DEFENDING champions of the Suva Netball Business House competition Central Teachers scraped through to a 9-7 win over Lyndhurst I in the first round of competition on Thursday night. Led by internationally badged umpires, Moape Vu and Jona Qalo, the team made a good start to its title defence.
Central Teachers showed they were the team to beat with a 14-12 win over Fiji Sports Council (FSC) in the knockout competition last week. Games co-ordinator Tanya Vatubua said 33 teams were competing in the NewWorld-sponsored competition this year.
"This is a big increase compared to the 28 teams we had last year. Central Teachers made a winning start but they are in a very tough pool and some of their opponents have national and district reps in their teams," she said.
The 33 teams have been divided into four categories — cadet, management, supervisory and chief executive and some teams also have the services of national reps.
"Unfortunately the national under- 21 side is engaged in off-season training so their players are not available.
"However, from what we have seen last night (Thursday night), the competition is very tough and intense and this is a good sign. FSC, BSP and Lyndhurst I are the other strong contenders for the title and we look forward to some stiff competition even though this is a social event."
Vatubua said business houses were using the competition to engage their workers in an exercise routine to promote a healthy lifestyle in the workforce.