Former national netball players and coaches Peggy Castanada and Jennifer Frank are among a group of coaches that will bring their expertise to young players through the “Back 2 Basic” Netball Programme, the brainchild of the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation.

Castanada and Frank, who were part of the historic national team that emerged joint champion at the 1979 World Netball Championships, will impart their knowledge to the youngsters in their own communities.

In a release recently, the corporation, expressed its commitment to revamping the sport of netball nationwide and using netball as a conduit to strengthen communities.

Castanada will operate at the Damarie Hill Recreation Ground while Frank will be at the Maloney Netball Court. The other coaches include Margaret Francis (Manzanilla Recreation Ground), Jacqueline Morris (Arima Netball Court), Antoinette Gaskin (Bon Air Netball Court), Grace Parkinson-Griffith (Maracas St Joseph Netball Court), Veronica Mc Donald-Nicholl (Mt Hope Netball Court), Anne Marie Dickson-Lewis (Chinapoo Government) and Nikeisha Felix-Lewis (La Fillette Netball Court), current nationa player Kielle Connelly (Manzanilla) and Daniella Hall (Damarie Hill).

At a “Meet and Greet” function last month at the Arima Town Hall which included representatives from the participating corporations, coaches and participants in the programme, Councillor Michael Castellano welcomed the gathering to the Borough of Arima and congratulated the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation Chair and his team for spearheading the initiative and including the neighbouring corporations.

Alderman Onika Haynes brought greetings from the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation and expressed gratitude for all the support thus far. She lamented the importance of programmes for our youth. She added that this is an opportunity to teach them strong values in discipline, teamwork, sense of community all while developing their netball skills so that we can take netball back to the days of Jean Pierre when netball was one of the top teams in the world.

The intended programme will utilise netball as a channel to contribute to the holistic development of the young girls within the communities. The participants will be taught by certified coaches, past national players, past national coaches who reside in the communities in which they will be coaching.

The programme will introduce girls between the ages of seven and 13 to the fundamentals of the game at an early age to unearth young talent in the communities to contribute to rebuilding netball as the premier women’s sport in T&T.

It is becoming even more important to re-establish the foundations of culture and sport across the nation, in a concerted effort to foster the involvement in positive activities within the communities and promote the importance of living healthy lifestyles.

The programme will be conducted in three phases with Phase I which has already started and runs until September.

The three-month programme will be conducted in the following regional corporations, Tunapuna/Piarco, Arima, San Juan/Laventille and the Sangre Grande.

In Phase II, January to March 2019, the three-month programme will be open to include all Regional Corporations and in Phase III, from May to October 2019, the programme will be run for six months throughout all the corporations and culminate in National Regional Youth Netball Competition.