REVIEW OF THE SEASON – YEAR 2016
This Report is an account of the activities of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League for the year 2016.
The COURTS All Sectors Netball League completed its twenty-sixth season this year, and is reporting again that the season was very successful. The structure of the League remained the same. The Divisions are the Premiership, the Championship and the Alternative. Cash prizes were once again awarded in the Premiership Division. The Retro Division continued as a separate Unit.
There was no change to the Management Committee when the Election was held at the Annual General Meeting in November of 2015. Neither was there any change to the Council. The President of the Council is Ms Sharon Wilson of the Bermudez team and the Secretary is Ms Lilia Mathurin Cameron of the Jabloteh team. The Management Committee comprises Ms Carol Demming Gittens; Ms Rosemary Mathurin; Ms Josette Lord; Ms Giselle Darlington; Ms Patricia Butcher; Mr. Kenneth Butcher and Ms Brenda Prince.
The League is extremely grateful for the continued support of our main sponsor Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited (COURTS), the support of the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), and of our many stakeholders. The membership maintains its commitment to the sustained development of the sport and more specifically of the League.
Four (4) teams played in the Premiership, seven (7) in the Championship Division, six (6) in the Alternative, and four (4) in the Retro. Altogether twenty-one teams participated.
The Alternative Division comprised of Police, Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), University of the Southern Caribbean (USC), the University of the West Indies (UWI), Prisons and Fire who re-entered the Division this year.
In the Championship Division were Bermudez, Jabloteh, Police, Fire, UWI, newly promoted from the Alternative Division UTT, and Defence Force who returned after a short hiatus.
The Premiership Division comprised Fire, Police X, newly promoted Police Y and UTT
The competition in the Premiership Division was intense, particularly among the top three teams. One member of the Police Y team reported that the competition was too extreme. She hinted that the team would have preferred to remain in the Championship Division where they had fun. However, although the gaps in the score lines appeared huge, these did not truly reflect the standard/level of play as the games were exciting to watch.
The Retro Division consisted of Bermudez, Les Enfants, Harlem and TSTT
The League commenced at The Eastern Regional Indoor Sports Arena (ERISA) and as usual, all of the games were played at this venue.
Notwithstanding the challenges, mentioned later in this Report, we especially thank the Management of ERISA for the cooperation in the circumstances, and for the use of the Official Changing Room for the storage of our equipment, and for preparing for our Opening and Closing Ceremonies.
We note again that the office, maintenance, security, and cafeteria staff were all helpful and courteous, and we look forward to working with them in the future.
The Opening Ceremony took place on Saturday 09 January 2016 at 3.00pm at ERISA. The Fire Service band kindly provided the musical accompaniment for the March Past. On the saluting base for the March Past were the Honorable Darryl Smith, Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs, Ms. Joan Mendez, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Ms. Nicole Loney Mills, Corporate Communications Manager of COURTS; Dr. Patricia Butcher President of the Trinidad and Tobago Netball Association, Member of the Executive of the International Netball Federation and of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League, Mr. Brian Lewis, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee and Ms. Brenda Prince, Chief Executive Officer of the League, who assisted the dignitaries with the inspection of the parade. The Member of Parliament for Tunapuna, Mr. Esmond Forde was also in attendance. The dignitaries brought greetings and offered best wishes to the League. The Honorable Minister declared the 2016 Season open.
The judges of the parade were Mr. Barry Stewart, Ms. Susan Gomes and Ms. Vilma Holder who kindly substituted for Ms. Rheeza Grant. The League expresses its appreciation to them and to all those persons who assisted in making the Opening Day Ceremony a success.
The University of Trinidad and Tobago won this year's parade. Second was Fire and third Defence Force.
In the Opening Day Knock Out competition, UTT won from Police X in the Premiership Division; Fire won from Defence Force in the Championship Division; while in the Alternative Division, TSTT won from Fire.
The formation of the competitions was the same as last Season except that in the Championship Division, given the inordinate time constraint this year, only one round of the Round Robin was played. However, this Division played a double elimination Knock Out instead of a straight Knock Out in the Divisional KO competition. The Fast 5 and the competitions for the Jean Pierre and Steve Sarjeant Challenge trophies were also played as a straight Knock Outs, in the interest of time.
League games, with the exception of those in the Retro, were of one hour's duration. Teams in Premiership and Alternative Divisions played each other twice in order to determine the overall placing for the League trophies. The Championship Division played one round. The other competitions were the Knock-Outs for Steve Sarjeant and Jean Pierre Challenge trophies, in the Premiership and Championship Divisions respectively. There were also the Divisional Knock-Outs, which were played in two halves of twenty minutes in the two (2) top Divisions, and fifteen minutes each in the Alternative Division and the COURTS Open Knock-Out. Also featured were the Opening Day Knock-Outs at the beginning of the Season and the Mixed Team Knock-Out at Closing Ceremony. The FAST 5 competitions for the Justin Bowen trophies were played in all the Divisions.
