By Rawle Welch
Manager /Assistant Coach of the Guyana National 16 and Under Netball squad Shondel Samaroo told Kaieteur Sport last Saturday that sessions have been going very well and the team has improved a whole lot since coming together over one year ago.
Speaking at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall where the team is currently engaged practice sessions in preparations for the upcoming Caribbean Championship to be held from April 22-30 in Kingston, Jamaica, Samaroo said that the team is now more receptive to the strategies and regimen that is being applied by the Coaching Staff headed by Coach Lawrence Kellman with assistance from her. Samaroo informed that the team has been together since November, 2007 and even though they are still relatively inexperienced at the international level, the coaches have been assisting in helping them to understand what the atmosphere at such an event is expected to be like.
Commenting on the girls performances during the sessions, Samaroo disclosed there has been significant improvement, but there is still some more room for enhancement prior to departure.
“Some of them still need to focus a little more and that includes reading the game faster so that they will be able to take advantage of the opposition’s mistakes,” she stressed.
She also stated that some of the other areas that needed to be strengthened are: knowing how to elude the opposing teams defence and ball handling.
“Every now and then, they seem to go out of sync and that is an aspect we will have to correct, before we leave.”
Samaroo, who is a member of the senior squad with some amount of experience, added that the girls have a fair amount of knowledge of what they have to do on the court and the specifics of their positions, but their concentration levels seem to fade at times.
She opined that the impediment appears to stem from issues unrelated to the sessions, but more to do with occurrences off court.
“What we’ve attempted to do is talk them through those periods of lapses and I can say that there has been some degree of improvement.”
She said she felt that they will give a good account of themselves and presently they are at the stage where they believe they can handle if not all most of the teams expected to attend the tournament.
Responding to the question of why has the sport has not enjoyed the level of publicity and promotion that could serve to revive the interest it once had, Samaroo mentioned that the new executive has been working assiduously to get the sport to a point where it will it can be readily recognised and enjoy public support.
“It may not happen today or tomorrow, but a lot of work is being done behind the scene to attract more attention.”
Meanwhile, she indicated that the Association is still soliciting assistance from the business community to realise its target to attend the competition.
Practice sessions are held on Wednesdays at 17:00 hrs and Saturdays and Sundays from 14:00 hrs to 16:30 hrs, while physicals are done on Saturdays from 07:00 hrs -08:30 hrs.
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