The Tobago Netball League got on the way on July 11 with the traditional parade of the teams and an exhibition match that showcased a number of youngsters at Shaw Park.

The highlight of this season’s launch was the match featuring Black Rock Ballers and Jets 1 showcasing players in the age-group six to 13 years old in the Classification Tournament. Both teams boasted a number of six, seven and eight-year-olds in their line-ups and the spectators were in high praise of the toddlers’ effort in competing against the older and bigger players.

The march past saw 19 registered teams participating and only three teams were short of the minimum quota of players, seven, which they were required to parade with.

Secretary for the Division of Community Development and Culture, Dr Denise Tsoiafatt-Angus in delivering the feature address said, “Netball is one way of remaining healthy and given the level of participation from young and senior athletes in the league, one can safely conclude that the future of Tobago is in good hands.

“Beyond that, we look at the sport itself and the sport is about teamwork; and I see the women here, the women and young girls here learning how to rely on each other as part of a team, learning that there will be losing moments and you comfort each other as part of that team, there will be winning moments and you will stand shoulder to shoulder and celebrate.”

She stressed that those leadership qualities should not just be practised on the courts, but should also be taken back to homes, communities and workplaces. “If we continue to do that, we would certainly build a stronger Tobago together,” said Dr Tsoiafatt-Angus. In declaring the season officially opened, Assistant Secretary of the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport, Jomo Pitt said the committee has transformed the face of netball in Tobago.