The Retro Division also had two (2) rounds of competition, two (2) Knock Outs, one of which was a double elimination, and the FAST 5 competition.
As usual, the competitions were extremely keen in all the Divisions. All the games were hard fought. The games in the Alternative Division were particularly interesting this year as many of them ended with close score lines.
The results of all of the competitions are in the Appendix.
There were a few challenges this Season particularly with the venue.
From as early as September 2015 it was noted that the Gymnastics team had installed some heavy equipment on the grey area of the Court, usually a run off area for players and an administrative and social area for the Opening and Closing ceremonies. The manager of the facility explained that the matter of removal of the equipment was being dealt with by the Ministry but we were invited to voice our concerns regarding safety of the players and the use of the space. Subsequently, a letter was written and sent to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs. To date the matter of removing the equipment has not been resolved as it is now a legal matter. However, the League managed to ensure that some of the space was cleared for its ceremonies and that the equipment was partially covered to minimize injury.
Again there were a couple electrical shortages which were due to breakers tripping and these caused delays in proceedings as the lights take at least twenty minutes to restore to its normal state.
The shortage of officials including umpires was another concern, but not major because a few of them truly committed to being present to pick up the slack. The League sincerely appreciates the efforts of all concerned.
The League scheduled a training session on Saturday in November 10 2015 to deal with the changes to the Netball Rules that countries were to implement with effect from January 01 2016. This training was held in the Conference Room at ERISA.
The training focused on the new Rules and Protocols and was facilitated by Joel Young Strong, International Umpire Award holder; Lilia Mathurin Cameron, Advanced Umpire identified for training for International Umpires Award and Brenda Prince, International Trainer and Tester. All umpires were invited to the session and all teams were required to send at least two (2) participants. See the brief Training Report attached.
At the League's AGM 2015, a decision was taken to have a Junior All Star team named at the end of the Season together with the usual All Star team, now named the Senior All Star team. This exercise was difficult as there were so many from which to choose. Nevertheless it was rewarding and those chosen were very excited and pleased.
The League was invited to provide technical support in respect of Bench Officiating for the game that took place between our national senior squad and the T&T national football team at the Jean Pierre Complex in Port of Spain. This was a fund raiser for the both teams as they prepared for international competition. This was indeed a fun game that both participants and spectators enjoyed.
The League officially congratulates the National Senior Team on its brilliant performance at the World Championships held in Sydney in August last year, the technical officials who accompanied the team and especially Ms Carol Gittens, Manageress, who is also a member of the League's management team.
Donations from the Herbarium (Cher Mere)
Cher Mere continued its support for the League this Season with the donation of Door prizes at the Opening and the Closing ceremonies and on some Saturdays.
At the Awards Ceremony, both All Star Teams, senior and junior were given individual gift vouchers. In addition the Most Valuable Player of each team received a token from the company. These are truly appreciated.
Ms. Forde, Marketing Representative of the Company was present to distribute these awards and used the opportunity to promote some of the products and services that Cher Mere offers.
The League looks forward to a continued successful association with Cher Mere.
Sponsorship from COURTS
Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited, (COURTS) considered the League favourably again with the signing of a contract with us for yet another year. The League remains extremely grateful and will continue to do its best to ensure that it gets value for money while giving the company the mileage that it so deserves.
The League thanks the Management of Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited particularly, Ms. Nicole Loney Mills and the staff in Communications for participating in our events and for their encouragement.
Teams continue to contribute in advance in the amounts requested. A decision was also taken at the AGM to have an additional fund raiser to assist with doing a tour. This event is to be managed by the Council and has not yet come to fruition.
The media coverage this year was excellent, especially the Print Media. We thank the Express, the Trinidad Guardian and the Newsday for the keen interest shown. We thank too the Television Stations for their contribution and look forward to their continuing support of the League.
The participants of the COURTS All Sectors Netball League offer their sincerest appreciation to Unicomer (Trinidad) Limited (COURTS), the Herbarium Limited (Cher Mere), and other stakeholders for the League's success. Special thanks to the Fire Service Band and Ms. Paula Darceuil for their services on the Opening Day. The League also wishes to thank Ms Elsa Clouden for her continued support, and "Twinkle" and her crew, who manage the cafeteria. Thanks too, to all officials, supporters, well-wishers and others who contributed to making the Season the success that it was in 2016.