Better Elite League - Netball boss
Netball Jamaica president, Paula Daley-Morris, has promised that the fourth edition of Berger Netball Elite League will be better funded and professionally run than last season.
Speaking at a Gleaner's editor's forum recently, Daley-Morris said the Elite League was under-funded last year and, though she refused to give details of this season's sponsorship, said it will be better financed.
"There were issues with Elite League. It was never funded properly but we have been able to address some of that. Yes, we still will have some issues outstanding but things are a little better than before, so it will be better this time, and sponsors are working with us," she said.
Daley-Morris said the league should be more enticing to players, coaches, spectators and sponsors.
"We are going to improve our attractiveness. We are getting more sponsors each day. People not interested in netball ask what can they do, or sponsor, even though one would want to believe that there has been no new sponsorship since my tenure.
LOT OF PRESSURE
"Once we present what we spend and what we have, we go to our sponsors and show our book. We have in excess of five new ones and we have been able to maintain the ones we had before, get them to increase their coverage.
"Netball Jamaica has been under a lot of pressure but we have been able to overcome. When you know you are doing things for the right reason, you have to prevail and continue to prevail," she added.
Six franchises are down to compete in the 2017 Elite League, which tips off on December 1 with two matches. In the opening game, defending champions St Ann Orchids take on last-place finishers Clarendon Gater. In the second game, St James Sharpes face Kingston Humming Birds. The other two teams in the league are Manchester Spurs and St Catherine Racers.
Sixty players were selected from 75 to represent the six teams, which include top local players such as Khadijah Williams, Nicole Dixon, Shanice Beckford, Staceyann Facey, Althea Byfield, Simone Forbes, Thristina Harwood, Paula Thompson, Althea Byfield, Vangeee Williams, Kasey Evering and Adean Thomas all national players.