LOCAL Under-16 netballers and the Saint Lucia Netball Association are hoping for the best as word from Trinidad and Tobago is not good regarding the annual Jean Pierre Caribbean Youth Netball Tournament scheduled for next month.
At least six teams are needed to host the championship; however, to date only four teams have shown interest, namely Saint Lucia, Dominica, Barbados and host nation Trinidad and Tobago.
Senior national netball captain and head coach for the national Under-16 training squad, Shem Maxwell, said the team currently has three training sessions each week and plays friendly matches when the need arises.
She said there were five returning players from last year’s tournament — Darcell Francis, Aryel Leonard, Meggan Nestor, Daisha Eugene and Vionce Weekes. In terms of the team’s composition, however, there are returning shooters but a lack of defensive players and Maxwell and Vern Alexander continue to work to correct that anomaly.
“When we first started, we had most of the physical aspects such as anaerobic, resistance and biometric sessions,” Maxwell said about the team’s preparation. “We didn’t have any gym work because it’s difficult to get the girls into a gym. But I am quite satisfied with the level of preparation to date.”
For the past few training sessions, Maxwell said the team had been concentrating and working hard in preparation for the upcoming championship.
In 2011 in St. Kitts and Nevis, Team Saint Lucia demonstrated determination and high quality performance by getting past traditional powerhouses Jamaica, Trinidad, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to be crowned regional Under-16 netball champions. Over the past three years, however, the team has not done well, finishing fourth last year in Barbados. This time around, however, the team seems poised for better results.