REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2015 (Celebrating 25 years in 2015)

This is a Report of the activities of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for the year 2015.  This year is special because we celebrated twenty-five (25) years as a successfully functioning Netball League.

The League completed its twenty-fifth season this year, and notwithstanding that some of the proposals envisaged at the Annual General Meeting for the celebration were not realized, the season was very successful. For example, there was hope that a brochure featuring some of the League’s activities over the years would have been produced but this did not materialize. More detail is provided later in the Report.

Regarding the structure of the League, the three distinct Divisions were maintained: the Premiership, the Championship and the Alternative.  Cash prizes were awarded in the Premiership Division, as occurred for the past three years. The Retro Division continued as a separate Unit.

Again, there was no change to the Management Committee when the Election was held at the Annual General Meeting in November of 2014.  Neither was there any change to the Council. The President of the Council is Ms. Sharon Wilson of the Bermudez team and the Secretary is Ms. Lilia Mathurin Cameron of the Jabloteh team. The Management Committee comprises Ms. Carol Demming Gittens; Ms. Rosemary Mathurin, Ms. Josette Lord, Ms. Giselle Darlington, Dr. Patricia Butcher, Mr. Kenneth Butcher, and Ms. Brenda Prince.

The League is extremely grateful for the continued support of our main sponsor Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited (COURTS), the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), and our many other stakeholders. The membership maintains its commitment to the sustained development of the sport and more specifically of the League.

TEAMS

The League began the Season with nineteen (19) teams, four (4) in the Premiership, five (5) in the Championship Division, six (6) in the Alternative, and four (4) in the Retro, the same number as last Season.

The Alternative Division comprised of Police, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), Prisons, and Fideas, who returned after a couple of years. We especially welcome back Fideas.

 

In the Championship Division were Bermudez, Jabloteh, Police X, Police Y and Fire. There was no change from last Season.

The Premiership Division comprised Fire, Police, newcomers Tobago House of Assembly (THA), whom we were very pleased to welcome, and UTT. Game Changers of last season, gave way to UTT, the brand to which we are accustomed. Unfortunately, UWI did not participate, but it was noted that some of this team’s players secured membership in other teams.  The Retro Division consisted of Les Enfants, Harlem, TSTT and Bermudez, a new team to this Division.  

VENUE

The League commenced at The Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (ERISA) and as usual, all of the games were played at this venue.  

Again, we thank the Management of ERISA for the use of the Official Changing Room for the storage of our equipment, and for the preparation for our Opening and Closing Ceremonies. In addition, we were extremely pleased that the floor surface of the gymnasium was upgraded. This offered the players an improved playing surface, which in turn led to enhanced performances. We trust that the furniture also would be upgraded soon, to offer us even better accommodation.

We appreciate that the office staff, especially Ms. Jenny Voisin, maintenance, security, and cafeteria staff were all helpful and courteous, and we look forward to working with them in the future.

OPENING CEREMONY

The Opening Ceremony took place on Saturday 10 January 2015 at 3.00pm at ERISA. The Fire Service band once again, provided the musical accompaniment for the March Past.  On the saluting base for the March Past were Ms. Laura Pierre, Advisor in the Ministry of Sport; Ms. Paula Daniel Linton, Corporate Communications Manager of COURTS; Dr. Patricia Butcher President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association and Member of the Management Committee of the League and Ms. Martha Archer, Vice President of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA). Ms Daniel Linton brought greetings from our main Sponsor, COURTS and Ms. Martha Archer brought greetings from AFNA. Dr. Butcher delivered the feature address to the players, while Ms Pierre also gave a brief address and declared the 2015 Season open. 

The judges for the parade were Mr. Anthony Tannis, Ms. Vanessa Forde and Ms. Rhona Mohon. The League thanks them most sincerely and thanks all those persons who assisted in making the Opening Ceremony a huge success.

The University of Trinidad and Tobago won this year’s parade. Second was Fire and third Police.

In the Opening Day Knock Out competition, UTT won from THA in the Premiership Division; Fire won from Jabloteh in the Championship Division; while in the Alternative Division, TSTT won from UTT. 

COMPETITIONS

There was no change to the arrangement of the competitions. The Fast 5 was played as a straight Knock Out and the competitions for the Jean Pierre and Steve Sarjeant Challenge trophies were played as straight Knock Outs, mainly in the interest of time.

As is customary, League games, with the exception of those in the Retro, were of one hour’s duration. Teams in all the Divisions played each other twice in order to determine the overall placing for the League trophies.  The other competitions were the Knock-Outs for Steve Sarjeant and Jean Pierre Challenge trophies, in the Premiership and Championship Divisions respectively. There were also the Divisional Knock-Outs, which were played in two halves of twenty minutes in the two (2) top Divisions, and fifteen minutes each in the Alternative Division and the COURTS Open Knock-Out. Also featured were the Opening Day Knock-Outs at the beginning of the Season and the Mixed Team Knock-Out at Closing Ceremony. The Mixed Team Knock Out was played in the Fast 5 format of the game.  The FAST 5 competitions for the Justin Bowen trophies were played in all the Divisions.

The Retro Division also had two (2) rounds of competition, two (2) Knock Outs, one of which was a double elimination, and the FAST 5 competition. 

As usual, the competitions were extremely keen in all the Divisions. All the games were hard fought especially in the two (2) top Divisions.

The results of all of the competitions are in the Appendix.

CHALLENGES
Fortunately, there were no major challenges this year. There were no withdrawals and there was no need to reschedule games. There were just two defaults, one in the Alternative Division and one in the Retro.  Both were in respect of Knock Out competitions. The shortage of umpires continues to plague us, but we managed by having umpires double up on many occasions. Indeed, there was no major disruption to the games or to the scheduling.


TRAINING
The League did not schedule any formal training sessions this year. Its priority was for celebrating 25 years in 2015 and seeking ways to involve all its stakeholders.

THE CELEBRATIONS
The main suggestions for celebrating 25 years in 2015 included a thanksgiving service, the provision of new shirts, a brochure, a new banner at the venue, official and team flags, mementos for distribution, team-building exercises among participants, a colors tournament, and special awards for long service. The League was hopeful that additional funding would be acquired.  However, at the AGM held in November 2014, the meeting agreed that these proposals should be scaled down in the absence of any additional funding. Notwithstanding, the League is pleased to report that a number of these proposals, among others, came to fruition viz. the special awards, the mementos for distribution, two hanging banners at the venue, the colors tournament.

In lieu of the other suggestions, the League designated the Saturday after Carnival, February 21, Celebration Saturday, and combined the thanksgiving, the colors tournament and the memento distribution of Bistro Mugs.  The League also distributed mementos of mini can-openers to all spectators who attended the Opening Ceremony. 

Regarding Celebration Saturday, players, team and match officials were individually invited to lunch that was economically catered. This was held at our games venue. Sister Debbie de Rosia of the Eternal Light Community was also invited to deliver an inspiring message to the players, offer thanks and bless the meal. Many agreed that she was excellent in her delivery. Later in the afternoon the mixed team colors tournament was played. Those in attendance also received Bistro Mugs embossed with the League’s logo, as a memento of the occasion. There was about 60% attendance of the players.  Those who attended expressed their appreciation.

