THE Jamaica Netball Association (JNA) has enlisted the services of former President Margaret Beckford to help with skills training of preparatory and primary school coaches.
Beckford, along with Yvonne Price, will be the instructor at a one-day training seminar to be held at Ardenne High School on Saturday, February 16, starting at 8:45 am.
Beckford was the former coach of the Ardenne netball team which won several national titles during the 1970s and 1980s, and also coached several club teams during the 1960s and 1970s.
The Ardenne team produced two national netball captains -- Marva Lindsay and Sonia Chronicle -- under Beckford's watch. JNA boss, Marva Bernard, told the Jamaica Observer that Beckford was chosen because of the value she brings to the table.
"Because of the wealth of knowledge she has as a coach over the years," she said.
"She is still active, and she never lost her skills, and we think it's just wonderful that our founding president should be well enough. And we are into making sure that the teams of tomorrow have some of the training that the ones of today never had," Bernard said.
Beckford, who emigrated to Jamaica in the 1950's, earned her first coaching award while at home in England.
She told the Observer that she wanted to focus on the primary and prep school coaches as they are the foundation.
"That is where it starts," Beckford said. "This is where the Sunshine Girls emanate from, and it's so important to have good skills... footwork and handwork must be well co-ordinated."
Beckford is also set to continue working with the national Under-13 players in the Scotiabank Development Squad. She spent a few weeks coaching the "nursery" squad last year after former coach Barbara Sinclair was forced to step away because of family commitments.
The squad has not yet been selected as a few have already moved on to the Under-16 squad in training for national duty.
"I'm looking forward to it, because it's exciting to get these young players and to endeavour to improve their skills so that when they graduate to the Under-16 squad they will be more rounded," Beckford said.
Next week's seminar will include effective coaching strategies as well as skills demonstration and coaching points.
Entries for the seminar close on Monday and registration fees will be $2,000.