Newly re-elected Barbados Netball Association president, Nisha Craigwell, has identified the acquisition of a technical director as one of the main objectives of her new tenure.
Craigwell gained the confidence of the membership for a third straight term when she beat out opposition from challenger Veronica Harris in the association’s elections held last evening.
She told Barbados TODAY obtaining a technical director was vital because the country did not possess a structured coaching program, and changes needed to be made if the national side were to excel, especially at the highest level.
“We are looking to work with the Barbados Olympic Association to have a technical director for netball and we are also hoping that the National Sports Council come on board and utilize the services of the technical director,” Craigwell said during an extensive interview.
“It is really necessary for netball because we do not have a structured coaching program for our netball coaches, not only at the national level, but for any level. We rely heavily on the courses that the Barbados Olympic Association administer but they are not netball specific courses, they are all general and generic coaching courses that can get us to a certain point, so we still need to have that netball specific technical coach.
“We are looking at a technical director that can oversee our national programs as well as to put measures in place to ensure that our coaches get the highest level of coaching material,” she added.
Barbados are currently ranked 12th in the International Netball Federation world rankings, and third in the Caribbean region.
Jamaica’s Sunshine Girls, ranked fourth in the world, and Trinidad and Tobago who are ninth, are ahead of Barbados.
The ranking affords Barbados the opportunity to play at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia and Craigwell said the national side would need a few trial matches to prepare for that major outing.
“We can’t sit on our laurels and say that we are now 12th and can go to Commonwealth Games,” she asserted.
“We have to either maintain or improve on that so it also means that we need to play early next year whether it’s a Test series or invitational because the senior team needs to qualify for Australia and the cut-off date would be June next year.”
Craigwell said she was humbled by the support given to her by the various club members in her quest for re-election, having been on the executive since 1997, stemming from the days when Annette Beckett led the organization.
She will be joined on the new executive by Linda Wilson who is the new vice-president, while Joycelyn Haynes has moved up to the position of secretary from assistant secretary/treasurer.
Kathy Jones was unopposed as treasurer, Lynette Holder who was previously a director is the new assistant secretary/treasurer, with Bryan Holder and Jewel Denner the new directors.
“I feel humbled because whenever you are challenged you start to reflect on have I done the right thing, have I done enough and personally I believe that I did do enough for clubs to recognize the work that was put in to where we are now in netball,” Craigwell said.
“But self-consciously it still goes through your mind as to have I done enough for these persons to vote for me again. So I am humbled by the experience.”
Craigwell said the association would also seek to revise the constitution and focus on ensuring that the national teams had all the resources needed to compete at the highest level.
There are also plans for the Under-21 national side to compete in Botswana.