The Special awards were presented at the Closing ceremony of the League.
The list of those who received special awards is attached at the end of this report.

 

DONATIONS from the Herbarium (Cher Mere)
Cher Mere continued its support for the League this Season with the donation of Door prizes at the Opening and the Closing ceremonies and on some Saturdays.  

At the Awards Ceremony, both the All Star Team and the Most Valuable Players of each team were given individual gift vouchers. The Technical Officials received individual tokens from the company.  These are truly appreciated.

The League looks forward to a continued successful association with Cher Mere.

 

SPONSORSHIP from COURTS
Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited, (COURTS) considered the League favourably again with the signing of a contract with us for yet another year.   The League remains extremely grateful and will continue to do its best to ensure that it gets value for money while giving the company the mileage that it so deserves. 

The League thanks, particularly, Mrs. Paula Daniel Linton, Ms Shivan Ojah- Maharaj, Ms Trudy Blackman Moore and the other staff in Communications for active participation in our events and for their encouragement.

MEDIA COVERAGE
The media coverage this year was excellent, especially the Print Media. We thank the Express, the Trinidad Guardian, the Newsday, Web providers and radio hosts for the keen interest shown. We thank too the Television Stations for their contribution and look forward to their continuing support of the League.

CONCLUSION
The participants of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League offer their sincerest appreciation to Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited (COURTS), and the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), for the League’s success. Special thanks to the Fire Service Band and to Ms. Paula Darceuil for their services on the Opening Day. The League also wishes to thank “Twinkle” and her crew, who manage the cafeteria. Thanks too, to all officials, supporters, well-wishers and others who contributed to making the Season the success that it was in 2015.

 

REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2012

The following Report is an account of the activities of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for the year 2012.

The COURTS All Sectors Netball League celebrated its twenty-second (22nd) anniversary this year. To mark this celebration, the membership at Annual General Meeting, on the recommendation of the Management Committee, agreed that the League could experiment with restructuring the Divisions into three distinct categories – the Premiership, the Championship and the Alternative.  The meeting also agreed that we should, if possible, award Cash prizes in the Premiership Division, an idea that Management Committee had been considering for some time.

The Committee is pleased to report that these two (2) features were introduced, and based on the feedback from our many stakeholders, the changes were indeed successful.

This notwithstanding, our environment continues to be restive especially when one considers that for the three months preceding the commencement of Season 2012, the country was in a ‘State of Emergency’.  It is probable that this may be one of the reasons that the Defence Force team did not participate this year.  Nevertheless there is much for which the League is grateful.  The League is extremely grateful for the continued support of our main sponsor Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited (COURTS), and our more recent partner, the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere). The membership remains committed to the sustained development of the sport and more specifically of the League. This year problems were almost non existent and none presented any real challenge.  This may be attributed in part, to the growing competencies of the newer members of the Management Committee and their levels of commitment.

TEAMS

The League started the Season with eighteen (18) teams competing, four (4) in the Premiership, four (4) in the Championship Division, seven (7) in the Alternative, and three (3) in the Retro.

The Alternative Division comprised the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT), Police, Prisons, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Training Institute (TTHTI), University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). COSTAATT returned to the League after a few years’ absences; TTHTI newly joined, and UTT was playing for the first time in this Division.

The teams that did not participate were Fideas and Holiday Snacks. The teams promoted from this Division were Bermudez, to the Premiership, and Jabloteh and the University of the West Indies (UWI) to the Championship.  Best wishes to those teams that have taken a temporary exit.  Hopefully, they will be able to rejoin the League soon.  A hearty welcome is extended to the new teams in this Division

In the Championship Division were Jabloteh, Police, Fire, and the University of the West Indies (UWI). The Division comprised four (4) teams. The competition among these teams was extremely keen.  There was a sense that they did not know what to expect of each other and this made the competition interesting. Police played a ‘veteran’ team and this seemed to enhance spectators’ interest.

The inaugural Premiership Division did not disappoint either, except for perhaps Bermudez who was newly promoted and who struggled with the level of competition. This did not deter them; they maintained punctuality, regularity and good sportsmanship.  They managed to maintain their lien on the trophy for the ‘Most Disciplined Team’.  Management has agreed that it may have been premature to promote them to that Division. UTT won the Division and became the first cash prize winner of five thousand dollars ($5,000); Police won the second prize of three thousand dollars ($3,000); and Fire won the third of two thousand dollars ($2,000).

The Retro Division consisted of the same three (3) teams from last Season, Les Enfants, Harlem, and TSTT. The membership did consider at the last Annual General Meeting whether this Division should continue. It was agreed that the players should not be denied. They again promised to try to find new teams which would make the Division more viable.

VENUE

The League commenced at The Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (ERISA) and all of the games were played at this venue.  Games that were scheduled for Saturday 17 March were postponed to Sunday 18 March in order to make the venue available to the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs.

The Ministry celebrated Women and Girls in Sport with a variety of sporting events including netball, held both inside and outside of the arena. Our Management Committee reminded the Management of ERISA once again, of the importance of the early scheduling of this event in order to prevent the postponement of games. The League thanks the management of ERISA for the accommodation in their usual hospitable fashion, and looks forward to continued cooperation.

 

OPENING CEREMONY

The Opening Ceremony took place on Saturday 07 January 2012 at 3.00pm at ERISA. The Fire Service band provided the musical accompaniment for the March Past. Welcome back to the band.  For the past two (2) years, the Prisons Band provided the music for which the membership remains grateful. The Prisons Service continues to serve faithfully. It provided transport for the Fire Band as the Fire Service transport was unavailable that afternoon. The League applauds this cooperation. These efforts are truly appreciated.

On the saluting base for the March Past were Ms. Paula Linton Daniel, Corporate Communications Manager of COURTS, and Ms. Francisca Rousseau, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association, Ms Patricia Butcher, Immediate Past President of the TTNA and Management Committee member of the League, and Ms. Brenda Prince, Chief Executive Officer of the League. Ms Rousseau addressed the players before declaring the 2012 Season open. 

The judges of the parade were Ms Vanessa Forde, Ms Greta Stephen, and Mr. Mario Davis.  Thank you most sincerely. Thanks too, to all those persons who assisted in making the Opening Day Ceremony the success that it was.

Prisons won this year’s parade. Second was TSTT.

In the Opening Day Knock Out competition, UTT won from Fire in the Premiership; Fire won from Jabloteh in the Championship Division; while in the Alternative Division, TSTT won from Prisons. 

 

COMPETITIONS

As mentioned earlier, the structure of the League changed with the introduction of the Premiership Division. Consequently, there was no need to split the Alternative Division into X and Y. The League now comprised the Premiership Division, the Championship Division and the Alternative Division.  The challenge that emerged related to the allocation of teams to the Divisions. The membership threw up many ideas in this regard, but Management ultimately did the allocations. 

