Tag: England

Mentor: VNWC2023 is so vital for Africa

England defender Geva Mentor believes the fact that the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 will take place on African soil for the first time will have a great impact on the growth of the sport on the continent.

Speaking ahead of what will be a remarkable sixth Netball World Cup appearance for the England icon, Mentor said: “The African nations are on the rise, we’re seeing the impact they’re having in the top domestic leagues and in turn the performances they’re putting out against other nations. 

“To be able to showcase all the best netballers in the world on African soil is another opportunity to keep growing the sport and we all know the Africans will create a vibrant, loud and entertaining event.”

The energy levels are certainly expected to be raised when the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 takes place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre from 28 July to 6 August.

The tournament will bring with it a bittersweet moment for Mentor as she takes to the court for one final tournament before retiring from the sport. The 38-year-old recently confirmed her plans to call time on her career at the end of the tournament.

“It still doesn’t feel real, or perhaps like the right decision, but it’s something I felt I had to do,” she explained. “A big part of who I am is often putting others before me and, compelled by the fact that I want to leave a place better off, it was time I step aside and allow others to have the opportunity to develop and gain experience so the Roses can go on to carve a strong legacy.”

Mentor started playing netball as a teenager. Her mother hails from Bournemouth, where she grew up, and her father from St Lucia in the Caribbean. While her first love as a child was trampolining – representing the UK as a junior – she soon fell in love with the camaraderie in netball. Clearly a natural, Mentor joined her first team at the age of 13 and by 14 she’d been called up to the England Under 17s, then earning her first senior cap at the age of 16.

In a career that’s spanned more than two decades, she’s solidified her place as one of netball’s all-time greats, claiming Commonwealth Games gold with England at Gold Coast 2018 and three Netball World Cup bronze medals, while also excelling in Australia’s Suncorp Super Netball.

Looking back on her career, it’s the opportunities that it has provided for which she is most grateful and what she loves about the sport.

“It would be easy to say the camaraderie, the successes, the people and while, yes, that’s right up there, when I think about it more deeply, it’s the opportunity. 

“To ride the highs and lows with an exceptional number of humans, the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, the opportunity to dedicate my time to making me the best version of myself and to empower those around me to find theirs. 

“So, I guess in a nutshell it’s the opportunity.”

As for her predictions for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023, where England will be eager to finally make the breakthrough and challenge for a first title, Mentor reckoned: “Anything is possible, right? All the Netball World Cups I’ve been part of I believe the standard of competition is getting tougher, the physicality more intense and the calibre of skill on display awe-inspiring. 

“So, it’ll come down to the tactics and who not only shows up on the day, but who is consistent and improves with every outing.”  

Asked what the secret has been to her longevity, Mentor simply says: “No secret, just take each day and moment as it comes and find the fun in all you do.”

England begin their Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 campaign against Barbados on 28th July with their two other initial group games against Malawi on 29th July and neighbours Scotland on 30th July.

Details on tickets and travel packages and more information are all available on the official tournament website (www.nwc2023.org.za) with a range of tickets and packages still available. 

Image courtesy World Netball

Every VNWC2023 game live on Sky Sports

World Netball and Sky Sports have announced that Sky Sports will be showing every game of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 live from Cape Town from 28th July.

The deal that was facilitated by World Netball’s international broadcast agency, SPORTFIVE, means that the broadcaster will show every match live across Sky Sports channels, with one match per day available to all on the Sky Sports YouTube channel.

Highlights will be available on the Sky Sports App every day allowing the Netball Family to catch up on any action they may have missed.

Former England stars of the game Pamela Cookey and Eboni Usoro-Brown will join Caroline Barker in Cape Town, giving viewers expert insight and analysis from the competition.

Speaking on the exciting announcement, World Netball CEO Clare Briegal said: “We are thrilled to announce that Sky Sports will be showing every game of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 live from Cape Town to our audience in the UK and Ireland.

“Under our core strategy Grow, we made it our aim to bring more netball, to more people, more often by developing our broadcast and digital media strategy and in turn increasing revenue and expanding the reach and profile of netball. This is just one clear example of how we are achieving this.

“The Vitality Netball World Cup 2023 our opportunity to demonstrate the skills of our amazing international netball athletes on the world stage, and we thank Sky Sports for being part of this.”

Sky Sports Director of Multi Sports Helen Falkus added: “The Netball World Cup is the pinnacle in the international netball calendar and we can’t wait to showcase all of the action live for Sky Sports subscribers. We’ll also stream selected matches live on the Sky Sports YouTube channel, making action from the tournament available to all.”

SPORTFIVE’s Managing Director, Malcolm Thorpe, is equally as excited about the news, he said: “SPORTFIVE is excited to confirm Sky’s coverage of the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023.

“Sky’s position as one of the leaders in women’s sport, alongside their commitment to deliver outstanding broadcast quality, will see netball continue to provide high quality sporting entertainment to fans across the UK and Ireland.” 

