Team representing Dominica at the 2024 Jean Pierre Caribbean Youth Netball Tournament officially presented to the public

The Sports Division in the Ministry of Culture, Youth, Sports and Community Development held its Presentation Ceremony at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium on Thursday, March 28th. The Ceremony was held for the under 16 team that will represent Dominica at the Jean Pierre Caribbean Youth Netball Tournament in St. Lucia from April 3rd to April 10th. The Team is comprised of 13 girls representing several High schools around the island, Dominica Grammar School, Castle Bruce Secondary School, Portsmouth Secondary School, Northeast Comprehensive School and Convent High School.

The girls have been preparing themselves since December enduring months of preparation and hard work.  Each girl has worked to make her selection to this year’s team. Team manager Curnia James expressed pride in the team’s efforts, stating that they had worked diligently.

The ceremony highlighted the presentation of the team captain Kenya John who has held the position for 2 years. “There were days where we were all stressed down to even our coaches, and we felt like we weren’t prepared enough, but as of today, we are ready ” She stated as she acknowledged the challenges the team faced. “The ups and downs we’ve had in the past months were for a reason because now we feel like we can just exhale and win.” John added.

Another star player Delicia Julien was spotlighted as the youngest teammate. The 14-year-old from Convent High School has shown remarkable dedication to netball with just a year and a half of experience, she has already participated in eight tournaments, with the current national tournament being her second.  “I started young and through hard work and dedication along with my dad as my main supporter I have been able to move forward” She shared.

Korlita Hamilton, President of the Dominica Netball Association, commended the team, “I would like to tell you all that your commitment, your hard work has paid off.” She encouraged them to maintain the spirit of teamwork. Hamilton proudly stated, “Dominica has always been the most disciplined team.” She expressed her anticipation, saying, “As your president, I look forward to seeing you all advance in your career.”

National Sports Coordinator Trevor Shillingford in his remark shared that, the Government of Dominica has consistently covered the expenses for the past 16 years to participate in this tournament. This year alone, the cost for participation, along with other associated expenses leading up to the tournament, amounts to $41,000. “It was a very costly exercise, but it was money well spent as we know it will help the development of our youth.” The sports coordinator highlighted the division’s commitment to regular participation in the championship” That is the commitment that we give from the sports division.” As Netball being recognized the only all-female sport, they have chosen to utilize it as a vehicle for nurturing well-disciplined, well-groomed, and well-charactered young ladies.

Shillingford urged the team to be true ambassadors of their country and to perform to the best of their abilities. While acknowledging the desire for success and championship he stressed the significance of the players’ development as individuals. “Let’s ensure that from this exercise, you become a better person.” He stated. 

The mother of the captain offers advice to other parents, especially on the importance of support, saying, “Support! Whatever your children are passionate about, support them, whether it’s sports or arts, whatever it is apart from academics, support them.” The team will have their last training this Saturday before departing.

Written by:Adelle Pascal

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