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Netball festival

Maciu Malo
Sunday, December 03, 2017

MORE than 300 players converged at the Lautoka mulitpurpose courts yesterday for the first day of the International Netball Festival Fiji.

The 32 participating teams comprises players from New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.

Tournament official Jane Rushton said a total of 20 teams travelled from Australia and two from New Zealand to compete against the 11 local teams.

She said the objective of the tournament was to help players and especially for the local girls to gauge their standards against some of the top teams in Australia and New Zealand.

Rushton said the competition would benefit the local community in many ways.

"We had the same tournament in Suva last year which was hosted by the Grasshoppers Netball and this year we planned to bring it over to the West," she said.

"This event is to combine netballers from New Zealand, Australia, to play against the Fijians so the people learn from each other and have a wonderful time.

"There could be opportunities for local players as we will be looking for talents and sponsorship to take some of the local girls to netball academies in Australia."

Rushton praised the standard of netball displayed during the first day of competition.

"Today's competition is amazing especially the Fijian team.

"We also have some good Australian teams here and we are enjoying the Fijian hospitality and we definitely coming back next year.

"The overseas teams will also be visiting villages and communities to distribute netball uniforms, match balls and many other things to give back to the Fijians."

She thanked Tourism Fiji for sponsoring the event and other sponsors such as the Nila, First Landing and the Anchorage hotels for the accommodations and the KBL and Fiji Airways.

The competition continues tomorrow.

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