Photo Credit: Netball Singapore
Today (SATURDAY 7th) marks a year to go until the Asian netball championships begin in Singapore. From 7-14 of September 2014, an expected 12 teams will battle it out in a bid to become Asian Champions – the title which hosts Singapore currently hold and are looking to retain. Being held at the Sports Halls at the Singapore Sports Hub (due for completion in 2014), this regional competition will be one of the first major events to be staged there.
Netball Singapore’s President Jessica Tan, Chief Executive Cyrus Medora, newly appointed National Coach and Technical Director Ruth Aitken along with National Players Charmaine Soh and Nurul Baizura visited the venue today to officially mark the 12 month countdown to the event.
Organisation and planning are well underway with team announcements, fixtures and ticketing details all to be released in the first half of next year.
Jessica Tan said, “Today is an important date for Netball Singapore to mark as we are now officially in countdown to welcome our Asian neighbours in exactly one year's time to what is set to be a hotly contested competition. it will be a chance for netball fans in Singapore and around the region to enjoy the spectacle of a major event being held here once again. The World Championships in 2011 were a huge success and a real highlight for everyone involved and we hope the support and enthusiasm around the Asian Championships will be the same.”
On the playing side of things, the national team is working hard in preparation for the Asian Championships with a number of key events in the coming twelve months to aid their goal of winning the trophy for a third time.
Selection trials will be held at the end of September for the Opens team and wider training squad. The Singapore team will travel to the Cook Islands in November for a test series in preparation for Nations Cup which is being held from 1-7 December and will feature teams from five different continents.
It is not only the Asian Championship title that is being contested next September as the event also acts as the Asian qualifier for the World Championships. The top two Asian teams will play earn themselves a place in the line-up in Sydney, Australia in 2015. The Singapore team are eager to compete in this pinnacle event once again having experienced the thrills and spills in Singapore two years ago and it is something that Ruth Aitken has also got in her sights.
Aitken said, “We have a new breed of players coming through and we will be using the next 12months as period to develop and create what we believe to be the best team that can give us a good chance of taking the top spot in the competition. We have a lot of hard work to do, but we will use our tour to the Cook Islands and the highly competitive Nations Cup in December as important building blocks in our preparations and give all our girls the chance to play themselves into contention for a place in the final 12 that are ultimately selected.”
The Sports Hub welcomed the visit of Netball Singapore today and supports all national sporting endeavourers that are hosted at this new national landmark, as this competition will be able to benefit from state-of-the-art facilities the hub has to offer.
In anticipation of this premier event, Poh Yu Khing, COO, Singapore Sports Hub, exclaimed: "We are delighted to host such an event of this magnitude at the Singapore Sports Hub. The Sports Halls will provide the perfect venue to house this event as it is designed to cater to an array of indoor sporting events for both National Sports Associations and the general public. This will undoubtedly be a great spectacle for the local community to come watch and support.