The Uganda National Netball team have emerged as one of the early fairytale stories of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) after qualifying for the Netball competition at the Commonwealth Games for the first time.
Leaping from 13th to ninth in the recent International Netball Federation (INF) World Ranking List after defeating Malawi to win this year’s Africa Netball Cup, Uganda were today announced as one of 12 competing nations to qualify for the GC2018 Netball competition.
Uganda will join the INF’s top ranked teams including Australia, New Zealand, England and Jamaica as well the likes of crowd pleasers, the Malawi Netball Queens, who have also continued their surge on the world stage since making their debut at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.
The GC2018 Netball Competition commences with preliminary matches at the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre from 5-12 April before culminating in the finals matches at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on 14-15 April, 2018.
The top-12 ranked teams according to the INF World Ranking list as of 1 July 2017 have qualified for the GC2018 Netball Competition as follows:
Netball fans won’t have to wait long to learn which teams they will witness in each session of the preliminaries, with the official draw for the GC2018 Netball competition set to be held on the Gold Coast in the coming weeks.
Each team will comprise a maximum of 12 athletes, with a total of 144 athletes participating in the Netball competition.
Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) President Louise Martin CBE said:
“Netball is a sensational sport and a firm favourite with fans and broadcasters.
“Thanks to the International Netball Federation’s tireless work developing and promoting the sport and its athletes, the quality and depth of competition is at its highest ever.
“I’m delighted to see such diversity of representation from across the Commonwealth and look forward to cheering on the teams in a thrilling tournament in April 2018.”
GOLDOC Chairman Peter Beattie AC said:
“The popularity of netball in Australia has been reaffirmed with the strong public demand we have seen for tickets to both the GC2018 netball preliminaries and finals.
“Today’s official confirmation of the competing nations further strengthens our belief that spectators will witness an outstanding level of competition during the GC2018 netball competition.
“It will have the classic rivalries such as Australia and New Zealand as well as rising nations such as Malawi and Uganda, who we know will capture the imagination of the public.”
International Netball Federation President, the Hon. Molly Rhone OJ, CD said:
“We are confident that the GC2018 Netball Competition is going to be a fantastic showcase for our sport and a thrilling world class event.
“It is particularly exciting to see Uganda qualify for their first Commonwealth Games, after their recent rise of four places in the World Rankings. We are very much looking forward to seeing all our amazing athletes take to the world stage next April.”
Uganda Netball Federation President Suzan Anek said:
“We are absolutely thrilled to have qualified for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and can’t wait to be part of the action on the Gold Coast.
“The standard of competition is going to be fantastic and we are looking forward to the challenge of competing against the best netball nations in the world.”
Uganda Netball Captain, Peace Proscovia, said:
“We are so happy that our team will be competing in our first ever Commonwealth Games.
“This is one of the greatest achievements in the history of Ugandan netball and we can’t wait to represent our country at such a prestigious event.”
Commonwealth Games Minister Kate Jones:
“It’s exciting to be able to announce the nations that will be showcased on the Gold Coast in April next year.
“These Games are going to be the biggest sporting event in Australia this decade and we know that Netball is going to be one of the real highlights of the GC2018 sports competition.”