Netball NI has announced details of a Senior International Festival of Netball, which will take place between 31 October and 3 November at Antrim Forum (Tickets are available from the Netball Office Tel: 028 9266 8412 and booking forms are on the website www.netballni.org).

With support from Sport Northern Ireland and Antrim Borough Council, three teams from across the globe will be welcomed to Northern Ireland. Barbados, St Lucia and Botswana teams will fly into the province to head up a magnificent programme of world class competitive matches.

Netball supporters from around the province are in for a real treat when three world ranking teams will take to the courts to compete in what is a ‘first’ for Netball NI – a four-day International Festival of Netball.

Kate Carpenter Netball NI’s High Performance Coach said: “I would like to congratulate Netball NI for showing great vision in organising such a prestigious International Event.

“This is a great opportunity for the recently selected Northern Ireland Senior Squad who currently rank 11th in world to compete against high level opposition. It will provide me with an excellent opportunity to assess player performances and test different combinations over Four days of competition as we head towards next year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”

Lorraine Lindsay, President Netball NI said: “This is a very exciting time for Netball NI with the recent appointment of Kate Carpenter as a full time High Performance Coach and the latest announcement of the Halloween International Festival of Netball.

“This event has only been made possible with financial support from Sport NI under the International Sports Events Programme and local Grant Aid from Antrim Borough Council. We are delighted that both Sport Northern Ireland and Antrim Borough Council have supported us in developing this international event and we are delighted that Sport Northern Ireland sees netball as a worthy investment of public funds and look forward to showcasing netball in Northern Ireland.

“It is the first time that such a tournament has been organised by Netball NI, and to be in a position to attract teams of the calibre of Barbados (10th), St Lucia (12th) and Botswana (18th) in the world to the province is a clear indication of our stature within world netball.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the members of the Northern Ireland Senior Squad to test themselves against international opposition as well as providing our netball supporters with a Halloween treat of International Netball competition.

“Finally I would like to thank the Netball Management Team for all their hard work and commitment resulting in attracting three international teams to Northern Ireland.”

To add to the festival atmosphere and to celebrate Halloween there will be face painters as well as ‘trick or treats’ for the kids who turn up in fancy dress.

Sport Northern Ireland’s Chief Executive, Antoinette McKeown, welcomed the opportunity to showcase netball on an international stage: “I am delighted that Sport Northern Ireland is supporting this event and I look forward to welcoming three international netball teams to this region! This event allows us to showcase the high standard of our netballers and their dedication to the sport.

“It is vitally important that the people of Northern Ireland are able to enjoy high quality International sporting events, such as netball, which are available on their doorstep. This event will also help Sport Northern Ireland to achieve one of its main aims – developing improved performance pathways for Northern Ireland athletes, players and sports.”

COMPETITION SCHEDULE

Date

Time

Fixtures

31 October

Thursday

4.30pm

Opening Ceremony

5.00pm

Northern Ireland

V

Botswana

7.00pm

St. Lucia

V

Barbados

1 November

Friday

5.00pm

Barbados

V

Botswana

7.00pm

Northern Ireland

V

St. Lucia

2 November

Saturday

1.00pm

Barbados

V

Northern Ireland

3.00pm

Botswana

V

St. Lucia

3 November

Sunday

1.00pm

3rd Place

V

4th Place

3.00pm

1st Place

V

2nd Place

4.30pm

Closing Ceremony

Tickets are available from the Netball Office Tel: 028 9266 8412 and booking forms are on the website www.netballni.org