The qualifiers for the Netball World Cup 2019 have now been completed and I was delighted to be able to attend the Draw for the pools in Nottingham, England.
Congratulations to the Netball World Cup 2019 organising committee for staging the Draw, which took place during the prestigious Vitality Goalden Globe Awards, honouring England Netball’s wonderful and inspiring volunteers.
So now we are on the countdown and the teams and preparing in earnest for what I am certain will be a thrilling event. Africa has four countries taking part, demonstrating the strong growth of the sport in the region and I am really delighted that for the first time in its history, Zimbabwe will be taking part in their first World Cup.
The Netball World Cup Legacy programme is underway in conjunction with UK Sport and I am excited with the impact it is making to increase knowledge, skills and number of qualified coaches we have in Zambia and Argentina. These projects are so crucial to the future growth of Netball in these countries and I am grateful to all involved in this important project.
I am also thrilled that we have joined forces with leading media rights agency Lagardère in our quest to take Netball worldwide and show as many people as possible what a great sport netball is.
I’d like to congratulate the Emirates Netball and Dominica who have achieved full membership of INF and we welcome back Antigua and Barbuda and Kenya. Congratulations also to new IUAs Joel Brown, Wayne Benti and Bronwen Adams, New ITIDs Joanne Lilly, Sasha McLeod, Leonard Masao and Victor Boikhutso Tuelo and ITP Cadet Tracy Skipp.
Congratulations must go to Uganda for hosting, and winning, the World University Netball Championships in October. In a thrilling final they beat reigning champions South Africa by just one goal.
Also, congratulations to New Zealand, winners of the Fast5 Netball World Series in October by one goal to Jamaica in another intensely competitive final. Our thanks must go to the Fast5 organising committee for putting on such a fantastic event in Melbourne for the last three years.
As we move forward it is important that Netball continues to be seen in a positive light, always operating in a manner which is consistent with our values. Good governance in so important in sport and as I travel around the world visiting our Members I continue to drive home this message so that all of us can take pride in seeing Netball be a leading role model to other sports.
As ever, thank you to everyone around the world who continues to give their time, passion and expertise to make Netball the powerful, and empowering sport that it is.
With my best wishes
The Hon. Molly Rhone OJ, CD
President – International Netball Federation