JOA believes netball should be rewarded
The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) highlighted netball's success as a major catalyst driving its influence to secure sponsorship of Netball Jamaica's Major and Minor League competitions.
Two of the JOA's partners, Lasco iCool Water and Starlight Productions, put up a $3 million sponsorship package for both competitions, which got under way last Thursday at the Leila Robinson Courts.
At the launch, JOA General Secretary, Ryan Foster, pointed to recent good results achieved by the Sunshine Girls and the fact that with a global ranking of number three "our netballers are without a doubt our most successful national sport team."
Foster further noted: "The successes of the girls leave us feeling encouraged and it is against this background that the JOA felt compelled to assist with the identification of sponsors for the Major and Minor Legue competitions being organised by Netball Jamaica.
"These leagues attract over 40 teams, who will engage in spirited competition over a period of 10 weeks. It is from these leagues that players are developed to participate in the national programmes."
Continuing, Foster said: "We have identified two of our partners, top performers in their own right - Lasco Distributors and Starlight Productions - who have consented to come on board to inject J$3,000,000 for the execution of the leagues. Both partners are admirable corporate entities, who have a vested interest in the development of our nation through sport. Lasco will use this venture to promote two of its products: iCool Water and Curves."
The JOA executive also encouraged players to bring honour to the sport by conducting themselves as "true sportswomen".
"Though not yet an Olympic Sport, we hope that in your conduct netball will in the true spirit of Olympism contribute to building a peaceful and better world through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the spirit which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play," Foster expressed.
A total of 17 teams will contest the Major League and 26 will play in the Minor League, with the top four in each preliminary competition advancing to the semi-final play-offs, which ultimately decide the finalists.
During her presentation on the leagues, Mrs Paula Daley Morris, president, Netball Jamaica, expressed confidence that both Lasco and Starlight Productions would be happy to demonstrate their commitment to corporate social responsibility through sports, by engaging in this partnership.
She said the value of the leagues to brand Jamaica is extremely high, given its role of facilitating the skill development of players, many of whom transition into the national team.