Netball seeks OCA recognition

By Community | November 12, 2010

Netball took the first step on the road to joining the Asian sports family by making a presentation to the Olympic Council of Asia’s Sports Committee on Thursday. A popular women’s team sport in several countries around the world, thumb mainly from the Commonwealth, arthritis netball’s goal is to become recognised by the OCA and join initially the SEA Games and Asian Indoor Games.

The presentation was made by Cyrus Medora, Executive Director of Netball Singapore and Treasurer of the Asian Netball Federation. Describing the sport as “dynamic and exciting”, he played Sports Committee members a short clip of the recent Commonwealth Games final between Australia and New Zealand in Delhi.

Mr. Medora explained that the International Netball Federation (IFNA) had 68 members from Asia, Europe, America, Africa and Oceania, and IFNA was the sole internationally-recognised governing body.

With a global playing base of 20 million, netball has been a recognised Olympic sport since 1995 and has featured in the World Games in 1985, 1989 and 1993. The top 10 countries in the world rankings are: 1, Australia; 2, New Zealand; 3, England; 4, Jamaica; 5, Fiji; 6, South Africa; 7, Malawi; 8, Trinidad and Tobago; 9, Samoa; 10, Cook Islands.

The Asian Netball Federation has 13 full members and five associate members, with a secretariat in both Singapore and Australia.

The Asian rankings based on based on the 7th Asian Netball Championship in 2009 are: 1, Sri Lanka; 2, Singapore; 3, Malaysia; 4, Thailand; 5, Hong Kong; 6, Chinese Taipei; 7, India; 8, Maldives; 9, Pakistan.

The World Netball Championship 2011 will be hosted in Singapore next July, when the world’s top 16 teams will be competing and ESPN will be the broadcaster for worldwide coverage.

One of the key issues for netball to be recognised by the OCA is for the various netball associations to be part of their National Olympic Committee, as some of the Asian members are not recognised by their own NOC.