As 2021 draws to a close we’re looking back on some of the key moments in international netball. Throughout December we will be adding an overview of each month of the year until we have a full recap of 2021 on this page.
Jean Hornsby Cup
The year started with a non-ranking international match involving the England Roses. Due to COVID, Jamaica couldn’t come over for the series, so the Roses faced the Vitality Netball Superleague Stars who they beat 3-0.
Pakistan Netball Federation
After being postponed in 2020 due to COVID-19, Pakistan Netball Federation started to conduct their PNF Elite Girls Netball Development Programme.
World Netball Associate Members, Norfolk Islands, started their year on a high as they had their courts resurfaced. This work was able to take place thanks to the Australian Government’s Economic Stimulus Package and sustained fundraising.
Netball South Africa’s lockdown TV returned
In February 2021 we saw the return of Netball South Africa’s very successful lockdown TV. Our Members Netball South Africa used their YouTube channel to keep the Netball Family connected throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic. If you want to re-watch any of the interviews, click here.
B2022 competition schedule update
With just over one year to go until the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games the netball sessions and timings were announced for the netball competition at the event.
Thursday 25th February marked #AFNADay 2021. The day was used to celebrate AFNA and its Members, share the fantastic work of those in the region and celebrate the development of netball across the Americas. To read Americas Netball President Marva Bernard’s message on the day, click here.
International Women’s Day
We began March celebrating International Women’s Day. This global day celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. In 2021 the campaign theme was ‘Choose to Challenge’, because individually we are all responsible for our actions and thoughts and we can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. To find out more about how we celebrated this day and read our President Liz Nicholl CBE’s message, click here.
Our first World Netball ranked matches of the year took place in March at the Constellation Cup in Christchurch, New Zealand. The New Zealand Silver Ferns were crowned Constellation Cup champions after a 45-43 win against the Australian Origin Diamonds in Christchurch. This is the first time the Silver Ferns have won the Cup since 2012. To find out more, click here.
Next up we had the return of the SPAR Challenge in South Africa Cape Town, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. South Africa welcomed Namibia and Uganda for the Challenge, and the hosts secured their sixth win in the SPAR Challenge Tri Nations netball tournament. For more information on this event, click here.
World Netball announced the outcomes of the World Class Officiating Programmes
World Netball announced the outcomes from its World Class Officiating Programme Review which took place with key representatives from officiating, players, and administrators in international netball. To find out more about the review, click here.
International Day of Sport for Peace and Development
6th April marked the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. April6, as declared by the United Nations in 2013, is a celebration of the work being carried out every day by sport organisations, athletes, coaches and NGOs that play a fundamental role by transmitting the educational values of sport to people of all ages throughout the world. World Netball celebrated the day and took part in the #WhiteCard campaign which you can find out more about here.
Play True Day
Just three days later on 9th April, we celebrated Play True Day. Since 2014, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and the anti-doping community worldwide have celebrated this day and dedicated it to Clean Sport. To find out more about Play True Day, click here.
WN World Rankings Update
On 9th April we also updated the WN World Rankings which reflected the matches played from 29th November 2020 up to 31st March 2021. Including the Constellation Cup and SPAR Challenge Tri Nation Netball Series. Find out more about how this update impacted the WN World Rankings here.
The Malawi Netball Association signed a development partnership with the Malawi Schools Sports Association.
On 26th April, we announced that Sydney would host the 17th staging of the Netball World Cup in 2027. The world class event will coincide with Australian Netball’s centenary celebrations. To find out more about the event, click here.
In May, the SPAR Proteas captain and now World Netball Ambassador, Bongi Msomi distributed over 12,000 packs of sanitary towels to girls and young women.
Netball Singapore officials, Vivian De Silva, Yu Bee Ling & Jessica Teng shared their skills with the netball community in the Philippines by running an online umpiring rules clinic. It was great to see our Members being so creative!
Rhian Edwards received International Talent Identified Umpire (ITID) status following a recommendation from Welsh Netball in accordance with the World Netball procedures. To find out more, click here.
