New Zealand secures hosting rights of World Netball Championships in 2007

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The International Federation of Netball Associations announced the decision today that New Zealand has secured the rights to host the World Netball Championships in 2007 after Fiji were stripped of the rights following their military coup this year.

Kareyn Smith, vice president of the IFNA, said: "New Zealand was really the only viable option, and participating nations will just have to accept it. One big issue which will have to be looked at is the number of people who had already booked to travel to Fiji for the tournament in July, including more than 1,000 New Zealanders."

New Zealand has been given extra time to prepare for the two week event, with the postponement of the championship's start from July to November. Ruth Aitken, coach of New Zealand's netball team, the Silver Ferns, said that the time they have to prepare is usually when the team has its rest period. However she is delighted that New Zealand is the host.

Netball New Zealand has not yet announced the venue where the championships will be played but have announced that it will be either Auckland or Christchurch. Don Mackinnon, chair of the Netball New Zealand board, said that other venues are not being considered because it would become too difficult because of the time constraints. The decision will be announced within the next couple weeks.

New Zealand are the current world champions since winning the last championships held in Jamaica. New Zealand also held the championship in 1999.

Australia was unable to host the championships as they could not prepare in the allocated time. Jamaica and England both showed interest in hosting the championships.

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