AN intriguing three-Test netball series between Jamaica's Sunshine Girls and England Roses, punctuated with the promise of some exciting celebrities versus masters match-ups, was launched yesterday at the Courtleigh Hotel in New Kingston.
The Test series, which will shoot off on Tuesday, April 2, and conclude on Saturday, April 6, will see title sponsors Supreme Ventures pump in a whopping $3m into the event.
Carlene Edwards, Supreme Ventures sponsorship and public relations manager, pointed out that this sponsorship marks another important partnership for her organisation.
"This is another partnership that we hold dear to our heart, as through our support of the series, the Sunshine Girls will get valuable preparatory work done to participate in upcoming international tournaments," said Edwards.
"Netball, as you may already know, has not been getting the support, despite the successes of the Sunshine Girls. As such, we are extremely proud that we could facilitate the staging of yet another Sunshine Series, and we look forward to the competitive match ups between Jamaica's Sunshine Girls and the English national team," she added.
The series, to be played inside the National Indoor Sports Centre, will have several entertainment packages before, during and after the games.
Other sponsors of the event are Jamaica National, Lifespan Water and Hi-Lyte, while Best Dressed Chicken and Gilbert are team sponsors.
Cordia Panton-Williams, brand manager, Best Dressed Chicken and Michael Collins of Jamaica National spoke on their companies' behalf.
Meanwhile, Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) President Marva Bernard thanked the many sponsors, especially main sponsors Supreme Venture for their continued support of local sports.
"Each year they have kept us in the budget, allowing the Jamaican fans to see the Sunshine Girls at home at least once per year," she pointed out.
"As I said, this 2013 Supreme Venture/JNA Sunshine Series may be summed up as the annual exchange between two great rivals, who have exchanged world standing often enough. But the series is taking on added significance because it is providing a well-needed opportunity for the both teams to blood young players," Bernard added.
"I promise that the Sunshine Girls will be competitive. I promise you an exciting netball every time that the Sunshine Girls and the English Roses take to the court, but that is not all that you will get," she noted.
According to Bernard, they have put together a programme of activities never experienced before.
It includes a celebrity team versus masters encounter before the big Test matches. Natalie Neita-Headley, the minister without portfolio with responsibility for sports; Khadine 'Miss Kitty' Hylton; Paula-Ann Porter; Grace Jackson; and D'Angel will form part of the celebrity team with the masters team involving past netball greats like Jennifer Brown, Janet Guy, Janet Johnson, Marvalyn Campbell, Dorrett Williams, and Joy McLeod-Lewis, to name a few.
The King of Dancehall, Beenie Man, along with Agent Sasco (Assassin) and D'Angel will provide entertainment, which will also include cheerleading performances, while there will be a Corporate male team taking on a media team in a shoot-out.