$18 million to go!
Sunshine Girls close in on $56m to send team to South Africa World Cup; make plea for help
Jamaica's Sunshine Girls celebrate during netball competition at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. (Photo: Observer file)

Eighteen million dollars is the remaining sum that Netball Jamaica (NJ) is now actively seeking to send the Sunshine Girls team to this year's Netball World Cup tournament, which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, from July 28 to August 6.

Netball Jamaica says it is costing the association $56 million to send the team to the highly-anticipated championships, which will see some of the best netball players from around the world matching strides at the event.

Tricia Robinson, president of the Netball Jamaica, said through the help of the Government and other corporate sponsors, her organisation has been able to raise $38 million of the targeted $56 million. She is now appealing to other corporate sponsors to come on board and support her organisation because it is desperately in need of the money.

"It [fund-raising] is not going as we would have anticipated, but we are optimistic that we will get there," said Robinson.

Marilyn Golding-Anderson (left), head of supply chain at Seprod Group presents the symbolic cheque worth $15,123,000 to Tricia Robinson (third left) at a press conference held at the NISC on Wednesady. Looking on are Connie Francis (second left), head coach for the Sunshine Girls; Diamon Dodd (third right), chief financial officer Seprod Group; Simone Forbes (second right), first vice-president at NJ and Hon Olivia Grange, minister of culture, gender, entertainment, and sports. (Photo: Observer file)

"We are asking corporate Jamaica to come on board and support us and we are also asking everyone to visit our GoFundMe page and support us as much as possible.

"I am very upbeat that we will be able to secure the funding that we need to send the girls to Cape Town," she added.

The NJ boss pointed out that her organisation has been working through their various social media platforms as well as their GoFundMe page to secure as much as possible of the required amount.

"We have been doing a lot of work in trying to raise this money, but we understand that sponsorship is not easy to come by but we will continue to put in the work and we are trusting that everything will work out accordingly for us," Robinson stated.

The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked fourth in the world, won a historic silver medal at last year's Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, in August, and that achievement is fuelling belief that a podium finish in South Africa is a goal within reach.

"We have a very good chance of winning the gold medal this year," Robinson said. "Our girls have been doing very well in the Suncorp League in Australia and some of them are just coming out of our Elite League competition where they all did excellently. Our Divisional League will start this weekend [last weekend] and we are really expecting the girls to play at a very high level," Robinson said.

BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter robertb@jamaicaobserver.com

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