As usual, League games were of one hour’s duration and teams in the Premiership and Championship Divisions played each other twice in order to determine the overall placing.  The other competitions were the Round Robin for the Steve Sarjeant, and Jean Pierre Challenge trophies in the Premiership and Championship Divisions respectively, the Divisional Knock-Outs, which were played in two halves of twenty minutes in the two top Divisions and fifteen minutes each in the Alternative Division and the COURTS Open Knock-Out. Also featured as usual, were the Opening Day Knock-Outs at the beginning of the Season and the Mixed Team Knock-Out at the end of the Season. The FAST NET competition that was introduced two (2) years ago, was continued, and played in all the Divisions. The Retro Division had two (2) rounds of competition and a Knock Out.  They also played a double elimination Knock Out on their final day.  The Closing Ceremony also featured an Exhibition Game by two (2) teams from the Men’s Federation of Netball Associations (MEFNA).  This event added to the excitement of the evening’s entertainment.

The Steve Sarjeant Challenge trophy, like the Jean Pierre trophy, was introduced in memory of Stevenson Sarjeant who was a founding member of the League in 1990 and who passed in August 2011.

Again, the competitions were extremely keen in all the Divisions, even though one or two teams struggled to keep pace.

The results of all of the competitions are in the Appendix

 

CHALLENGES

As mentioned earlier, the challenges were at a minimum.  The participants handled the concerns regarding insufficiencies at the venue as best they could and without complaining.  The shortage of furniture, especially at the Opening and Closing ceremonies was again drawn to the attention of the management of ERISA. Occasionally too, the lack of chairs and tables for officials were noted. There was also a problem with one of the key electrical outlets toward the end of the season, but contingency arrangements were made.

Shortage of Umpires

On a number of occasions umpires were asked to umpire more than one game on a Saturday afternoon.  This was mainly because of umpires’ work schedules. In addition, it is not always appropriate for players to be umpiring just before or after they play a game.  Once again there is a need for establishing an even larger pool of umpires.

Training
As promised in last year’s Report, the League scheduled two (2) formal training sessions during 2011. Both were held at the Conference Center at ERISA.  All teams were required to send at least two (2) participants to each workshop.  Management Committee member Ms Carol Gittens coordinated this effort.

The first workshop was in respect of Bench/Table Officiating and was held on October 7. Twenty five (25) persons attended.  At this Workshop, the new Bench Officials Manual of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) was introduced in preparation for Season 2012, in view of the fact that implementation of the processes in this Manual would take effect from January 01, 2012. Management Committee members Ms Josette Lord and Ms Giselle Darlington, and co-opted Committee member Ms Pamela Cumberbatch facilitated this workshop. 

The second workshop featured Umpiring and was held on October 15. Twenty eight (28) persons attended.  This workshop considered among other things, Rules changes, Protocols, Umpiring Techniques, Decision making, and Discipline.  Facilitators were Ms Joel Young Strong, International Umpires Award holder and Ms Brenda Prince, Member of the Match Advisory Panel of IFNA.

The results of the Evaluation Exercise conducted at the end of these workshops were encouraging.  Clearly there is a need to continue this effort as every participant seemed keen and committed.  

 

ACHIEVEMENTS/INNOVATIONS

Bouncy Castle Visits and Promotion by Holiday Snacks
On the Opening Day, despite the slightly inclement weather, the children enjoyed the Bouncy Castle. The company used the opportunity as usual, to promote some of their products.  However, in subsequent discussions with our liaison from the company, it was disclosed that the number of children in attendance was below the average number that would normally attend the promotion, so that the situation may be somewhat untenable in the future.

Nevertheless, the Management of the League regarded this contribution by Holiday Snacks as extremely generous; and sincerely thanks Ms Laurel Williams and all those who were responsible for making the events possible and the success that they were.

Appreciation

  • In an effort of encouragement and celebration for the Senior National team, the League hosted on 22 October 2011, an Appreciation ceremony, presentations and lunch, for team members at the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute. The team improved its overall performance at the World Netball Championships, the most prestigious IFNA event.  In 2007, the team placed 11th and in 2011, 7th.  All invitees expressed heartiest congratulations. Thanks to all those who made this event a success and especially Mrs. Pat Butcher and the TTHTI. The Minister of Gender Youth and Child Development delivered an inspiring address to the players.  The event was subsequently broadcasted in the Media.  All the members on the Senior National team are participants of the League.
  • Congratulations too, to Management Committee member Ms. Carol Gittens on her selection as Manager of the Senior National Team. Carol accompanied the team as Manager to the WNC 2011 in Singapore.  The League membership is truly appreciative of your dedication and commitment to the sport.
  • The League also celebrated its Chief Executive Officer, Ms Brenda Prince on the achievement of the only International Service Award from IFNA in 2011.  Brenda received this award in the presence of the members of Congress at its meeting in Singapore during the World Netball Championships.  The League showed its appreciation for Brenda’s achievement at the Appreciation Ceremony for the players, and presented her with a memento..

Partnership with the Herbarium (Cher Mere)
The company continued its support for the League this Season. The Company donated Door prizes at the Opening and the Closing ceremonies and on Saturdays. There were no product promotions at the entrance to the venue this Season mainly because of the unavailability of staff.  However the League was pleased to have the Cher Mere banner displayed in the Arena during the course of the Season

At the Awards Ceremony the All Star Team was given special product packages and the Technical Officials received individual gift vouchers from the company.  These are truly appreciated.

The League looks forward to a continued successful partnership with Cher Mere.

Contribution from COURTS
Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited, (COURTS) has considered the League favourably again with the signing of a contract with us for yet another year.   The League remains extremely grateful and will continue to do its best to ensure that it gets value for money while giving the company the mileage that it so deserves. 
The League thanks, particularly, Mrs. Paula Linton Daniel and her able assistant Ms Karen Theophilus for their active engagement in our events and for their encouragement
.

Fund Raiser
As agreed a few years ago, teams continue to contribute in advance in the amounts requested. Again, it was observed that some teams did not utilize the time allocated to them to raise funds at games, for their reimbursement. Nothing has changed in this regard. Only one or two teams showed up with items for sale at the games. This subject will be discussed again at the Annual General Meeting.

OBITUARY

The League mourns the passing of Mr. Stevenson Sarjeant in August 2011. Steve was one of its founding members, and he is remembered very fondly for his attention to detail and good human resource practice. He had been ailing for some time. May he rest in peace.
In honour of his memory, a Challenge trophy was acquired and named, and was awarded in the Premiership Division this year.  It was noted that the Fire Service team which won the inaugural Jean Pierre trophy, also won the inaugural Steve Sarjeant trophy.

 

MEDIA COVERAGE

The media coverage this year was not as intense as in previous years. It was observed that there were more sporting events than usual competing for coverage. More effort will be made next season, in the struggle for Media coverage. Perhaps there is need for someone to be dedicated solely to this activity. Thanks to all the Media Houses for their continuing support to the League. Special thanks to Mrs. Rachael Thompson King of the Trinidad Guardian and Mr. Ruskin Mark of CNMG.

CONCLUSION

The participants of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League offer their sincerest appreciation to Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited (COURTS), the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), and the Holiday Snacks Company for their contribution to the League’s success. Special thanks as usual to Ms. Paula Darceuil for the donation to our refreshments on the Opening Day.  The League also wishes to thank the new staff who managed the cafeteria. Thanks too, to all officials, supporters, well-wishers and others who contributed to making the Season the success that it was in 2012.

Report re Barbados Workers Union Netball Teams Tour to Trinidad and Tobago 2012

At a meeting held on Sunday April 22, 2012 the Management Committee of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League agreed and planned for the hosting of two (2) Barbados Workers Union Netball teams in a Goodwill Series, for approximately five (5) days.