To view the full schedule for the event, click below


To purchase tickets for the event, click below

‘Cape Town a favourite of mine’ – England coach

The coach of the England team who will be one of the favourites for the World Cup in July, has spoken of her excitement at the tournament being staged in South Africa.

“I am not going to lie. South Africa, Cape Town is one of my favourite locations,” Jess Thirlby said on the day that England’s 12-strong squad was announced. England are the first country to name their final squad for the tournament. Hosts South Africa will name theirs on Friday night.

“I have been fortunate enough to go across my career both playing and coaching, and it is definitely a favourite of mine so I am hoping that bodes well and that our results can continue to make sure that it is a favourite place that I can return to with fond memories.

“I think South Africa in particular are going to be great hosts, they are always so welcoming, but they know how to celebrate, and I think it will be a fantastic festival both full of colour, life and energy and it is just what every team deserves to be a part of,” Thirlby said.

The 43-year-old Thirlby represented England on court from 2000-2006, including at the 2002 Commonwealth Games,. She was appointed England coach in 2019, and will oversee a team with some 800 international caps, including the experience of Jade Clarke and Geva Mentor. The pair will be in their sixth World Cup, equalling the record of Rhona John-Davis of Trinidad & Tobago.

“For them it is incredibly special,” Thirly said. “You would most probably assume that when I made those phone calls it gets a bit boring for them having six calls saying the same thing, but actually both of them were very humble and very emotional.

“Those performances (at the last Netball World Cup) probably wouldn’t quite stack up with the way the game has moved again. For Geva and Jade to live with those changing times is incredible really. They just love the game, and that clearly speaks to the fact that they are heading towards their sixth Netball World Cup, and Geva’s 12th major tournament which is just crazy.”

Click on the below link to see England’s VNWC2023 squad

England reveal VNWC 2023 squad

Jade Clarke and Geva Mentor were on Tuesday named in the England squad of 12 for the Vitality Netball World Cup 2023, to be held in Cape Town from 28 July to 6 August.

England Netball named a squad of 12, plus three non-travelling reserves for the tournament, where they will be one of the favourites from their current world ranking of No3. They finished third in their home tournament in Liverpool four years ago.

Clark (pictured) and Mentor will be appearing in their sixth World Cup, which matches the international record of Rhonda John-Davis of Trinidad & Tobago.

The England World Cup squad is a healthy blend of youth and experience, with a total of 810 caps spread through the group. Funmi Fadoju and Olivia Tchine will be making their major international tournament debuts.

Head coach Jess Thirlby is confident that England are “more than capable” of succeeding in Cape Town. “My whole purpose when I wake up in the morning is this drive and authentic belief in the ability that this team have to compete on a world stage and I won’t ever shy away from that,” she said on Tuesday.

“Of course I’m really excited but, most importantly, confident, with an ambition and a belief that this 12 and those three reserves are more than capable at their best to beat the best. We have great ambition in the team but I have a huge amount of belief in what we’re capable of doing and so do they so I’m looking forward to the next few months in harnessing that.

“I think the point of difference for me is in the balance of the group now. We’ve got three potential specialists and all others are offering us two or more positions. We speak about our Roses way being about high energy, tactical clarity and diversity. The key to success for me is getting our players to unlock what I know they can do, which we’ve seen on a number of occasions, doing it collectively and playing with real high energy, confidence and belief,” Thirlby added.

Imogen Alison, Eleanor Cardwell, Jade Clarke, Funmi Fadoju, Layla Guscoth, Helen Housby, Laura Malcolm, Geva Mentor, Natalie Metcalf, Chelsea Pitman, Olivia Tchine, Fran Williams. Reserves: Halimat Adio, Amy Carter, Sophie Drakeford-Lewis

Best finish: Finalists (1975)
3rd place: Six times
4th place: Eight times

1963: Hosts England finished 3rd, with Australia champions
1967: England finished 4th in Perth, with New Zealand winning
1971: England placed 3rd in Kingston, with Australia winning
1975: England were beaten in the final in Auckland by Australia
1979: England finished 4th in Port Of Spain, with NZ, Australia and Trinidad & Tobago sharing the  title
1983: England finished 4th in Singapore, with Australia winning
1987: England finished 4th in Glasgow, with NZ winning
1991: England finished 4th in Sydney, with Australia winning
1995: Hosts England finished 4th, with Australia winning
1999: England finished 3rd in Christchurch, with Australia winning
2003: England finished 4th in Kingston, with NZ winning
2007: England finished 4th in Auckland, with Australia winning
2011: England finished 3rd in Singapore, with Australia winning
2015: England finished 3rd in Sydney, with Australia winning
2019: Hosts England finished 3rd, with NZ winning


Watch highlights of England in their 2019 bronze medal match with South Africa