Ben Simmons in Melbourne

Did you miss it? Ben Simmons conducted his third annual Basketball Camp Melbourne – 2019 on July 28th out at Mullum Mullum Stadium in Donvale. Here’s a boy returning to his roots – he went to Secondary College at nearby Whitefriars College.

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With 4.3 million Instagram followers, it’s obvious this guy is numero uno with the fans right now. For their entertainment he toured the Melbourne Zoo, the Street Art Alleyways (Hey! Let’s call it what it is – Graffiti – but oh so high quality. Real art. Remember Banksy has done Melbourne). Photo ops with kiddies and koalas, Ben and a dingo – it’s all very human and very cool.

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Then the press has jumped on him for opting out of the FIBA World Cup scheduled for China in a months time. But perhaps it’s timely to consider what Boomers Coach Andrej Lemanis has to say on the matter.

Boomers hit back at Simmons backlash ‘doing a disservice’ to World Cup team

Boomers coach Andrej Lemanis says the noise around the withdrawal of Ben Simmons for the World Cup warm-up games is “doing a disservice” to the same squad that captivated the country at the 2016 Olympics.

The Boomers, powered by Patty Mills and Andrew Bogut, were denied bronze in Brazil in an agonising one-point loss to Spain that is still raw with the players.

The addition of NBA All-Star Ben Simmons was touted as the missing piece as Australia hunt a maiden international medal at the World Cup in China from September 1.

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The Philadelphia 76ers talent was forced to twice retreat from his initial Boomers commitment though, first pulling out of the World Cup and last week excusing himself from Australia’s four lead-up games against the USA and Canada in Melbourne and Perth.

That, along with multiple high-profile US withdrawals, earned the ire of some fans, who Lemanis said would soon be reminded of the Australian squad’s depth.

“It’s doing a disservice to the talent available to us,” Lemanis said of the grumbles.

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“We’ve got four NBA champions (Aron Baynes, Matthew Dellavedova, Bogut and Mills) plus Joe Ingles who starts on a great NBA team (Utah Jazz) and a core of the group that did well in Rio and captured the imagination of the Australian public,” he said.

“We’ve got a talented team that is perhaps being undersold by the tension put on Ben not playing.

“Hopefully we can digest and think ‘we’ve still got a good team and they share the ball, it’ll be fun to watch’ and that is what people enjoyed about Rio.”

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A 17-man squad will gather in Melbourne on Friday, with the final 12-man World Cup roster due to be announced next week.

Australia will face Canada, Senegal and Lithuania in their World Cup pool games, with the final in Beijing on September 15.

“To have players on hand with the talent required (to win the World Cup) is just awesome,” Lemanis said.

“You don’t need the stars and planets to align to have a chance of winning and that’s a good feeling.

“It’s not even a feeling of pressure or extra pressure; it’s your own self-motivation.”

Source: wwos.nine.com.au

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New Zealand’s Silver Ferns Claim World Cup Title Over Australia

The Netball World Cup has now been completed with New Zealand’s Silver Ferns running out victors – defeating Australia by a heartbreaking one solitary point. Australia 51 / New Zealand 52.

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For the first time in the sport’s history, the World Cup winning team were ultimately rewarded with a sponsors prize of $300,000 divided amongst the team members. Each player received $25,000. Keep in mind these players were virtually full time in their preparation for the World Cup for over 6 months – so this will be a most welcome relief.

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Read about it here:

World Cup-winning NZ netballers rewarded with unprecedented payment after outcry

  • Public campaign nets Silver Ferns $25,000 each
  • Sponsors contribute towards bonus fund for players

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A public outcry has helped the Silver Ferns receive an unprecedented winning bonus payment of $300,000 following their triumph at the Netball World Cup. Netball NZ has announced each player in the 12-strong squad will be granted $25,000, a breakthrough in a sport that struggles for commercial cut-through despite its high participation rate.