Arrival and Accommodation
The teams arrived at Piarco International Airport on May 23 and were scheduled to leave on May 28, 2012. The party comprised seventeen (17) players and seven (7) officials altogether.  They traveled to Trinidad by Caribbean Airlines BW 403 and were met on arrival by a member of the Management Committee who distributed Welcome Packs to the contingent.  As previously arranged, two (2) vehicles which were obtained courtesy the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (TTHTI), were waiting to take them to their destination.

They had made their own arrangements for accommodation.  They had reservations at the Halyconia Inn in Cascade. They reported that the accommodation was comfortable and the cost was reasonable.

The contingent had also made its own arrangements for meals.  The League Management however, in its planning, had proposed that snack boxes would be provided for them after every game.  This proposal was effected and was greatly appreciated by the visitors.

Transportation
It was important that the teams arrive at the venue on time for the games. The games took place at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (ERISA).  To facilitate the timely arrival of the teams, the League contracted a 24 Seater Maxi Taxi to transport them to and from the venue.  This worked extremely well.  The Tour Coordinator of the Barbados contingent reported subsequently, that it was the first time since 2000 that such a facility was provided to them by any country; and that they tour every year.

The Fire Service Department provided the transportation from the Halyconia Inn to the Airport on May 28 at the end of the series. The Management of the League is truly grateful for this courtesy that was extended by the Department.

The Games
The Management of the League considered that exposure to the League’s teams and particularly the All Star team should be maximized. Games were scheduled for three (3) evenings.  Two (2) games were played each evening, a junior and a senior. The visitors also requested that they wished to have some of their players play at both the junior and the senior levels.  There was no objection.

The teams that were selected for playing the junior games were those teams that placed in the top three (3) of the League Standings in the Alternative Division, TSTT, UTT and Police.  The senior teams chosen were Fire who played in the Championship Division, and was the most improved team in the League for 2012, UTT who won the Premiership Division, and the All Star team 2012.

All the teams performed creditably. Police and UTT lost, and TSTT drew with the visitors in the Junior Division, while all the All Sectors teams in the Senior Division won their encounters.

Agreement was reached with the visitors in respect of the umpiring.  They brought with them junior umpires. After the first day’s play, further agreement was reached that it was necessary to have senior umpires only, umpire the senior games for the remainder of the series.  This proved to be a great decision as the competition was of an extremely high standard.  The visitors were satisfied with the umpiring throughout.

Closure
After the final game on the evening of the 27 May, there was a short presentation ceremony. The management of COURTS All Sectors League thanked the visitors for their timely visit, and presented the Manager of the Barbados contingent with an Appreciation Plaque as a memento of the event.  The Manager of the Barbados Contingent did virtually the same.  She thanked the League for a most memorable occasion and presented the League with an Appreciation Award for its generous hospitality.

The team departed Trinidad and Tobago on Monday 28 May, 2012 at 7.35pm on a Caribbean Airlines flight BW 446.

 
 

REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2011

 
MVP 2011
Joelisa Cooper

REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2010

The following is a Report on the activities of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for the year 2010.

This is the 20th year of the League’s operations and as agreed at the Annual General Meeting held in November 2009, it is a celebratory year in the life of the League.  This report will focus for the most part on the activities that were scheduled as events to take place in Season 2010. 

These activities included a Church Service, the launch of a Website, a special 20th Anniversary Report, an Evening of Entertainment/ Awards /Recognition, review of the League’s mission, vision, and policies, the naming of an MVP in the Alternative Division and a FAST NET Competition.  (FAST NET is a shorter version of the game that the International Federation of Netball Associations, IFNA, introduced in October 2009).

Again this year, the Management of the League is pleased to report that despite the reported downturn in the economy, COURTS (Trinidad) Limited, the main sponsor of the league remains committed and notwithstanding that the contribution was reduced by twenty five percent,  the players and the officials continue to be extremely appreciative of this sponsorship.  We truly value this commitment by COURTS, and that of all our stakeholders, as collectively, we make every effort to further the objectives of the League.

MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE & COUNCIL
There was no change to the composition of the Management Committee.  The members re-elected were Kenneth Butcher, Carol Gittens, Rosemary Mathurin, Patricia Butcher, Brenda Prince, and Josette Lord.  The President and the Secretary of the Council elected for 2010 were Grace Parkinson Griffith and Tricia Roberts respectively.

TEAMS
Twenty-one (21) teams registered with the League this year, two less than the previous year.  Teams registered to play included four (4) in the Championship Division, twelve (12) in the Alternative and five (5) in the Retro.  New teams registered were WISCIL and F-Ideas.  The Cilnetres team had internal challenges and did not re register.  In addition, Fire registered only one team in the Alternative Division and Police registered only one in the Retro Division.  Both these clubs had two teams last year, in the respective Divisions.

The Alternative Division was again subdivided into X and Y.  Teams in the Alternative Division X were Bermudez, CLICO Jabloteh, F-Ideas, Fire, Police, and WISCIL.  In the Alternative Division Y were Holiday Snacks, formerly Bermudez Y, Cavaliers, Defence Force, Prisons, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) and the University of Southern Caribbean.  The teams played in a Round Robin Competition in each Sub Division, a Divisional Knock out Competition, an Open Knock Out which was a virtual play off to determine ranking in the entire Division, and a FAST NET Competition.  As usual, the competition between these teams was keen.

In the Championship Division, the teams were Defence Force, Police, Fire, and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).  It was interesting to note the composition of some of the teams as some key players transferred between teams to take advantage of economic or training opportunity.  This made the competition even more interesting and very competitive.

In the Retro Division, five (5) teams competed.  These were Police, Fire, Les Enfants, Harlem, and TSTT.  As usual, this competition provided much entertainment especially during the FASTNET competition.  The teams having had much fun with the scheduled FASTNET competition decided to play the Retro style Knockout in the FASTNET format.

VENUE
As usual, the League conducted all its activities with the exception of the Awards Ceremony, at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (ERISA).  Saturday March 06 was omitted from the Fixtures in order to facilitate the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs in the staging of its now annual event for girls and women in sport.  However, the event did not take place on this date.  The League understands that it was postponed to a month later.

There were fewer challenges with the venue than in previous years.   It was always available in a timely manner, the lighting was improved and there were no problems with the water supply or the gym class.   Our only concerns surrounded the lack of furniture on a few occasions and the excessive dust that accumulated on the floor which was not always swept.   

OPENING CEREMONY
The Opening Ceremony took place on Saturday 9 January 2010 at 3.00pm at ERISA.  The Prison Service band provided the musical accompaniment for the March Past as the Fire Band had a previous official engagement.  The music of the Prison Band was inspiring and appreciated by all.

On the saluting base, this year, were the Honourable Gary Hunt, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Mrs. Paula Daniel-Linton, Manager Corporate Communications, COURTS, and Mrs. Patricia Butcher, management committee member of the League.  The Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs delivered the feature address to the players, and declared the 2010 Season Open.

The judges of the parade were Mr. Keith McDonald, Mrs. Ingrid Felice, and Mrs. Maria Mason Roberts.  We thank them most sincerely, and thank all those persons who assisted in making the Opening Day Ceremony the success that it was.

