The second edition of the OECS / ECCB International Netball series opened last Saturday with a candlelight ceremony in which Dominica’s Minister of Sports, Culture, and Community Development, Roslyn Paul welcomed the resumption of organised sports.
“We are excited because we are now moving to a safe return of organised sporting events, and under special safety controls with the OECS tournament being the first after a long halt in sporting activities,” Paul said at the ceremony which took place in the conference room at State House, home of the President of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Charles Savarin.
“We are excited because this regional and internationally featured event is helping to showcase our country, Dominica across the region and the world, and as a venue for such games,” the Dominica sports minister told the assembled guests.
And Country Manager for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank Dominica, Sherma John noted that “The ECCB’s engagement with the netballers transcends that of a sponsor as it seeks to mentor the young athletes through the hosting of a personal development session during the tournament.”
She added that, “the session is geared at empowering the participants to achieve their full potential by improving performance, and new skill and knowledge development.”
Three of the six participating countries were arriving at the Charles-Douglas Airport as the ceremony was underway. The Barbados, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda squads arrived on Saturday evening, while St Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and hosts Dominica were already settled in their respective team accommodations.
Meanwhile, the special envoy for Netball Dominica, Loreen Bannis-Roberts said, “It is important for us as a region to continue to support netball, the number one sport for women and girls in our Caribbean region. The ultimate goal is for our member territories to improve our international rankings by being within the top 10 in the world. This is not an unattainable goal! This can be made possible through partnerships and collaborative efforts between the private sector, government, global partners, and each of us.”
The February 12-18 tournament is being played at the Windsor Park hard courts in Roseau. Competition got underway on Sunday afternoon with three matches.