Murdock, Aiken-Pinnock new Sunshine Girls coaches
Jamaica netballer Jodi-Ann Ward (right) challenges New Zealand's Whitney Souness for the ball during the Netball World Cup match at the Cape Town Conference Center in South Africa on Thursday, August 3. (Photo: Collin Reid)

LOCAL netball coaches Shawn Murdock and Nicole Aiken-Pinnock have been appointed co-coaches of the Sunshine Girls' team to the Fast5 Netball World Series which will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand, November 11-12.

Netball Jamaica First Vice-President Simone Forbes says the appointment is part of their strategy to expose more of the country's local coaches to international competition.

"Netball Jamaica is pleased with the two individuals selected as coaches of the Fast5 Sunshine Girls team," Forbes told the Jamaica Observer. "These are two coaches who are already in the programme and we thought it...important for us to give them the opportunity, and experience, and exposure of coaching at the international level.

"As you know, Shawn joined the programme this year for the World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, and Nicole coached the team at the CAC Games [Central America and Caribbean Games], but they don't have a lot experience at the international level so we thought it was in the best interest of the programme for us give these coaches the opportunity to coach at this level."

The Jamaicans finished sixth (having not won a game) at the last competition, which was also held in New Zealand, but they have won three silver medals at the championships thus far, in 2009, 2017 and 2018.

"Jamaica has historically always done well at the Fast5 tournament but last year was a little disappointing for us," Forbes said. "But, we are hoping that this year we will improve from that placing from 2022. The hope is to finish in a medal position, which we missed out on last year. We are known to win medals in this version of the game because we have won [three] silver medals in the past, so we definitely want to be on the podium this year."

Newly appointed Sunshine Girls Coach Shawn Murdock.
Newly appointed Sunshine Girls Coach Nicole Aiken-Pinnock.
BY ROBERT BAILEY Staff reporter

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