UTT won this year’s march past trophy for the third year running.  Fire won the Opening Day Knock Out competitions from Defence Force in the Championship Division.  Bermudez won from Police in the Alternative X Divisions and TSTT   won from Prisons in the Alternative Y Division.

COMPETITIONS
The basic structure of the competitions in all the Divisions remained the same.  League games were of one hour’s duration.  The Championship Division teams played each other twice in order to determine the overall placing, while in the Alternative Division, there was only one round of competition because of the number of teams and the limited period for play.  The other competitions were the Round Robin for the Jean Pierre Challenge in the Championship Division, the Divisional, and Courts Knock-Outs, which were played in two (2) halves of twenty minutes and fifteen minutes each respectively.  The League also featured an Open Knock-Out/Play offs competition in the Alternative Division to include teams from both the X and Y, and the FAST NET competition in all Divisions.

The Closing of the Season was held at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, this being a special year for the League.

The Retro Division had one round of competition and a Knock Out.  They also played a FAST Net competition in a double elimination format and on their final day, converted the usual Retro style double elimination, to the FAST NET format.  All the Retro games were scheduled for Mondays.  This arrangement worked quite well again this year.

The results of the competitions in the Championship and Alternative Divisions are in the Appendix

CHALLENGES
The main challenge this year was the tardiness of some teams to submit the proceeds from the sale of tickets for the cruise on the Treasure Queen that took place in May of last year.  Eventually, the majority complied.

Another challenge was the withdrawal of WISCIL, a new club, and the defaulting of Cavaliers toward the end of the season.  The Management Committee will address these latter matters in due course.   

CHIEVEMENTS/INNOVATIONS
Management is pleased to report that at the Annual General Meeting 2009, much of the discussion centered on the twentieth anniversary celebrations of the league.  All, but one, of the activities scheduled for this year 2010, took place.

  • The Church Service:  The church service was held at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Sunday 10 January 2010 at 9.00 am.  Fr. Ken Assing conducted the Service.  Four members of the League were invited to do the intercessory prayers while three others did the offertory.  The League was fairly well represented filling about five pews in the church.
  • The Website:  This was launched in March 2010, but many of the teams still need to submit information for posting to it.  WebNET Ltd, the provider, will continue to service the site for us at minimal cost.  The site is www.allsectorsnetballleague.com and email address is allsectors@gmail.com
  • Anniversary Report: The writing of the Report was contracted to Maria Mason Roberts MS, who did a very good job at pulling the history of the League together.  Horsham’s Printery did the publishing, and copies of the Report together with Bookmarks that carried the Programme for the Closing Ceremony, were distributed at the Awards Ceremony
  • FASTNET:  This form of the game was introduced in all the Division’s of the League, with much success.  The Retro Division was particularly fascinated, and the participants decided that they would repeat the format of the game in the Retro Style Double Elimination Knock Out.  Trophies for this competition were donated by ex Chief Fire Officer, Justin Bowen, who unfortunately could not attend the Awards Ceremony to distribute them.  It was agreed that this competition should remain as a permanent feature of the League.
  • Evening of Entertainment and Awards: This constituted the closing ceremony of the League.  In addition to the usual Annual Awards, Special Awards were presented to the founders of the League, and as agreed at the last Annual General Meeting, a MVP from the Alternative Division was named, among others.  (See list appended).  After much negotiation, the Hyatt Regency Trinidad was secured as the venue for the event and Errol Fabien was invited to be the master of ceremonies.  Invitees included among others, the Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, the President and Secretary of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, and our Sponsors, COURTS.  Unfortunately, we started a tad late, but the events that followed more than made up for this.  We showcased voice and the steel pan by way of entertainment.
  • Cher Mere: Toward mid-season, we entered into negotiations with Cher Mere for the introduction of some fun games during netball game intervals on Saturdays.  The firm was given the opportunity to display their products and to share these products with players and spectators alike during the period of the fun games.  These periods were thoroughly enjoyed and added to the conviviality that is normally enjoyed in the League.

The only activity that has not taken place yet, at the time of writing this report, is the Review of the Mission, Vision, and Policies etc of the League.  It is expected that this event will take place before the end of 2010.

ADMINISTRATIVE DEVELOPMENT
The International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) launched a shorter and different version of the game of netball, FASTNET, in Manchester England in October 2009.  The Management Committee of the League quickly took a decision to have someone attend this inaugural event.  The Committee thought that the League needed to be cutting edge in terms of the development of the game and the sooner it was introduced, the sooner our netballers would be come more competitive at the game.  It was also necessary to find someone who would take the responsibility for sharing and implementing the processes.  Pamela Cumberbatch, ex management committee member was selected.  Other management committee members attending in other capacities were Carol Gittens and Brenda Prince.  The League was therefore well represented at the event and as mentioned earlier,  FASTNET was successfully introduced as another competition in this our 20th Anniversary year.

CONTRIBUTION FROM COURTS
The management of the League signed another contract with COURTS last year and was hoping for an increased amount, but the Company explained that the global economic downturn had also taken its toll on its operations.  Nonetheless, the participants of the league are extremely grateful for the contribution, and management will continue to ensure good governance in the administration of the League.  The League thanks COURTS for its continued interest and support. 

FUND RAISER
The promise made by teams for upfront contributions in the agreed amounts, and then be allocated a day on which to raise funds which they will keep, continues in operation but some teams are becoming tardy.  At least three teams did not show an interest this year, so that there is need to put this back on the Agenda for the Annual General Meeting.

MEDIA COVERAGE
Some of the media continue to work closely with us and we thank them for the coverage.  We continue to appreciate and proud of the coverage we receive.  We thank especially our major TV Stations, Radio Stations and the Print media, the Express, the Trinidad Guardian, the Newsday, and others for their efforts.

CONCLUSION
The participants of COURTS All Sectors offer their sincerest appreciation to COURTS Trinidad & Tobago Limited and other stakeholders for their contribution to the League’s success.  Special thanks to Ms. Paula Darceuil for the donation to our refreshments on the Opening Day, the Hyatt Regency, Fr. Ken Assing, and Mr. Justin Bowen.  The League also wishes to thank the cafeteria crew and all officials, supporters, well-wishers and others who contributed to making it the success that it was in 2010.

 

UTT won the League Championship trophy for 2010

COURTS ALL SECTORS NETBALL LEAGUE
LAUNCHED ITS TWENTIETH SEASON AT ERISA ON SATURDAY JANUARY 9 2010

The COURTS All Sectors Netball League launched its 20th Season with an Opening Ceremony held at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena, Orange Grove Road, Tacarigua on Saturday January 9 2010.

The proceedings began at 3.00pm as usual, with a parade of teams.  The Prison Service Band will provide the music for the march past.  The Fire Service Band was unavailable this year.  The Fire Service Band had accompanied the march past of the players for the last eighteen years.  However, the band had an official commitment this year.  The performance of the Prison Band was excellent.  Special thanks to Bandleader Dawn James.

The Honourable Gary Hunt, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Mrs. Patricia Butcher, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association Inc., Mrs. Paula Linton Daniel, Corporate Communications, COURTS (Trinidad) Ltd, and Ms. Brenda Prince, Chief Executive Officer of the League took the salute at the march past of the teams. 

