Photo: Marva Bernard, Netball Jamaica President
Pickney Netball was launched on Wednesday at the Leila Robinson Courts in Kingston. It is about teaching basic school children aged between 3-6 years the game of netball to achieve certain basic objectives. At this stage it is less about competition and more about the enjoyment of the games in addition to the other games that they play.
Three schools were involved in playing two short games at the launch this morning. They were Smurfs Early Childhood Centre, Sunrise Early Childhood Development Centre and St. Richards Early Childhood Education Centre.
The 3-4 year olds of Sunrise and St. Richards played a 5 minute game on a half court using a #3 size netball while they cheered on by the appreciative crowd that included their parents. The also used a shorter goal post of just 4.6 ft. high.
In the 5-6 year olds match between Smurfs and St. Richards, they played a ten-minute match of two 5-minute halfs on a full court.
St. Richards has been teaching the game to the 'pickeys' since lat year September. According to one of their coaches Donna James, the children are excited to learn the game which they train for twice weekly in ten minute sessions.
Molly Rhone of INF was very pleased that Netball Jamaica had started 'Pickney Netball'. She gave her full endorsement while saying that #1 ranked Australia had it and that it would certainly help Jamaica to have their own kids game format of netball.
Marva Bernard, Netball Jamaica president got the idea for Pickney Netall and shared it with Kiwanis of Jamaica who took it on and is a partner for the game at the kids level. They plan to take it islandwide eventually.
Bernard and Andrew Samuels of Kiwanis both had high praises for the introduction of the game to the basic schools kids while Samuels says that Kiwanis plan to be around for the long haul.
Netball got support from the Sports Development Foundation, Kiwanis of Jamaica and Wata for the introduction of Pickney Netball.