Before you say it, yes, we know, netball is very much a game played by the fairer sex. However, as the likes of ex-sportsmen Jamie Redknapp and Andrew Flintoff and comedians James Corden and Jack Whitehall found out earlier this year during an exhibition match in London, serious skill and athleticism is needed to compete in the sport.
If you fancy checking out high level netball for yourself, the Mission Foods Asian Netball Championships is heading to Singapore. It will be held at the OCBC Arena at the Singapore Sports Hub from 7th to 14th September.
This is the most prestigious netball championships in Asia, being played once every four years and also doubling up as the qualifier for the 2015 World Cup which will be staged in Sydney, Australia. The top two nations will earn their place.
Singapore are the defending champions and the 2014 Championships are set to be the most competitive yet, as, year on year, netball in the region goes from strength to strength. Netball Singapore is spearheading much of this transformation by supporting developing nations including Vietnam and Brunei to enhance their skills and move them forward.
The 2014 edition will host 13 Asian nations – the largest number of teams ever assembled. You will see the local rivalry of Singapore versus Malaysia played out on home soil and Sri Lanka will also be another team to watch. Hong Kong, Japan and India will also be in the mix.
The Singapore national team have been training hard in the last few months, with their schedule including a trip to Fiji for some all-important high-level match practice.
National coach Ruth Aitken is looking for a strong performance from the team on home soil. She said: ‘The Asian Championships have been a major focus for us over the past few years and now they are almost here. We have a determined squad of players who all want to play well in front of their families and friends in a bid to retain the title and reach the World Cup next year. There is a lot at stake and we will do all we can to make everyone proud.’
Get behind the host nation or your favourite team and enjoy some wonderful netball action right here in Singapore.
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