Twenty-one (21) teams will participate in the competitions this Season, four (4) in the Championship Division, twelve (12) in the Alternative and five (5) in the Retro.  The teams in the Alternative Division are Fire Service, Police Service, Prison Service, Defence Force, Cavalier Investments Limited (Cavaliers), Bermudez, Holiday Snacks, TSTT (Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago), CLICO Jabloteh, University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), and new comers WISCIL and F-Ideas  The Alternative Division will be subdivided into X and Y, as it was last year.

In the Championship Division, the teams include Defence Force, Fire, Police, and University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).  In the Retro Division, the teams are Fire, Les Enfants, TSTT, Police, and Harlem. 

Following the March Past, spectators witnessed the Opening Day Knock out Competition in both the Championship Division and the Alternative Divisions.  UTT won the March Past, with Police placing second and Defence Force third.  Fire won the Opening Day KO trophy in the Championship Division and Defence Force placed second.  In the Alternative X Division, winner of the Knock Out was Bermudez with Police second.  The Alternative Y was won by TSTT with Prisons second. 

During the season, teams in the Championship Division will once again face each other in a third round of competition for the Jean Pierre Challenge trophy, in memory of Mrs. Eugenia ‘Jean’ Pierre T.C., C.M.T., H.B.M., who was one of the principals who pioneered the League in 1990 and who passed on December 02, 2002.

In addition to its regular competitions, the League will include FASTNET as another competition in each Division.  This shorter version of the game was launched by the International Federation of Netball Associations in Manchester City, England in October 2009.

 
   
  RHONDA JOHN-DAVIS
MVP (Season 2009-2010)
 
 

Rhonda is a strong attacking player with great court vision.  She also displays leadership qualities, which is the reason she is the current Captain of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Senior Team.  Rhonda has tremendous work ethic and is very encouraging to her teammates.  She was selected as the Most Valuable Player for 2009 in the COURTS All Sectors Netball League, a major and most prestigious league in Trinidad and Tobago. 

Rhonda played for the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force team in Season 2009 at positions of Wing Attack, Center, and Wing Defence.  She is 5ft 9in. tall and weighs 145lbs.  Her international appearances span some thirteen years and to date, she has 63 caps for the national team.

Rhonda was born in Port of Spain.  She started playing netball at age nine at the Primary School level in Sangre Grande.  She later graduated to Club level playing first with Recreation United in the Mayaro Netball League where she was named best defensive player for five consecutive years.  Eventually, she was named MVP of that League.  She also played in the Arima Netball League for a couple of seasons and later, the Port of Spain Netball League.

She played for Marvelites in the Port of Spain Netball League and subsequently for the Defence Force Netball team, which participates consistently in the COURTS All Sectors Netball League.  Rhonda is also an avid Basketball player and has been named player of the year for basketball while also attaining a nomination for First Citizen’s Sportswoman of the Year Award some time ago.

In pursuit of her academic career, Rhonda accepted a scholarship from Lincoln University USA and graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Wellness.  While at University, she represented Trinidad and Tobago in both Basketball and Netball, and made the first team, All Conference, for three years straight.  Currently, Rhonda is pursuing a Masters degree in Sports Management at the University of Trinidad and Tobago.

Rhonda considers being named the Most Valuable Player of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for Season 2009, a major accomplishment in her life.

 
 
 
 
 

REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2009

The following is a Report on the activities of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for the year 2009.

In this the nineteenth year of the League’s operations, the year of the Summit of the Americas, it is indeed a pleasure to report on the achievements of the League. 

The Management of the League is extremely pleased to report that COURTS (Trinidad) Limited, the main sponsor of the league remains committed, and both the players and the officials are extremely appreciative of this sponsorship. We sincerely appreciate this commitment by COURTS, and that of all our stakeholders, as collectively, we make every effort to further the objectives of the League. We wish to express our heartfelt gratitude to Ms. Malika Moore for times past as we welcome our new, and enthusiastic liaison at COURTS, Mrs. Paula Daniel Linton.

TEAMS
Twenty-three (23) teams registered with the League this year, two more than the previous year. Teams registered to play included four (4) in the Championship Division, thirteen (13) in the Alternative and six (6) in the Retro. New teams registered were CLICO Jabloteh and the University of Southern Caribbean. Prisons also returned after a hiatus of a few years.

With thirteen teams registered in the Alternative Division, this division was again subdivided into X and Y. Teams in the Alternative Division X were Bermudez X, Cilnetres, CLICO Jabloteh, Fire X, Police, and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). In the Alternative Division Y were Bermudez Y, Cavaliers, Defence Force, Fire Y, Prisons, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) and the University of Southern Caribbean. The teams played in a Round Robin Competition in each Sub Division, a Divisional Knock out Competition and an Open Knock Out which was a virtual play off to determine ranking in the entire Division. As usual, the competition between these teams was keen and this augurs well for the sustainability of the sport.

In the Championship Division, the teams were Defence Force, Police, Fire, and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). The Police team consisted of a few new comers to the Division, as some of the older players chose to play in the Retro Division this year. The development of the new players was discernable during the course of the season.

In the Retro Division, six (6) teams competed. Police registered two teams, A and B. The others were Fire, Les Enfants, Harlem, and TSTT. The Police B team was warmly welcomed to the Retro Division.

VENUE
As usual, the League conducted all its activities at the Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (ERISA). Saturday March 07 was omitted from the Fixtures in order to facilitate the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs in the staging of its now annual event for girls and women in sport. 

There continues to be a few challenges with the venue, but some improvements were quite visible. The challenges included time management/scheduling of the different sports, lack of preparation of the court, insufficient furniture, and plumbing/lack of water problems. The major improvement was the provision of a Scoreboard with time clock for use by the league. In addition, there was no problem this year with the gym classes. 

OPENING CEREMONY
The Opening Ceremony took place on Saturday 10 January 2009 at 3.00pm at ERISA. The Fire Service band provided the musical accompaniment for the March Past and as usual was energetic and rhythmic. This service by the Fire Band is truly appreciated by all.

On the saluting base, this year was the Honourable Gary Hunt, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Mr Brian Lewis, Secretary General of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, Mrs. Paula Daniel-Linton, Manager Corporate Communications, COURTS, and Mrs. Patricia Butcher, management committee member of the League. The Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs delivered an inspiring address to the players in which he noted that the League was ‘spot on’ in terms of it vision and objectives with those of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs. Subsequently, he declared the 2009 Season Open.

The judges of the parade were Mr. Esmond Forde, Ms. Joy Demming, and Ms. Kathy Smith. We wish to thank them most sincerely, and to thank all those persons who assisted in making the Opening Day Ceremony the success that it was.

UTT won this year’s march past trophy for the second year running. UTT also won the Opening Day Knock Out competitions from Fire and Bermudez X in the Championship and the Alternative X Divisions respectively. Cavaliers won from Bermudez Y in the Alternative Y Division.

COMPETITIONS
The basic structure of the competitions in all the Divisions remained the same. League games were of one hour’s duration. The Championship Division teams played each other twice in order to determine the overall placing, while in the Alternative Division, there was only one round of competition because of the number of teams and the limited period for play. The other competitions were the Round Robin for the Jean Pierre Challenge in the Championship Division, the Divisional, and Courts Knock-Outs, which were played in two (2) halves of twenty minutes and fifteen minutes each respectively. The League also featured an Open Knock-Out/Play offs competition in the Alternative Division to include teams from both the X and Y.

