The OECS under 23 Netball tournament which is sponsored by the Eastern Caribbean Central bank (ECCB), officially got underway on the evening of Saturday 7th July, at the Pamela Tyson Netball stadium in Basseterre.
It all started with an impressive opening ceremony, which featured remarks by Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), Mr. Timothy Antoine, who indicated that after twenty years, it was time for his renowned institution to review the sponsorship funds and wished all of the teams well
Mrs. Jennifer Byron-Nero, chairperson of the Women in Sports Commission, also addressed the gathering and pointed out that Netball is still the number one women’s sport and is also the ultimate team sport.
President of the St. Kitts Netball Association, Mr. Cyril Ible Federick, then gave a warm welcome to all of the teams and officials.
This was followed by a drumming rendition with the African drums and an inspection of the teams by some of the officials on hand.
The national anthems of all of the teams, as also played: St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; Antigua and Barbuda; St. Lucia and the Commonwealth of Dominica.
Minister of Sports, Hon. Shawn Richards, then added his welcome to the teams and officials and pledged his government’s continued commitment and support to the development of the sport.
Mr. Dion French-Secretary of the local Association, then delivered the vote of thanks.
Immediately after the opening ceremony, team Nevis received a baptism of fire, as they came up against champs, St. Vincent & the Grenadines. Nevis was trounced in this game.
St. Kitts on the other hand, dished out a whipping to team Antigua & Barbuda and went on to win defending champions, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, the following night, in a close encounter.
Summarized scores received after two days of competition are as follows:
ST. Vincent &the Grenadines 78 Nevis 9
St. Lucia 31 Dominica 14. This match ended prematurely in the third quarter, as the Dominica team wrote a formal protest, citing the overbearing physical play of their opponents.
St. Kitts 53 Antigua & Barbuda 18
St. Lucia 89 Nevis 7
St. Kitts 36 SVG 32
Dominica 28 Antigua & Barbuda 18