By Renae Smyth
Faced with the growing uncertainties of international travel and at risk of becoming stranded, four of Suncorp Super Netball’s Jamaican stars have agreed to see-out the competition’s suspension together.
Adelaide Thunderbird Shamera Sterling, Melbourne Vixen Kadie-Ann Dehaney, Collingwood defender Jodi-Ann Ward and West Coast Fever shooter Jhaniele Fowler will spend the next few months together as they wait to hear the news that it’s safe to play netball again.
Usually rivals on the Suncorp Super Netball court, the four have come together in the past to represent Jamaica in their national side, the Sunshine Girls.
The decision to stay in Australia was tough for the athletes, knowing that their friends and family were more than 16,000 kilometres away.
But the Jamaican quartet are hoping to remain connected and create a home away from home during the unfolding coronavirus crisis.
Netball WA Chief Executive, Simon Taylor said the athletes were flown in yesterday to make sure they had a sense of community given their trying circumstances.
“What we have done is worked with the other clubs who have got Jamaicans and brought them here to Perth,” he said.
“Three other Jamaicans and Jhaniele are settling in here so that there’s a community around them as well.”
With regular training schedules also suspended, clubs will be exploring alternative approaches with athletes to ensure they are healthy and fit once the season resumes.
“We will work through that over the next 24 to 48 hours to work out what that looks like in an individual scenario and how they can go about keeping fit and keeping on top of things in their own environment.”
A decision that comes after the Suncorp Super Netball league commission announced the season would be placed on hold, not expected to begin before June 30.