By Lindsey Turnbull
The Cayman Islands Netball Association has recently recruited a new Technical Director from the UK, Janet Lettman, who intends to lead the sport onto achieving great things in Cayman. Coach Janet has been a teacher and coach for over 30 years in the UK and has been an England netball tutor, assessor, mentor and ‘B’ Award Umpire for more than 20 years. She has a UKCC (United Kingdom Coaching Certificate) Level 3 Netball and holds two degrees, Foundation BA Honours in (Education and Training) & Cert Ed in Further Education (Certificate of Education).
Coach Janet said that the scope for the development of netball in Cayman was vast and that CINA had identified a multi-stage approach to ensuring the sport reaches new heights in the future.
“The first stage in our development plan is to support the future of Cayman netball to ensure that the players and the community of Cayman can enjoy netball, not only by spectating, but also by actually participating,” she advised.
To do this, they would be developing and building on Cayman’s fundamentals and foundations from a grass roots level, by working with the schools and connecting the colleges, the primary and secondary schools and the universities with CINA by going into the schools to support them in their own netball development plans.
“Our development plans also include us going out into the community and the community coming to us,” she advised. “We are putting on programmes, for instance the Turtle Netters that we have, one that’s in George Town and one that we are starting in Bodden Town. This is for children from five to 10 years. Boys as well as girls are welcome.”
Pathway to talent
CINA also has a senior pathway academy which is a new academy just started whereby they are seeking to have three different proficiency levels that will be bridging the gap to ensure that children coming from primary to secondary school have a foundation of netball already inbuilt.
“Then we have the next stage of the development programme, working with players that have something but haven’t got all their fundamentals right, and then we’ve got the performance academy, which will include girls who are going to be representing Cayman in the U-16 tournaments overseas and on the island,” Coach Janet advised.
A big part of the development plan is to promote a love for the sport of netball.
“Our marketing strategy is for us to say we love the game of netball and we’re going to have more competitions to equip our community so they can see, learn and understand the game of netball. We also want our spectators to get more involved and interactive with our social media platform,” she stated.
Another key part of the programme is to create opportunities for young people to become young leaders to then become adults who have the potential to lead socially and progress to become a qualified coach or umpire. These skills can be learnt in the community and would help young people to find their pathways, she said.
Expanding competition by having more clubs and having a club structure which enables not only the players, but also the coaches, umpires and managers is also a very important aspect of netball’s development.
“Netball is for all. When we’re looking at the roles and responsibilities needed in netball jobs, we’re proud to say we have people from different demographics and social backgrounds of all ages and genders,” Coach Janet advised.
Senior squads will also be supported.
“We want to enable the performance of our seniors to perform at the level in order to increase our ranking and change our scope,” she added. “As we grow, we are going to become the fastest, the strongest, the most dedicated, and we’re going to create a different environment to ensure people, players and parents are confident in Cayman netball and that our foundations are strong.”
Coach Janet said the psychological aspect of development was not being forgotten and they would be ensuring players were mentally as well as physically, strong, which would entail the support of a host of professionals, such as physios, sports scientists and psychologists.
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