By Christopher Tobutt
The Goodwill Tournament which took place at the Truman Bodden netball court was where Cayman’s netball enthusiasts between the ages 16 to 50, many of whom lead busy lives and don’t always get to play regularly as they would like, got the chance to come together (present rules on covid notwithstanding) for an evening’s fun and serious netball combined.
What makes it even more fun (and even more serious) is that each of the four teams Blue, Yellow Green and Burgundy have a sprinkling of members from the National teams. It’s a great idea really encourages the enthusiast players to step up their game while giving an opportunity for the National Team players to work on some additional skill involving strategy and teamwork.
One of the National Team Players, 24-year old Alexis has been one of Cayman’s best players ever since discovering the sport at the age of 10, said, “Mixing with the Goodwill team gives you the opportunity to learn new skill sets adapting to their style. It takes you out of your comfort zone.”
Technical Director Janet Lettman said, “These goodwill teams haven’t played since March, and we are getting them going by providing two national team players in each of the four teams. Goodwill means they can participate again, ready for mixed league netball.”
Telling a little of the story of her participation in netball which spans more than 30 years, Ms Lettman said, she said, “I like it because it’s an invasion game. It’s also encourages socially-shy females to participate more, giving more confidence as they develop their physical and technical skills” Netball has lots of different levels beginners intermediates and professionals, so that everyone has somewhere they can fit in. “My job is to talk to people in schools and colleges to bring in everyone who is involved, on how can we grow Cayman Islands Netball,” Ms Lettman said.
Cayman Islands Netball Association Vice President Norma Ferryman first began playing netball in Jamaica and has loved it ever since. She first got involved here, coaching a team at George Town Primary School, and year-by-year her involvement grew, so that she is now she is on the Executive body of CINA. “I make sure everything is set up right,” she said, “I keep bench scores, and time, and make sure everything is running smoothly.
“It’s not just an ordinary game. You have to think fast and move fast. It’s good for learning team spirit and good sportsmanship, and it promotes a healthy lifestyle. It also gives you the opportunity to be a good ambassador for your country and can take you all over the world: Scotland, New Zealand, America, and Caribbean countries such as Trinidad, so that get to know people from many other places.”
37-year old Jo Richards has always loved netball too. She grew up playing it in England at County and Regional level, and then got involved again when she came to the Cayman Islands “You build a family when you play netball,” she said.
Jane Ebanks Senior National Team Manager represented the National Team players who were playing alongside the enthusiasts, commented, “That’s what this Goodwill tournament is about – bringing the clubs together.”