World Netball rebrand
On 2nd June 2021 under a new name and logo, the International Netball Federation (INF) announced an official rebrand to World Netball alongside the launch of a strategic plan which will shape the future of the sport and drive positive impact around the world. The rebrand was followed by the Your Netball World Campaign which included the virtual mosaic and Courage Ambassador competitions.
NWC2023 Logo revealed
On 8th June the South Africa, Cape Town 2023 Netball World Cup Board officially unveiled the logo for the World Cup that will be hosted at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). Click here for more information on the unveiling and to see what Netball South Africa President, Cecilia Molokwane, had to say.
3 new ITID’s
World Netball announced that Louise Cole, Natalie Gregan, and Farrah Jaura had received International Talent Identified Umpire (ITID) status following a recommendation from England Netball in accordance with World Netball procedures. More here.
Voice of the athlete working group
To finish off a busy month, following the launch of the new strategic plan World Netball announced their new ‘Voice of the Athlete’ Working Group on 29th June. Under the WN core strategic pillar ‘Govern’ this working group highlights the importance of working collaboratively with those who live and breathe netball every day. To view a full list of athletes included in this group, click here.
Technical Delegate for the Netball World Cup 2023
World Netball appointed Charlotte Schotlz as the Technical Delegate for the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town, South Africa. Scholtz will be undertaking this role on a part-time and voluntary basis and will be working with the World Netball Board and CEO, as well as liaising with the Host Organising Committee and the Host Member Netball Association prior to and during the event. To find out more about the appointment, click here.
First virtual Congress
Due to the ongoing constraints of COVID-19 on 10th July World Netball held its 2021 Congress virtually. All Members were sent World Netball boxes with newly branded merchandise ahead of the Congress where Shirley Hooper was elected as the new Vice President of the organisation. To find out more about the 2021 WN Congress, click here and to find out more about Shirley’s appointment click here.
Virtual Mosaic Reveal
To mark two years to go until the Netball World Cup 2023 in Cape Town South Africa, on 28th July World Netball revealed their virtual Mosaic. The Mosaic was filled with over 1,400 inspirational stories from athletes, officials, and grassroots netball players from around the world with individual messages from every continent. You can view the mosaic here.
Birmingham 2022 – 1 Year to go
28th July marked 1 year to go until the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. To celebrate the organisers held a free live sports festival in Centenary Square, Birmingham.
International Friendship Day
To end another busy month we celebrated International Friendship day on 30th July. This is a day that recognises the relevance and importance of friendship as a valuable part of our lives. To mark the day we asked our netball family to comment on our social media posts with picture of them and their netball friend, tag World Netball, and use the hashtag #HereIfYouNeed. We picked a winner at random and sent them some World Netball Merchandise.
World Netball announced that Cory Nicholls had received International Talent Identified Umpire (ITID) status following a recommendation from Netball New Zealand in accordance with World Netball procedures. Morehere.
World Netball announced that Kirsten Lloyd had been given International Umpires’ Award Testing Panel (ITP) Cadet status, following a recommendation from Netball New Zealand in line with World Netball procedures. More here.
Gibraltar to host NWYC2025
August was an exciting month for World Netball, and it started with Gibraltar being announced as the hosts the Netball World Youth Cup in 2025. The tournament, which showcases the world’s top 20 teams aged 21 and under, will take place in two main competition venues in Gibraltar – The Tercentenary Sports Hall and Europa Sports Park, which was built for the 2019 Island Games.
Following the Your Netball World Campaign World Netball also began to announce their new Ambassadors who would stand for the ETHICAL values outlined in our strategic plan what you can view here. The first Ambassador to be announced in August was our Courage Ambassador Sara Donovan. Sara was chosen by the World Netball judges from our 350 nominations and will now attend the Netball World Cup 2023 with a special role to play. You can read Sara’s inspiring story here.
In August we then also announced Jamaican duo Marva Bernard and Shamera Sterling as our Teamwork and Americas Athlete Ambassadors, Umpire Gary Burgess was announced as our Integrity Ambassador and to finish off the month Charmaine Soh was announced as our Athlete Ambassador for the Asia region. To find out more about our Ambassadors, click here.
Philippines Full Member
We didn’t just gain 5 new Ambassadors in August; we also gained a new Full Member when our Members voted in favour of the Philippines’s Netball Association joining taking the total of Full Members in our Netball Family up to 50. To view a full list of our Members and Regions, click here.
