Netball Championship Anniversary Activities Underway
Basseterre. St. Kitts, August 14, 2023 (ZIZ Newsroom): A series of activities is underway this week to mark the 45th and 50th anniversaries of the National Netball Team’s victory and the Caribbean Netball Championships in 1973 and 1978.
Both original teams have been reunited and are participating in several events to mark the occasion.
On Sunday the teams worshiped at the Antioch Baptist Church and on Monday the captains spoke with ZIZ News about the historic wins in 73 and 78.
Captain of the 1973 team Hilary Francis-Lewis said after their victory that year the country came together as one to celebrate.
“Especially when I reached home, I had so many people at the airport,” she said. “The Prime Minister was at the airport, Dr. Simmonds was at the airport and (Clarence Fitzroy) Bryant was at the airport, we had a whole force to meet us. I felt great and I think that the country looked like it was just one. No separation. No politics. We were just one.”
Captain of the 1978 team Rosemary McMaster Rawlins said the secret to their success was teamwork and togetherness.
“As the team captain, I learned to work with different personalities. You know, I was able to, we were able to come together as a team,” she said. “We were focused and committed. And with that commitment, we just ignored all the outside noise. You know, there was, you know, a lot of chit-chat.”
She continued “Some people didn’t make the team that weren’t happy. We had to ignore all that stuff. You know how it is when everybody thinks they’re great enough for the team,
but you could only take so many people, right? So, we, you know, you ignore all that stuff and focus on the task at hand.”
She said being part of the team helped her in other areas of her life by providing a sense of structure.
“50 years of playing, you know, we had to prioritize stuff throughout the day,” she said. “You had to focus on getting good grades. You had to focus on being committed to the team, you had to focus on making sure you got up to make the morning practice and finish those runs. Earl Clarke had that fitness regimen that he gave us. So, over the years I have taken those lived experiences that I had during that wall and relied on them to help me throughout life.”
Throughout the rest of the week the team will engage in radio appearances, the launch of a Primary School Netball Competition, a community outreach day, a Fun Sports Activity at Netball City, and a Gala and Awards Ceremony.