A group of sponsors contributed towards a bonus fund after it was revealed the players would not receive a cent of prize money following their 52-51 win over Australia in last Sunday’s final in Liverpool.

While the players did not complain, a public debate was generated around the disparity of remuneration levels in top level sport. It was revealed the New Zealand men’s cricketers would share a prize pool of about $3m for their runners-up finish at the World Cup a week earlier.

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NNZ chief executive Jennie Wyllie said it was a good feeling to reward the players, who are otherwise playing solely for pride internationally in a highly demanding sport.

“Elite players continue to work relentlessly for their love of the game without expectations of high remuneration, but this is a huge step forward and we are very grateful to our partners, who we could not do this without,” she said.

Leading players in New Zealand’s domestic league are reportedly paid close to $100,000 when third-party agreements are factored in.

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The Silver Ferns’ next assignment is the four-Test Constellation Cup against Australia in October.

NNZ is still to confirm if inspiring coach Noeline Taurua will be in charge for the series, allowing her time to find her feet again in her other role as coach of the Sunshine Coast Super Netball team.

Source: theguardian.com

Netball is closing in on becoming a fully professional sport. With Free to Air Television coverage, great Stadiums and facilities, the sport has one of the highest per capita participation rates of any sport in Australia.

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Nellakir – Sports Flooring for Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.

Netball – Front and Centre Stage – The World Cup 2019.

The World Cup of Netball kicks off in Liverpool England this Friday the 12th of July.
Australia is scheduled to play Northern Ireland in the first session of the tournament at 11am, prior to the opening ceremony scheduled for 3pm the same day. In session 3, Australia will play Zimbabwe at 9am on July 13th. On Sunday the 14th Australia will play Sri Lanka at 3pm, Monday the 15th then hopefully it’s into the finals after qualifying is dispensed with.

With matches each day determined by the competition results, the World Cup Final will be played after a week of non-stop action on Sunday the 21st of July.

Here are some of the key factors to watch as the competition develops.

Ten things to watch out for at the Netball World Cup

England have broken the antipodean stranglehold with Commonwealth Games gold, and the World Cup starting on Friday is the most anticipated ever

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Australia’s Caitlin Bassett (centre) comes into the tournament shouldering a great deal of pressure. Photograph: Simon Watts/Getty Images

1) The role physicality will play … or not

In the world’s top leagues – in Australia, New Zealand and England – netball has reached a new level of power and physicality. It hasn’t been “non-contact” for years. It’s inevitable the way such strength is adjudicated by neutral umpires, who aren’t used to the brute force displayed in the big leagues, will become a talking point. If players accustomed to a high level of physicality don’t adjust in Liverpool, they’ll give up too many penalties – which may tip the balance in a tight contest.

2) Roses in a pressure cooker

As reigning Commonwealth champions, hosts England have never been under so much pressure. The former England international and UK Superleague coach Tamsin Greenway says the English public expect the Roses to win. “The team is coming into this tournament confidently,” she says. “It’s not that they think they’re better than everybody, but they’re favourites and they should be.” How the squad, captained by 90-Test veteran Serena Guthrie, handles that pressure will define it for years to come.

3) Beware the wounded Kiwi

While many expect a Diamonds v Roses final, the Silver Ferns shouldn’t be discounted. Noeline Taurua has picked one of the most experienced New Zealand sides to contest a World Cup. Her team boasts 781 Tests of experience: a staggering 443 more international games than Australia. With more than 100 caps each, Maria Folau, Casey Kopua, Laura Langman and Katrina Rore will need to step up if the four-times world champions are to redeem their embarrassing Commonwealth Games performance, where they missed a medal for the first time.

