South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia, four of the the strongest nations in international Netball, are set to join forces in what will be a ground breaking partnership. The new organisation, SANZEA, will involve the four leading international teams regularly competing together.
Raising the Profile of International Netball
The SANZEA nations hope to enhance their profiles, as well as that of international Netball itself, recognising a need for more regular international competition, outside that of the Commonwealth Games and the Netball world Cup.
The very first event will take place towards the end of 2016, hosted by New Zealand and Australia. The beginning of 2017 will then see the competition move to England and South Africa. Following the first two years of SANZEA, a review will be undertaken to establish the success of the programme. It is hoped that there will be opportunities for the competition to be extended to other Netball nations and for further growth at this time.
It is also hoped that the initiative will encourage ordinary people to play Netball. Clubs and teaching programmes, such as http://www.sportplan.net/ teaching the latest skills and netball drills, are available nationwide.
Details of the inaugural event are due to be released shortly with the support of the International Netball Federation (INF).
The competition has huge potential for international Netball and has been welcomed by all those involved. Joanna Adams, Chief Executive of England Netball, expressed excitement at the opportunity the partnership would present for international netball, hopefully placing it well and truly on the global sporting stage. Ms Adams points out the chance to showcase the game at its highest level on a more regular basis, an important step towards building a deeper, more recognised international presence.
With greater media coverage, record levels of attendance and increased participation, the SANZEA initiative provides the perfect chance to capitalise on growing popularity in an international arena. The positive impact of this new partnership is an incredibly exciting prospect, especially given the fact that England are also due to host the next World Cup in 2019. English fans can revel in seeing the stars of International Netball on their doorsteps for the next four years.
With so much positivity and hope invested in the partnership, it seems sure to be a hugely successful move for International Netball.