Tourney platform to select U21 side

Netball Fiji CEO Vivian Koster at Digicel in Suva, on Fri 30 June 2023. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

The 2023 Digicel Punjas National Championship that starts this Friday will serve as a platform for the association in selecting an under-21 side for the World Youth Netball Championship in 2025, says Netball Fiji chief executive officer Vivian Koster.

The two-day tournament, which is considered Netball Fiji’s annual competitions calendar, will be held at the National Netball Centre in Suva.

“We will be selecting a U21 team for the qualifiers in July to August next year, and this is a good platform for players to come out and showcase their talent,” she said.

About 30 teams from across 13 netball associations all over the country are set to compete in the championship this weekend.

There will be a total of four grades in which 33 teams will be taking part.

This includes the premier grade for women, the men’s grade, the senior grade (minor and island members), and the national grade for the U19 and under.

“We have already qualified for the championship, but we still want to compete at it to help with preparations.”

Koster said she and other scouts would be on the lookout during the championship for any upcoming talents to add to their national academy
that was formed last year.

She also said secondary school teams would also be part of the competition, where they fell under the U19 and under grade.

“The championship here in Suva on Friday is going to be a very exciting one, so we are encouraging fans and supporters of your respective teams to come out in numbers.”

“After the competition last year, we managed to discover some amazing and talented players who have joined our academy and we are looking forward to the championship on Friday.”

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