been played over the last 17-months.”
To listen to the full interview, click here.