Barbados’ young netballers are ready for the Under-21 World Youth Netball Championships in Gaborone, Botswana in July.
After a nine-month training period that started last October, the talented “Bajan Gems” are eager to take on the world’s best netballers at the prestigious upcoming
Since the team qualified in first position in August at the Netball World Youth Cup Qualifiers in St Maarten, some new faces have joined the twelve- member team. These include Zakiya Kirton, Tamara Trotman, Xhane Greenidge and Najee Moore. They have teamed up with the more experienced players Sheniqua Thomas (captain), Sade Browne (vice-captain), Shonica Wharton, Shonte Seale, Rashida Chase, Amanda Knight, Vanessa Bobb and Shaquilla Davis.
Of the four new faces who will be representing Barbados in Botswana, Trotman will be decked in national colours for the first time. Her defensive skills will be an asset to the team. Trotman told Barbados TODAY she was thrilled finally to be realising her dream of representing Barbados in netball. She added she intended not only to make herself proud but also her country.
The young Gems will be led by head coach Sandra Bruce-Small, assistant coaches Julie Phillips and Margaret Cutting, trainer Captain Desmond Grant and manager Lynette Holder.
Bruce-Small told Barbados TODAY she expected the team to perform very well. “We’ve been working very hard and since it is a world tournament, every team will come to put their best foot forward, but I do expect our girls to have a great performance,” she said.
Bruce-Small added she was very excited about the trip and believed it would be a great experience for the players who were now being exposed to the international level for the first time and might want to move on to the senior level. She explained the tour would give them an idea of what to expect when they moved up a notch.
The ladies leave for Africa on July 2 and will return home on July 19. They are scheduled to compete against the world’s best netball teams in pool B – Australia, Zimbabwe, Singapore and South Africa.