Olympics 2032 announcement
In our newly published Strategic Plan one of our aims was to develop and deliver an International Events Strategy that showcases the very best of our sport to more people more often and includes a clear and credible position on multi-sports games, including the Olympic Games. This key aim falls under of strategic value ‘play’ and in August we took a step towards achieving this when we announced alongside Netball Australia our intention to be included in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic Games. You can read the press release here.
Northern Ireland vs Republic Ireland
Finally, to conclude the month we had return of an international test series between Northern Ireland and Ireland. This was the first test match since March.
World Netball announced that Kate Mann had been awarded the International Netball Umpire Award (INUA) by World Netball. More here.
Taini Jamison Trophy
We started September just as we finished August, with more international netball. This time it was the Taini Jamison Trophy in New Zealand. England beat New Zealand in the 2nd and 3rd Test Matches to win the series for the first time on New Zealand soil. You can read our overview of the series here.
In September we started a new campaign called #SignalSaturday. Every week on our Twitter and Facebook we posted an Umpiring hand signal and asked our Netball Family to comment below what the hand signal meant and use the hashtag #SignalSaturday to be in with a chance of winning World Netball Merchandise.
Mary Waya and Geva Mentor
In September we announced two more World Netball Ambassadors, Mary Waya and Geva Mentor. Waya was chosen to be our Heart Ambassador and Mentor was chosen to be our Athlete Ambassador for the Europe Netball region. To find out more about our Ambassadors click here.
World Tourism Day
27th September marked World Tourism Day and to celebrate we asked out Netball Family to share their favourite netball trips with us on social media. We shared lots of pictures from previous international test series on our Instagram story and it made us very excited for the Commonwealth Games in 2022.
Mosaic winner announced
Throughout our Your Netball World Campaign we asked our Netball Family to send in their netball memories and stories to our Mosaic. We received over 1,400 entries and in September Olivia Simone’s entry was picked at random and she won a trip to the NWC2023. You can still view our virtual mosaic here.
Sports Business Awards
Speaking of the Your Netball World Campaign… our World Netball rebrand and campaign was shortlisted for a Sports Business Award in 2021 too!
We started the month announcing another World Netball Ambassador, Bongi Msomi. Msomi was announced as the Athlete Ambassador for the Africa Netball region and you can find out more about her appointment here.
Europe Netball Open Challenge
Our recently announced 2025 Netball World Youth Cup hosts, Gibraltar hosted the Europe Netball Open Challenge in October. The UAE won the competition for the first time, and you can re-watch all the action from the tournament on Europe Netball’s YouTube channel here.
Margaret Beckford Series
The Jamaican Sunshine Girls hosted the Trinidad and Tobago Calypso Girls in the Margaret Beckford Series in October. The hosts finished the series unbeaten, and you can watch their final victory of the Calypso Girls here.
Birmingham 2022 top six qualifiers
On 25th October World Netball and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) announced the top six qualifiers for the Birmingham 2022. Hosts, England, qualified automatically alongside the top five Commonwealth Games Federations based on the WN World Rankings as of 28th July 2021. These included: Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, South Africa, and Malawi.
World Mental Health Day
10th October marked World Mental Health Day. To raise awareness of this important day World Netball shared their first ever reel on Instagram reminding the Netball Family to check in on their teammates even away from the court. It takes three seconds, the same amount of time as one centre pass or shot. You can watch the reel here or read more about World Mental Health Day here.
World Netball President, Liz Nicholl CBE, was awarded the Arthur Bell Trophy at the Sport and Recreation Alliances 2021 Annual General Meeting in October. The award was to acknowledge Nicholl’s outstanding services to sport and recreation, and in receiving the award she is following in the footsteps of Sir Bobby Charlton, Baroness Sue Campbell and Lord Sebastian Coe. Congratulations, Liz! To find out more about the prestigious award, click here.
The Namibian Netball Association hosted the Pent Series from 1st-5th November 2021. They welcomed Uganda, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Kenya for 5 days of competition, with Uganda being crowned champions as they finished the series unbeaten. To find out more about the event, click here.
