‘Clash of Queens’ fund-raiser delivers

The clash between the ?Calypso Girls? and the ?Women Warriors? exceeded expectations yesterday at the Jean Pierre Complex. The charity event, dubbed "Clash of the Queens", was an attempt to raise funds for the Trinidad and Tobago netball team, who will be embarking upon their World Cup adventure next month in Sydney, Australia, from the 7-16.

The national senior netballers have been busy in the build-up for the World Cup, which they qualified for after they won the 2014 AFNA Championships in Canada. In Australia, they will face the hosts, who are ten-time world champions, as well as New Zealand, who have won the World Championships on four occasions. They are the top-two ranked teams in the world at the moment. T&T's other opponent in that group will be Barbados. Where the match was concerned, the footballers, whose attack was led by none other than their inspirational captain Maylee Attin-Johnson, made a gamely attempt at posing a challenge to their more experienced opponents. It wasn't enough to stop the Calypso Girls from storming to a 58-9 blowout at the final buzzer. There was a good crowd in the Complex as there was a sizeable turnout to support the women's cause.

According to Ian Haywood, co-ordinator with A-Class Group of Companies, the concept was to bring awareness to the plight of the athletes of the two teams, and also for corporate Trinidad and Tobago to offer sponsorship separate from the auspices of the Ministry of Sport.

The funds allocated from the event yesterday was split 50/50 between the two teams. The Calypso Girls will be using their share to facilitate their World Cup endeavours, while the Women Warriors will utilise their funds to help prepare adequately with less need for subventions.

?The fundraiser was both the idea of Maylee Attin-Johnson and vice-captain Ayanna Russell in order to engage women national players across the board,? he said. ?We will have a ?round two' with the football after.?

The A-Class group is also planning to arrange a return leg in the same event after the Netball World Cup, where the Netballers will take on the Warriors in a football match at a venue yet to be determined. ?The next game, we expect to have more people and more hype, and it will also be split equally between the two teams,? Haywood said.

The event has the potential to be the springboard for something better where local women's sports are concerned, particularly netball. ?There are brighter days ahead,? said national netball skipper Joelisa Cooper. ?This event can show people that despite not being where we were in 1979, we can return to those glory days with proper development,? said Cooper.