International Netball Federation (INF) has announced the Netball World Youth Cup will take place during the period from the 1st – 19th December 2021 – the precise start and end dates of the netball competition will be confirmed in the forthcoming weeks. In July, INF in consultation with the host country Fiji, decided to postpone the event from June 2021, given the uncertainty of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Following the postponement announcement, INF consulted with the 20 teams who qualified to participate at the event. Briefing and consultation meetings were held via Zoom on the 18th August and a questionnaire was distributed to the teams to understand each nation’s views regarding the postponement of the event and preferences on whether the event should be delayed to later in 2021, postponed to 2022 and beyond, or cancelled entirely.
There was continuing support for the event to take place from the Member nations and a strong preference for the December 2021 dates, with the hopes and dreams of the young athletes who have been preparing to take part at the heart of their thinking.
INF President, Liz Nicholl CBE comments, “The Netball World Youth Cup is the pinnacle of competition for emerging players and provides a pathway for developing elite players, coaches and match officials. We are delighted to announce new dates for the event and look forward to seeing Fiji host another world netball event.”
“With the sport still facing much uncertainty around the pandemic, INF will continue to monitor COVID-19 on a monthly basis, in liaison with the Fijian Government and our Member nations, to ensure the health and wellbeing of the Netball Family. INF will continue planning for the event in December 2021 However should uncertainty remain for reasons which may include, but are not limited to; an unacceptable risk to health, ongoing uncertainty regarding border closures, restrictions to travel, funding or the event no longer constituting a world-class U21 event e.g. fewer than 4 regions represented, INF is prepared to cancel the event altogether. A key go/no-go date has been set for the 31st March 2021.”
Fiji’s Minister for Youth and Sports, Honourable Praveen Kumar Bala adds: “We will continue to work closely with INF and other relevant authorities in ensuring that all event-related risks are addressed in regards to the safety and wellbeing of our visitors as well as the local workforce. If all goes well, we look forward to extending our Fijian hospitality to all youth athletes and officials from participating countries at the end of next year.
INF will write to each of the 20 teams to invite them formally to participate by 31st October 2020. Further information on the event including updated accommodation costs and advice on insurance will be provided to assist teams in their planning.