The Closing of the Season again featured the Mixed Team Colours Tournament, with a mix of players from the various participating teams. This tournament was a success and the camaraderie was excellent. This format commenced in 2006 and participants continue to commend the arrangement as it contributes to building players’ interaction and relationships.

The Retro Division had one round of competition and a Knock Out. They also played a double elimination Knock Out on their final day. All the Retro games were scheduled for Mondays. This arrangement worked quite well again this year.

The results of all of the competitions are in the Appendix

CHALLENGES
As mentioned earlier, the challenges this year were few. The participants handled the concerns of lack of water and other insufficiencies at the venue as best they could and without complaining. On a few occasions too, umpires were asked to umpire more than one game on a Saturday afternoon. This was mainly because of umpires’ work schedules and their commitment to national training events. In addition, it is not always appropriate for players to be umpiring just before or after they play a game. There is a need for establishing a larger pool of qualified umpires.

ACHIEVEMENTS/INNOVATIONS
Management is pleased to report that at the Annual General Meeting 2008, much of the discussion centered on the twentieth anniversary celebrations of the league. The celebrations are scheduled for 2010. The idea of an evening cruise, boat ride for members and friends of the league will be realized on May 8, 2009. The teams have promised full participation as this effort will be a major fundraiser for the celebrations.

UMPIRES DEVELOPMENT
Following Mrs. Joel Young Strong’s screening as a Talent Identified umpire, she eventually acquired the International Umpire Award late last year, 2008. The management and participants of the League congratulate Joel on this tremendous achievement and hope that she would grow from strength to strength as she gets more and more experience as an umpire. Joel is also the coach of the Fire Service Netball Team.

Again, this year, Chris Campbell, IUA of Jamaica was invited to umpire a few games in the league. He was in Trinidad for Carnival. The players in the Championship Division always welcome him and of course, the local umpires learn a lot from his performance and from his feedback to them.

CONTRIBUTION FROM COURTS
The management of the League signed another contract with COURTS last year and agreed to this funding for enhancement of the League specifically and Netball generally. The participants of the league are extremely grateful, and continue to do its best to ensure that the values and ethics of neither the Company nor the League are compromised. The League thanks Ms. Malika Moore our liaison, and Mrs. Paula Daniel Linton, for their continued interest and support for the league. 

FUND RAISER
The promise made by teams for upfront contributions in the agreed amounts, and then be allocated a day on which to raise funds which they will keep, continues to work fine. From reports, received Season 2009 was successful.

MEDIA COVERAGE
The media have continued to work closely with us and we thank them for the coverage. This year we are particularly proud of the coverage we received. We thank especially our major TV Stations TV 6, CNC 3, Gayelle, WIN, NCC 4, and IETV, Radio Stations and the Print media, the Express, the Trinidad Guardian, the Newsday, and others for their efforts.

CONCLUSION
The participants of COURTS All Sectors offer their sincerest appreciation to COURTS Trinidad & Tobago Limited and other stakeholders for their contribution to the League’s success. Special thanks to Ms. Paula Darceuil for the donation to our refreshments on the Opening Day. The League also wishes to thank Marcia and her crew who managed the cafeteria. Thanks again too, to all officials, supporters, well-wishers and others who contributed to making it the success that it was in 2009.

 
 
 
 

REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2008

The following is a Report on the activities of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for the year 2008.

This is the eighteenth year of the League’s operations and this year, like many of the past years, has been successful. This notwithstanding, there were a few challenges that marginally threatened operations both internally, and in the external environment, but these were effectively overcome.

Again, it is a pleasure to report on the achievements of the League and its positive outcomes. The camaraderie, cohesiveness, and cooperation among the participants continued. COURTS (Trinidad) Limited, the main sponsor of the league remains committed, and both the players and the officials are extremely appreciative of this sponsorship. We acknowledge the continued commitment COURTS and of all our stakeholders as collectively, we make every effort to realize the vision of the League.

TEAMS
The League started the Season with twenty-one (21) teams registered. This constituted three more teams than last season. Teams registered to play included five (5) in the Championship Division, ten (10) in the Alternative and six (6) in the Retro. However, before the first game was played, the Defence Force requested a withdrawal of the Championship Y team due to unforeseen domestic circumstances. The net number of participants for the season was therefore twenty (20).

The participating teams in the Alternative Division were Bermudez X, Bermudez Y, Cavaliers, Cilnetres, Defence Force, Fire X, Fire Y, Police, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT) and making a debut was Aeropostal. We heartily welcome Aeropostal to the COURTS All Sectors’ fold, and hope that the team’s stay with the league will endure for a very long time. The teams were divided into X and Y and played each other twice in Round Robin Competition. They also played a Divisional Knock out competition and an Open Knock out which was very exciting as some teams in X were meeting teams in Y for the first time. This competition between the teams was keen and this augurs well for the sustainability of the sport.

In the Championship Division, the final count of teams was Defence Force, Police, Fire Service, and newcomers the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT). As mentioned earlier the Defence Force Y team did not participate this year due to internal challenges. The League wishes to welcome UTT to the league and commends the gaiety of the team’s supporters and the seriousness of the university in its effort to develop netballers. As is the custom, the Championship Division is very competitive among the ‘Services’ and on any given day, any one of them could win, so it is always very exciting to watch them compete. However, UTT added flavor to this Division’s competitions, which made these competitions even more exciting to witness.

In the Retro Division, six (6) teams competed. Police who did not compete last year returned to the fold. The management committee did consider the earlier request by Police to have the team transferred to another Division in the League, but a decision was not necessary since the Police team revised its position and re registered for the Retro Division. The teams that participated were Defence Force, Fire, Les Enfants, TSTT, Harlem, and Police. The last two (2) mentioned teams were warmly welcomed to the Retro Division.

NB The Police team during the course of the Season; by letter, submitted in February 2008 requested a change of name to Sharecroppers. The management committee of the League acceded to this request.

VENUE
The League conducted all its activities at The Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (ERISA). All games were played here. Certain periods were omitted from the fixtures this year, Saturday March 08 in order to facilitate the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs in the staging of an event for girls and women in sport and the Easter weekend March 20 - 24, which period fell within the scheduled netball season this year.

Again, the League experienced a number of challenges with the venue, but not quite as many as last year. On the Opening Day, the place was not properly prepared and members of the management committee had to assist with finalizing this preparation. This year, while the gym equipment was properly stowed, furniture for guests was lacking and again, in the absence of a working ‘public address system’, the league needed to sub contract in order to have this facility provided.

Another challenge that the league continued to face was in respect of the gym classes. These continued for a considerable number of minutes at the side of the court after games commenced even though the activities were supposed to discontinue at least half an hour before games commence. League officials pointed out repeatedly that the safety of the tiny gymnasts were our concern, and notified both the facilities management and the gym instructor of the untenable situation. This situation is unsatisfactory.

