Fri | Apr 10, 2020

Support the Sunshine Girls, says Forbes - Former skipper calls for help in raising $30m for Netball World Cup gold hunt

Published:Tuesday | April 9, 2019 | 12:25 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer
Members of Jamaica’s national senior women’s netball team, the Sunshine Girls, huddle during a match against England in the Sunshine Series last year at the National Indoor Sports Centre.
Members of Jamaica’s national senior women’s netball team, the Sunshine Girls, huddle during a match against England in the Sunshine Series last year at the National Indoor Sports Centre.

Director of Netball Jamaica, Simone Forbes, is urging Jamaicans to get on board and support the Sunshine Girls in their quest to raise $30 million to assist in their preparation for and participation in this year’s Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England.

Forbes, a former Sunshine Girls captain, told The Gleaner that the association is desperate for the funding, as it would help with the needs of the national side.

“We are seeking $30 million, and so we are asking at least 60,000 Jamaicans to give us $500 each, and so if we are able to get that, then that is $30 million of the $42 million that we need,” said Forbes.

“I know that JN and the Government should be assisting, JN through sponsorship and the Government, of course, it being netball,” she said.

“The team has to travel because there is going to be a camp prior to the World Cup, and it has to be funded. Everything is necessary to ensure that the ladies have everything that they need in order to get that gold medal,” Forbes said.

The Sunshine Girls, who won the bronze medal at last year’s Commonwealth Games, are ranked third in the world behind Australia and New Zealand.

The 37-year-old Forbes, who is regarded as one of the country’s best netball players of all time, noted that this is one of the most talented Sunshine Girls teams she has seen over the years and, therefore, believes that they can win the gold medal at this year’s championships.

BEST PLAYERS

“I have said that these 15 to 20 ladies are some of the best players that I have seen combined as a team, and I don’t mean good attackers and good defenders and good centre court, I mean across the board, it is more of a balanced team,” Forbes said.

“It shows in the Commonwealth Games performances and our performance against England in our three-Test homes series that we have very good players,” said Forbes, who helped the Sunshine Girls to back-to-back bronze medals at the World Championships in 2003 and 2007.

“We just have to ensure that everything is in place to propel them to gold. I believe that Jamaica has the capacity and capability to be in that final match on the final day,” said Forbes.