Sixty participants representing schools from Gardnersville, Paynesville, Central Monrovia and Bushrod Island are expected to participate in a two-day coaching workshop of the country’s newest sport – netball.
The Liberia Netball Association (LNA) organizes the netball coaching training, and Gibson Otis Nyanneh – former basketball and volleyball player, is expected to serve as facilitator.
Mr. Nyanneh is also physical education instructor at the AME Zion College University.
The two-day training is scheduled from Friday, June 19 to Saturday, June 20, in the auditorium of the Jimmy Jolocon High School, located on the Somalia Drive, beginning at 10:00am.
The LNA was established and subsequently accredited by the Ministry of Youth and Sports on Thursday, December 4, 2014.
The Sports Bureau of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in consultation with Deputy Sports Minister Henry B. Yonton, Jr. assigned Clara Tue as focus person over the newly established sport.
LNA president Wallace G. Weiah said the association is currently processing its official membership with the International Netball Federation (INF) – the global governing body of netball.
INF is based in the United Kingdom and it is also committed to developing grassroots netball throughout the world, including Liberia.
Netball is a ball sport played by two teams of seven players. Its development, derived from early versions of basketball. It is played on a rectangular court with raised goal rings at each end. Each team attempts to score goals by passing a ball down the court and shooting it through its goal ring.
Players are assigned specific positions, which define their roles within the team and restrict their movement to certain areas of the court. During general play, a player with the ball can hold on to it for only three seconds before shooting for a goal or passing to another player. The winning team is the one that scores the most goals.
Netball games are 60 minutes long. Variations have been developed to increase the game’s pace and appeal to a wider audience, according to an official netball document in the possession of the Daily Observer.
Netball was brought to the country through the kind courtesy of Football to Development Destitute (FODEDE), a local sports organization operating in the country.
The Executive Director of FODEDE, Madam Rochell D. G. Woodson, during the 6th edition of the IWG World Conference on Women and Sport held in Helsinki, Finland applied for membership owing to an interaction with the Executive Director of INF.
According to Madam Woodson, the INF Executive Director said, “Netball is a unique game for girls and a force for women’s empowerment, offering women and girls the opportunity to participate in sport, even in places and cultures where women’s roles are constrained.
“Over 20 million people play netball around the world. We have 73 national netball association members grouped into five regions – Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe and Oceania.”