Regrettably, for the entire Season, the time clock did not work so that games were timed manually only, for the entire season and players did not have the use of a public time clock. Oftentimes players’ strategy is built around the public clock and this was non-existent this year. While the management and staff of ERISA appear to remain committed and apparently looks forward to our business, there certainly should be some guarantee of improved arrangements for next season and continuing. We look forward to a continued cooperative effort with the management of the Facility

OPENING CEREMONY
The Opening Ceremony took place on Saturday 05 January 2008 at 3.00pm at ERISA. The Fire Service band provided the musical accompaniment for the March Past and as usual was energetic and rhythmic. This service by the Fire Band is truly appreciated by all.

On the saluting base, this year was Mr. Clayton Blackman, member of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee, Mr. Edward Hart ex Member of Parliament, Mr. Kenneth Butcher and his wife Mrs. Patricia Butcher, management committee members of the League. Mrs. Austrid Archer Roachford, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association and Mrs. Lystra Lewis M.O.M, M.B.E. apologized for late arrival and absence respectively. Mr. Larry Romany, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and Mr. Brian Lewis Secretary General sent apologies for absences as well. Mr. Blackman delivered an address to the players and declared the Season Open.

The judges of the parade were Mr. Roger Warner, Mrs. Akosua Dardaine Edwards, and Mrs. Heather Granville Mc Eachnie. We wish to thank them most sincerely and all those persons who assisted in making the Opening Day Ceremony the success that it was.

Newcomers UTT won this year’s march past trophy, while in the Opening Day Knock Out competitions Fire won from UTT in the Championship Division, Cilnetres won from Bermudez in the Alternative X, and Sharecroppers, formerly Police won from newcomers Aeropostal in the Alternative Y Division.

COMPETITIONS
The basic structure of the competitions in all the Divisions remained the same. League games were of one hour’s duration and teams played each other twice in order to determine the overall placing. The other competitions were the Round Robin for the Jean Pierre Challenge in the Championship Division, the Divisional and Courts Knock-Outs, which were played in two halves of twenty minutes and fifteen minutes each respectively. We also featured an Open Knock-Out competition in the Alternative Division to include teams from both the X and Y.

The Closing of the Season again featured the Mixed Team Colours Tournament, with a mix of players from the various participating teams. This tournament was a success and the camaraderie was excellent. This format commenced in 2006 and participants continue to commend the arrangement as it contributes to building players’ interaction and relationships.

The Retro Division had one round of competition and a Knock Out. They also played a double elimination Knock Out on their final day. All the Retro games were scheduled for Mondays, as this seems to be working quite well.

The results of all of the competitions are in the Appendix

CHALLENGES
A couple of the challenges this year were virtually outside of management’s control. The fact that Easter fell within the league’s time frame constituted a shortened season for the league, and scheduling was rigid. The occasional late start was mainly because both players and officials were caught in serious of traffic jams despite having left workplaces at a seemingly appropriate time.

Other challenges came from electrical outages and rescheduling of games due to bereavement and compulsory duty for army officers.

The standard of behaviour during the course of the season was good. On a couple of occasions participants had to be reminded of a few items in the league’s code of conduct. The response was always positive.

ACHIEVEMENTS/INNOVATIONS
Management is pleased to report that in the absence of the Jamaica’s national team tour to Trinidad and Tobago for which the league would have been responsibility, management decided to implement a suggestion made at the 2007 Annual General Meeting that a representative team from the Alternative Division should get some exposure to regional competition.

A program was duly arranged with the Grenada Netball Association and the team completed a very successful tour during the period May 29 to June 01, 2008. The team trained over a six-week period and competed very well in Grenada, winning two of the three games scheduled. (See the management report attached.)

No formal training for officials took place this year. However, in support of one of the objectives of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association to develop the sport on an age level basis in communities, a pilot program for six to nine year olds was implemented in three communities, Morvant/Laventille, Carenage, and San Fernando.

The Chief Executive Officer of the league, Ms. Brenda Prince was the person mainly responsible for the execution of this pilot program as its formulation, monitoring, and evaluation formed the fundamental part of the Project Document that was delivered as the thesis for a Master of Science degree, at the Springfield University in Massachusetts, U.S.A. Ms. Prince graduated summa cum laude, in May 2008. The University was high in its praise for the project since Springfield is the home of basketball, from which the sport of netball originated.

It is noteworthy that all twelve of the facilitators of the pilot were recruited from the Management Training Program that the league hosted at the end of season, 2006 and evaluated during season 2007. The majority of these facilitators showed enthusiasm and a willingness to continue with the program, which is another major boost for the sport in terms of its human resources. The actual program for six to nine year olds will roll out in July/August 2008 in a few additional communities, effectively launching age-level development netball for children in specific communities.

UMPIRES DEVELOPMENT FORUM
On February 22, 2008, the league organized an Umpires Development forum, which took place at the Crowne Plaza, in Port of Spain in furtherance of the work of senior umpires. Mr. Chris Campbell of Jamaica, International umpire, who umpired the final of the World Championships in 2007, Ms. Anne Marie Dickson, International umpire and Convener of the national umpiring committee, Mrs. Carol Gittens, Member of the national umpiring committee and Ms. Brenda Prince, Member of the International Umpiring Committee and national umpiring committee formed the panel. Participation was extremely interactive and encouraging. Chris also demonstrated his skills when he umpired some of the league’s top games and coached a couple umpires.

Subsequent to these sessions, one of the league’s foremost umpires, Mrs. Joel Young Strong, showed marked improvement in her umpiring. She was selected to umpire at the Under 16 regional championships: a good will series in Jamaica, between Jamaica and the Australian Institute team, and the AFNA championships in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in July 2008. The league commends Joel and wishes her every success with umpiring in the future.

OBITUARY
The council, management, players, and other stakeholders of the league convey sincere condolences to the family, relatives, and friends, and particularly to Cavaliers on the passing of Mr. Ulric Brown, the main sponsor of Cavaliers and a true friend and patron of netball. May he rest in peace.

CONTRIBUTION FROM COURTS
Again, this year, COURTS agreed additional funding for enhancement of the League specifically and Netball generally, and a contract, similar to that of 2007 was signed with the company on April 07 2008. The participants of the league are extremely grateful, and continue to do its best to ensure that the values and ethics of neither the Company nor the League are compromised. The League thanks Ms. Malika Moore our liaison, and her executive, for the continued interest and support for the league.

FUND RAISER
The agreement reached with teams that they would contribute upfront in the amounts that they are normally expected to, and then be allocated a day on which to raise funds which they will keep, continues to work fine. From reports received Season 2008 was successful.

MEDIA COVERAGE
The media have continued to work closely with us and we thank them for the coverage. This year we are particularly proud of the coverage we received. We thank especially our major TV Stations TV 6, CNC 3, Gayelle, WIN, NCC 4 and IETV; Radio Stations and the Print media, the Express, the Trinidad Guardian, the Newsday and other Journalists for their efforts.

CONCLUSION
The participants of COURTS All Sectors offer their sincerest appreciation to COURTS Trinidad & Tobago Limited and the Ministry of Community Culture and Gender Affairs for their contribution to the League’s success, and to Ms. Paula Darceuil for the donation to our refreshments on the Opening Day. The League also wishes to thank Marcia and her crew who managed the cafeteria. Thanks again too, to all officials, supporters, well-wishers and others who contributed to making it the success that it was in 2008 .

 
   
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