Bishop’s High School defended their title as champions of the inter-schools knockout tournament in a dominating display which signalled the start of the BPTT Tobago Zone of the 2012 T&T Secondary Schools Netball Association competition yesterday. Led by talented goal attack and national Under-16 player, Nareisha Radgman, Bishop’s trounced all competitors at the Shaw Park netball facilities. The 14 – 3 final was a decidedly one-sided affair as the fast-paced, attacking Bishop’s girls never gave Signal Hill Secondary time to settle. Scarborough Secondary and Speyside High School placed third and fourth, respectively, among the seven competing schools. Revived in 1991, the league, with over 300 players, is supported by the Division of Education, Youth Affairs and Sport (DEYAS) of the Tobago House of Assembly, with sponsorship from energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago. There is also a Bursary Award System established by bpTT for netballers who excel in academics and athletics, which stands at $17,000 annually.
Councillor Huey Cadette, Assistant Secretary of DEYAS, declared the 2012 season open. “I am proud to say that this competition is by far the best of all the zones across the country. This is because of the talented young women of Tobago as well as the hard work of many persons, including national and local league executives, principals, teachers, coaches and parents. A great deal of credit must also be given to bpTT for their unwavering support of this league over the years,” Cadette said. Margaret Warner-Julien, Government and Stakeholder Relations Advisor, bpTT, affirmed the company’s commitment to supporting the Tobago zone: “For the past 19 years, bpTT has been proud to sponsor this league as part of the sporting excellence of Tobago. The energy and excitement of the girls competing here today is testament to our belief in the talent of the young people of Tobago and their ability to achieve greatness. This league has produced many national players and we are proud to continue our commitment to the development and progress of our youth in Tobago.”
The bpTT official challenged the netballers to, “use sports as a platform to develop other areas in their lives, both personal and professional and to transfer what they’ve learnt on the court to life off the court.” She encouraged the netballers to, “dream big dreams and to see themselves as contributors to a better future for Trinidad and Tobago.” Josette Lord, President of the Trinidad and Tobago Secondary Schools Netball Association, also delivered remarks at the launch. Over the years, the BPTT Tobago Zone has dominated the national netball competition with numerous victories in the various age groups. In the 2011/12 season, they were crowned national zonal champions in the Under-13, Under-15 and Over-17 divisions, placing second in the Under-17 category. The league has also produced several national netball players, including current national under-16 captain, Aniecia Baptiste. The season launch started off with a parade of teams with Mason Hall Secondary marching off with top spot with 254 points. Signal Hill Secondary and Bishop’s High School took second and third places with 252 and 244 points, respectively.