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Serena Guthrie will captain hosts England in Liverpool Photograph: Nigel French/PA

4) Blowtorch on Bassett

To say Caitlin Bassett carries pressure into Liverpool is a gargantuan understatement. The 193cm shooter is the most experienced Diamond, captain and the side’s main route to goal. She’s also coming back from an injury – and isn’t in scintillating form. The 31-year-old fractured her forearm in January and has lacked consistency since. Greenway says the Diamonds team heaps expectation on Bassett. “She’ll be feeling that. It’ll be interesting to see how she responds.”

5) Jamaica’s depleted shooting stocks

Jamaica typically has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to tall shooters, but this year they will have to rely heavily on their 198cm captain, Jhaniele Fowler, to hold down goal shooter. The 29-year-old, who has several niggling injuries, will have limited backup from 198cm Romelda Aiken, who is returning from bone stress to her tibia, while Shimona Nelson is out injured. The young goal attack Shanice Beckford is a genuine star, especially from distance, but there will still be plenty riding on Fowler’s broad shoulders.

6) Gretel’s moment to shine?

Netball’s most polarising figure, the Australian shooter Gretel Tippett, might just silence her critics with a breakout performance. Tippett – who came to the game late after playing high-level basketball as a junior – tends to elicit a strong response from fans, who call the 26-year-old everything from reckless to arrogant for her unorthodox style, physicality and “lay-up”. Having improved her accuracy and game sense in recent months, Tippett is set to deliver a “big whatever” to doubters, Greenway reckons.

7) Proteas ready to bloom

South Africa have their best chance in 25 years of winning a medal . The side know it and their coach, Norma Plummer, knows it. Hopes are high because six of the Proteas play in Australia, and others in England and New Zealand. For Plummer, who took the reins before the 2015 World Cup, that means her side can mix it with the finest. While she is “quietly confident”, the captain Bongiwe Msomi is more emphatic: “We are going for a medal.”

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The tournament is likely to be Geva Mentor’s England swansong. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

8) A fitting farewell for a Mentor

In the dictionary, next to big-game player, there may as well be a picture of the England goalkeeper Geva Mentor, who first represented her country aged 16 in 2001 and was pivotal in the Roses’ Commonwealth glory. In a sparkling career spanning three Commonwealth Games and now five World Cups, the 34-year-old has never won a medal on home soil. And she probably won’t be at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. So if history knocks in Liverpool, expect the 138-cap veteran to answer.

9) The H2 equation

The “moving circle” of shooters Helen Housby and Jo Harten has been crucial to the growth of the Roses, but the duo may come up against tactical resistance this tournament. Greenway – who has applied to replace Tracey Neville as England coach after the tournament – says opposition sides will have been studying “H2” carefully and have plans in place to combat them. If opponents have the answer to H2, the Roses may struggle.

10) Playing through, without time-outs

The Australia coach, Lisa Alexander, is acutely aware she has to “de-programme” her Diamonds when it comes to time-outs – which are allowed in the Super Netball competition but not at the World Cup. That goes for the other 19 internationals who play in the league too. Players have to work out how to “play through” matches without the benefit of numerous tactical breaks, which can significantly shift momentum. On-court leadership will come to the fore. “We’ve got to have that concentrated effort, it’s key,” Alexander says.

Source: theguardian.com

Australia’s World Cup position is in no small way influenced by the spectacular quality of its domestic competition and the facilities its team members use week in and week out right across Australia.

Here in Australia more and more juniors are getting the opportunity to play on premium grade sprung timber sports flooring as they learn the game and hone their skills. School construction programs and federally funded stadiums have been constructed right across Australia.

Here in Victoria and Tasmania, Nellakir are the leading experts in the construction and maintenance of all Timber Sports Flooring. From regular cleaning after of before competition, to annual re-surfacing and re-lining, call Nellakir on 03 9467 6126 for a free consultation and quotation as required. Or leave your details here for a prompt reply.

Nellakir – The Sports Flooring for Champions.

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Nellakir helps young athletes reach their goals by providing the highest quality Sprung Timber Sports Floor playing surfaces.