REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2017

This Report is an account of the activities of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for the year 2017.

The COURTS All Sectors Netball League completed its twenty-seventh season this year, and is pleased to report that the season was very successful. Toward the end of the Season, proposals for enhancing the League’s operations were brought to the attention of Management, and indeed a few of these would be implemented over the coming months.

The structure of the League has not changed. The Divisions are the Premiership, the Championship, the Alternative and the Retro.  The Retro Division continues as a separate Unit.  Cash prizes were once again awarded in the Premiership Division.

There was no change to the Management Committee when the Election was held at the Annual General Meeting in November of 2016.  Neither was there any change to the Council. The meeting was very satisfied with the performance of the League’s leadership teams. 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; Ms 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 support of the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), and of our many stakeholders. The membership maintains its commitment to the sustained development of the sport and more specifically of the League.

TEAMS
Four (4) teams played in the Premiership Division, eight (8) in the Championship five (5) in the Alternative, and five (5) in the Retro. Altogether twenty-two teams participated.

The Alternative Division comprised of Defence Force, Fire, Police, University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), and the University of the West Indies (UWI). Prisons did not field a team this year, but promised to be back next Season.  

In the Championship Division were Bermudez, Defence Force, Jabloteh, new comers Las Lomas Academy and the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC), Police, newly promoted Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT).

The Premiership Division comprised Fire, Police, University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) and the University of the West Indies (UWI). The competition in this was even more intense than last Season as evidenced by a couple of drawn games in the Round Robin Competition.

The Retro Division consisted of Bermudez, Les Enfants, Harlem, TSTT and new comers Carib Senators who were duly welcomed.

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

Notwithstanding the challenges, mentioned later in this Report, we especially thank the Management of ERISA for the use of the Arena, the use of the Official Changing Room for the storage of our equipment, and for preparing for our Opening Ceremony; and for the offer of alternative accommodation for the Closing Ceremony. The Closing Ceremony was held at the Maloney Indoor Sports Arena. We thank the Manager and staff at this facility for their efforts to make us extremely comfortable.

We note again that the office, maintenance, security, and cafeteria staff at ERISA 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 07 January 2017 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 the Honorable Esmond Forde, Member of Parliament for Tunapuna, Ms. Nicole Loney Mills, Corporate Communications Manager of COURTS; Dr. Patricia Butcher, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association, Member of the Executive of the International Netball Federation and of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League,  Mr. Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and Ms. Brenda Prince, Chief Executive Officer of the League, who assisted the dignitaries with the inspection of the parade. The dignitaries brought greetings and offered best wishes to the League. The Honorable Member of Parliament for Tunapuna declared the 2017 Season open. 

The judges of the parade were Mr. Garth Stewart, Ms. Kathy Smith and Dr. Oba Gulston. The League expresses its appreciation to them and to all those persons who assisted in making the Opening Day Ceremony a success.

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

In the Opening Day Knock Out competition, UWI won from UTT in the Premiership Division; Police won from UTT in the Championship Division; while in the Alternative Division, Fire won from Defence Force. 

COMPETITIONS
The structure of the competitions was the same as last Season. Again, in the Championship Division, given that there were eight teams registered and the limited time available, only one round of the Round Robin was possible. However as happened last Season, this Division played a double elimination Knock Out instead of a straight Knock Out in the Divisional KO competition. The Fast 5 and the competitions for the Jean Pierre and Steve Sarjeant Challenge trophies were also played as a straight Knock Outs, in the interest of time.

League games, with the exception of those in the Retro, were of one hour’s duration. Teams in Premiership and Alternative Divisions played each other twice in order to determine the overall placing for the League trophies. The Championship Division played one round.  The other competitions were the Knock-Outs for the 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 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 and it appeared that the standard of the games improved. The innovation introduced in the Fast 5 Competitions where the one goal-point was eliminated and the two goal-point line was placed mid-way in the goal circle, proved to be exciting and it is expected that this will continue. The games in the Championship Division were particularly interesting this year as many of them ended with close score lines.

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

CHALLENGES
There were a few challenges this Season particularly with the venue, but there was some good news in that the gym equipment that threatened the safety of the players last Season was removed.   The main challenge was as follows.   In late February, the manager of the facility called to report that the Arena would not have been available to us during the period 23 March to March 30 because the venue was needed for an International Hockey event that would end on April 04. March 30 is the date of our Closing Ceremony. The Maloney facility was offered as an alternative both for concluding the games and the Closing Ceremony. After fair consideration, management agreed that the Maloney facility may not have been an ideal location for the continuation of the games, and agreed to reschedule games to include Wednesdays and Sundays at ERISA, so that games could be completed before March 23. This re-organization was indeed a challenge for all concerned as the Ministry’s directive was unexpected. However, with the cooperation of everyone, the Fixtures were completed as rescheduled. We thank all participants for the tolerance and discipline showed in the trying circumstances.   There were problems too with the surface of the playing area, and the inoperable electronic scoreboard. Regarding the surface, players and umpires complained that very often, it seemed exceedingly slippery. It could not be determined what the cause was, and mopping the floor did not appear to improve the situation. Fortunately, there were no injuries. Reports were duly made.

