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Mission Foods Beach Netball Festival: a game for both genders

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Played on the sand and under the sun, beach netball has attracted its own set of followers, which has been increasing steadily, since 2010. (Photo by Loong Yong En/ Singapore Sports Council)

Creating a unique image as compared to the traditional netball played on the hard court, Netball Singapore has managed to steadily attract its own set of followers for beach netball since 2010.

Into its fifth year, the Mission Foods Beach Netball Festival 2014 saw an increased number of teams participating in the annual event. The tournament not only brought together netball enthusiasts, but also the beach-goers and those seeking a fun-filled day out in the sun with their friends and families at Siloso Beach, Sentosa on 2 March.

Mission Foods Beach Netball Festival

A player from team NZ Tui trying to block a shot by an opponent in a Mixed Open match. (Photo by Lim Sau Boon/ Singapore Sports Council)

Netball is primarily played by females but there was a growing number of males that have picked up the sport and one of them is 35-year-old Jason Goh.

“It is fine for both men and women to play netball. The male are physically stronger but the female are technically better,” explained the Icon14 team member.

More males have picked up netball recently despite the sport being played primarily by females. (Photo by Loong Yong En/ Singapore Sports Council)

“We have been playing together for some time and we took part last year too. Hopefully we will be fit to come back next year. We do play socially among our friends on the court. Although it is harder to play on the beach, because of the sun and sand, we all have a fun time spending with our friends,” added Jason.

Mission Foods started sponsoring the tournament during the World Netball Championship 2011 and their partnership with Netball Singapore has grown ever since.

For Mr Cyrus Medora, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Netball Singapore, he was pleased that the event went smoothly and was encouraged by the number of teams that were involved in the one-day tournament.

“Last year we had 39 teams and this year we saw 51 teams taking part. There are also a mixed team, comprising of the guys and girls. The numbers are growing and they all come together for a fun day out at the beach and playing netball,” said Mr Medora.

Mission Foods Beach Netball Festival

Players going up for a rebound during a Women's Open match. (Photo by Lim Sau Boon/ Singapore Sports Council)

“Netball is usually played on hard courts and this tournament aims to bring the beach goers together in a more trendy and stylish,” added the CEO who went on to reveal that the beach netball festival will be back in 2015.

Sparta were crowned champions in the Women’s Open category following their 5-4 triumph over Ninja while team ‘X’ saw off Expendables 5-2 in the Under-23 competition.

Over at the Corporate/Mixed category, Frenz picked up the winners' medal for the fifth consecutive year, securing a 8-6 victory over Icon 14 in the final. 

There were more good news rolling in for Singapore’s netball during the prize presentation ceremony as Mission Foods was officially unveiled as the title sponsor for Asian Netball Championship, which will be held in Singapore from 7 to 14 September this year at the new Singapore Sports Hub.

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