Of course this level of tardiness is not unique to netball. Hosts of the annual Carifta Games often find themselves at their wits end when the event is approaching and they have little idea regarding the actual number of participants. It seems to be a characteristic feature of the way in which Caribbean sports administrators conduct their affairs.
Whatever about their tardiness the absence of so many of our teams from the AFNA Tournament may well reflect a significant fall-off of the sport at the regional level, something that should command the attention of the AFNA leadership.
If the words of the president of the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) and AFNA, Jamaica’s Molly Rhone, is anything to go by, then the reality has hit home. She chided the member federations of the sport in the region for failing to participate and expressed grave disappointment at this turn of events. She compared this reality with the upsurge of interest in the sport on the African continent. She cited the case of Malawi, a team that has made remarkable progress, moving from playing in dirt without shoes to an amazing performance at the latest edition of the World Championships.
Rhone believes that the local netball associations must work in tandem with their respective National Olympic Committees (NOC) and their governments to aid in the development of the sport at all levels within their respective societies.
If concern should be expressed over the low level of participation on the part of regional teams in the AFNA Tournament, then we should consider the standard of play as little more than disastrous.