The problem of the digital scoring was resolved as the League decided to purchase a portable electronic scoreboard.

The shortage of officials was not a major concern this year as many have truly committed to being present to assist especially during contingencies. The League sincerely appreciates the efforts of all concerned.

 

TRAINING
No formal training took place this year, but the League did facilitate some participants who used the opportunity of the League’s games, to train Bench Officials for the Jean Pierre Under 16 Tournament which was scheduled to take place in Trinidad and Tobago but had to be postponed.

In addition, at the request of one of its participants who was doing a Sports Management Project in order to complete a UWI Diploma program, the League was able to accommodate her for activity training.

Some informal training also took place in respect of the use of the new Score Board that was purchased by the League given that the one at the venue was not working. Tremendous interest was shown.

ACHIEVEMENTS/INNOVATIONS
At the League’s AGM 2016, a couple of decisions were taken regarding the operations of the League. The meeting agreed that
  • The naming of a Junior All Star team should continue along with Senior All Star team now named the Senior All Star team. 
  • There should be some technical changes to the Fast 5 format of the game viz. that there should be no one goal-point and that the two goal-point line should be widened.

The changes to the Fast 5 game proved to be very exciting so that it is now proposed that the League should host a Fast 5 Festival weekend as part of its program.

In August 2016, the Team Burke Browne Foundation invited the Senior All Stars team to Grenada, to participate in an Exhibition game against the Grenada Inter Sector team as part of the Foundation project to raise awareness of Cancer publicly, through netballing communities. The League accepted the invitation, and a Report on the event is appended.

Management also considered and agreed among other things, a proposal for the upgrading of the League’s Logo, at a Breakfast meeting held on March 25th at the Kapok Restaurant and is pleased to append a brief Report on the outcome of this meeting.  See the attached Report.

 

Donations from the Herbarium (Cher Mere)
Cher Mere continued its support for the League this Season with the donation of Vouchers at the Awards Ceremony.  Both All Star Teams, senior and junior were given individual gift vouchers. The League is very appreciative of these contributions as it seeks to promote healthy and hygienic lifestyles for its participants while promoting Cher Mere’s cutting-edge products.

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 richly deserves. 

The League thanks the Management of Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited particularly, Ms. Nicole Loney Mills and the staff in Communications for participating in our events and for their encouragement.

Fund Raiser
Teams continue to contribute in advance in the amounts requested. The AGM also noted that the decision taken by the Council to have an additional fund raiser to assist with doing a tour has not yet been implemented. Current difficult economic times are not helping, but the effort will continue.

MEDIA COVERAGE
The media coverage this year was excellent, especially the Print Media. We thank the Express, especially Mr. Garth Wattley and Mr. Ashford Jackman; the Trinidad Guardian, especially Ms. Rachel King; and the Newsday 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), the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), and other stakeholders for the League’s success. Special thanks to the Fire Service Band and Ms. Paula Darceuil for their services on the Opening Day. The League also wishes to thank Ms Elsa Clouden for her continued support, and “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 2017.

 
     
 
 
 

COURTS All Sectors All Star Team Victorious in Grenada

The Trinidad and Tobago COURTS All Sectors Netball League's All Star team 2016 returned from Grenada on Monday morning September 26, having participated successfully in an Exhibition Match against the Grenada Inter Sector's All Star Netball team last Saturday. The TT team won the game 59/32.

Earlier, the COURTS All Sectors Netball League had accepted an invitation from the Team Burke Browne Foundation to play an Exhibition game at the Opening Ceremony of the Inter Sector Netball competitions in Grenada.

The Team Burke Browne Foundation teamed up with the Grenada Netball Association to stage another event of the philanthropic project entitled 'Netball vs. Cancer' (NvC). This was another tremendous effort by Jaime Brown, Event Coordinator of the Team Burke Browne Foundation to raise awareness of Cancer publicly, through netballing communities.

The project is committed to Teaming up Against Cancer by bringing communities together through events and activities to join the fight for a cure.

The COURTS All Sectors Netball All Star team 2016 left Trinidad last Friday night with the intention of participating in the Exhibition game only, but as it turned out, on the day of the Opening, the team was further invited by the President of the Grenada Netball Association, Ms. Glynis Roberts, to participate in the March Past and the Rally. The Rally was played among registered teams in the Inter Sector Competitions, and preceded the Exhibition Match.

Popular Soca music was provided for the March Past and the TT team choreographed well, to loud applause of the spectators. Later, they won the prize of a Hamper donated by the HUBBARDS Organization of Grenada, for winning the Rally. The T&T All Star team knocked out the Hubbards team to reach the final, and then knocked out the Ministry of Education team in the final game.
As indicated earlier the TT team outplayed their counterparts in the Exhibition game.

The COURTS All Sectors Netball All Star team included: Rhonda John Davis Coach/Captain, Joelisa Cooper, Patrice Goring and Kalifa McCollin (Goal Shooter/Goal Attack), Onella Jack, Daystar Swift, Kielle Connelly and Leslie Ann Bacquain (Goal Keeper/Goal Defence) and Candice Guerero, Amanda Cameron and Nichelle Hinds (Centre Court). Jellene Richardson and Afeisha Noel, original members of the team were not able to make the tour.

 
 
 
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