Africa Netball Cup
On 9th November the Namibian Netball Association hosted their second test series of the month, The Africa Netball Cup, with Botswana, Tanzania and South Africa joining the teams that had just competed in the Pent Series. South Africa finished the Series unbeaten and were crowned champions for the second year in a row. You can find out more and re-watch the matches here.
Battle of the Saints
The long-awaited Battle of the Saints also took place in November, after being postponed twice due to COVID. The Series took place In St Maarten and involved the hosts as well as Antigua and Barbuda and an invitation team. To find out more about the event and the results, click here.
Birmingham 2022 announced the match schedule for the up-and-coming Commonwealth Games. The schedule means that England Netball will be involved in the first match at the Games against one of the teams still to be announced. For more information and to view the match schedule, click here.
International Men’s Day
The Netball Family celebrated International Men’s Day on the 19th November, by sharing stories of men involved in netball. From officials, to players, and netball Dads we celebrated them all on our social channels. Find out more about International Men’s Day, here.
England Netball and EMMNA
Following on from International Men’s Day our Members, England Netball, announced their partnership with the England Men’s and Mixed Netball Association (EMMNA). The partnership will now see both organisations join forces to develop and grow the male game in England. You can find out more here.
Once again, we celebrated the men in our sport as World Netball announced that Gareth Fowler and Joshua Bowring had been automatically re-endorsed as International Umpire Awardee’s. Find out more about this prestigious award the World Class Officiating programme here.
Vitality Roses Reunited
The Vitality Roses Reunited Series came to an end in December, after the Roses and Jamaica went head-to-head three times at two different venues in England. The Roses won the Series after winning the first two matches; however, Jamaica then went on to win the final game in Nottingham. The Series also involved two showcase matches between an England Development squad, London Giants and Knights Men’s. You can find out more about the series here.
Scotland Test Series
Netball Scotland hosted their first series in over two years from the 2nd-5th December at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena. They welcomed Barbados and the Isle of Man for 5 days of competition. To find out more about the series and the results, click here.
The World Netball Medical Committee attended the International Olympic Committee Medical conference in Monaco, where they presented a poster on the Injury and Illness Surveillance done at NWC2019. Well done to our Medical Committee!
Bongi Msomi – Queen’s Batton Relay
World Netball Ambassador and South Africa Proteas captain, Bongi Msomi, was part of the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Msomi was part of the last leg of the baton’s journey in South Africa, at the Cape Town Stadium. The baton will return to Birmingham, England in time for the Commonwealth Games in July 2022.
Ryan Allan – England Men’s and Mixed Netball Association (EMMNA)
Following England Netball’s partnership with the England Men’s and Mixed Netball Association (EMMNA), in December we caught up with EMMNA president Ryan Allan. We spoke to Ryan about the growth of men’s and mixed netball and the importance of teamwork and collaboration. You can read our interview with Ryan here.
Netball Scotland were awarded the rights to host the European Netball World Cup Qualifiers in 2022. The event will take place from the 14th – 18th October 2022 at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, and will include six nations; Scotland, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Wales, Gibraltar and Isle of Man.You can find out more about this event here.
World Netball CEO Clare Briegal
World Netball CEO, Clare Briegal, was elected as a council member of Association of International Olympic Committee (IOC) Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF). The ARISF General Assembly was held on-line on 15th December and Clare was elected to serve on the Council for a term of four years. For more information, click here.
World Netball World Rankings update
On the 21st December World Netball updated the WN World Rankings which reflected matches played since the 31st March 2021 up to the 5th December 2021. To view the updated rankings, click here.
World Netball announced ITID status for three South African Umpires. Congratulations to Salomé Britz, Tharina Opperman, and Theophilus Moletsane on their new status. Find out more here.
World Netball and Netball New Zealand announced that the FAST5 Netball World Series would be returning to the international calendar in 2022, with New Zealand to host the fast-paced tournament for the next three years. You can find out more, here.
What a year we have had!
Thank you to our World Netball Family for their continued support.
We would like to wish you all a happy and healthy new year, and we look forward to continuing to grow, to play and to inspire with you all in 2022.
You can now read World Netball President, Liz Nicholl CBE’s, President’s Christmas message, here.