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Netball National League kicks off

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The latest edition of the long established Netball National League begins on Monday night with the Singapore 21 and Under side entering the fray for the first time. 

The youth team will take part in the five-team Division One over the next seven weeks at the Kallang Netball Centre, where they will battle against defending champions Sneakers Ace, as well as Blaze, Marlins Air and Fier Orcas for the title.

The strong competition will be good preparation for the 21&Us ahead of the Asian Youth Championships to be staged in Hong Kong in December. 

National netball league

Shina Teo (centre) in action while playing in the National League. Photo: Netball Singapore/ Vox Sports

"The National League is quite a high standard of play because you are playing against the best clubs in Singapore," team captain Tan Shi Ni said.

"We will face a lot of tough opponents, especially really experienced teams like Marlins and Sneakers."

The Sneakers will take on old rivals Blaze in the opening match of this year's league with the 21&U side sitting out the first round.

Shi Ni will be able to give her 21&U team mates the inside track for their opening June 29 fixture against Blaze, her current club.

The 21&Us are just one of 83 teams taking part in this year's league, which was first held back in the 1960s and has grown into a strong competition for those with international ambitions as well as netball enthusiasts looking to keep fit.

Although none of the Southeast Asian Games gold netball medallists are in action, the next generation of talents hoping to match the 2015 team's victorious feats are keen to show their skills.

There are nine divisions, with another three for mixed teams. The Singapore 19&Us will compete in Division Two on Tuesday nights against Extreme Sonique, SRC Blue, Sneakers Force, Llabten Thunder and Speed Sprint, while the 17&U team will play on Wednesday's in a nine-team Division Three.

The 14&U team will be playing in Division Four against SRC Red, Team Aciers, Revive, Singapore Polytechnic, Speed Dash, Zenith Alpha and Bucks Purples.

Teams are allowed squads of 15 players with the winners of each division promoted to the league above, while the bottom side will be relegated down a rung.

The League finals for the top two divisions will take place at the Toa Payoh Sports Hall on August 29.

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