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Gibraltar wins bid to host World Netball Youth Championships 2025

Gibraltar Netball stamped its mark on the international scene on Tuesday as it celebrated winning its bid for the World Youth Netball Championships for 2025.

The sport, one of the fastest growing in Gibraltar with the second largest membership numbers on the Rock and considered the crowning jewel of women’s sport in Gibraltar following its recent successes added a further feather to their cap after successfully bidding for the World Youth Championships.

World Netball this Tuesday announced that Gibraltar Netball has been awarded the rights to host the Netball World Youth Cup 2025 (NWYC 2025).

The tournament, which showcases the world’s top 20 teams aged 21 and under, will take place in two main competition venues in Gibraltar – The Tercentenary Sports Hall and Europa Sports Park, which was built for the 2019 Island Games.

“On behalf of the Board of World Netball, I am delighted to announce that Gibraltar Netball Association, in collaboration with the Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority, will be hosting the 2025 Netball World Youth Cup,” World Netball President, Liz Nicholl, said.

“Gibraltar has shown its capabilities in hosting events such as the Island Games 2019, Europe Netball competitions and many other international events and will deliver an inspiring experience for our young athletes. World Netball is keen to support our growing Member nations in delivering major netball competitions and Gibraltar are leading the way with their strong bid for this event.”

Gibraltar Netball and the Gibraltar Sport and Leisure Authority are committed to delivering an event which builds on a current event-led tourism model for the country and supports female sport in building self-esteem and well-being.

“Gibraltar is delighted to have been given the privilege of hosting the NWYC 2025. We have worked alongside the Gibraltar Netball Association and World Netball to ensure that at this point we have met all requirements and as usual when hosting International Events both Gibraltar and Gibraltar Netball Association will rise to the challenge ensuring a successful world-class event that is enjoyed by all involved in 2025,” Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority CEO, Reagan Lima said.

The Minister for Sport, Steven Linares added: “It gives me great pleasure to support this event. Gibraltar is well placed and has shown its capacity in hosting events of international calibre in the past. HM Government of Gibraltar is looking forward in welcoming all athletes, officials, media, friends and family to enjoy both what Gibraltar has to offer and with no doubt an exciting and well-organised Netball World Youth Cup.”

Gibraltar Netball, supported by the Gibraltar Sports and Leisure Authority, and Gibraltar Government indicated their intentions to bid for the World Youth Championships prior to the onset of the global pandemic.

During the past years officials have worked behind the scenes to ensure that Gibraltar’s facilities and its organisation of events met with, at the time, INF requirements. This saw Gibraltar assessed on several occasions by INF (now World Netball) officials.

World Netball, which only this past year rebranded from the International Netball Federation to World Netball, is responsible for Netball across the Globe with currently 76 Members, 55 Full Members and 22 Associate Members.

“Today is an exciting day for Gibraltar Netball and the sport of Netball Gibraltar,” Netball President, Moira Gomez said. 

“We are delighted and honoured to be entrusted by World Netball to host the NWYC2025. A huge amount of work went into our bid, and we kept focused all throughout the lockdowns to meet our goals. This news brings us hope through these challenging times and moving forward it is the start of an incredible journey.”

“We thank HM Government of Gibraltar for their relentless support and encouragement and can’t wait to welcome the talented young netballers and their families. We are confident that the Gibraltar community will surround the event with our own distinctive culture to provide a friendly, netball-passionate atmosphere with memories to last a lifetime.”

Split into five Regional Federations including the Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania World Netball is expected to grow in numbers in the coming years as it heads towards the 2025 World Youth Championships. 

Already nations such as France and the Netherlands indicating their intentions to join and compete officially.

Gibraltar, which hosts the Netball Europe Open Challenge once again this Autumn, has seen a meteoric rise in its reputation within the international scene. 

It’s on-the-court achievements challenging at the top tier of the Challenge categories in its bid to enter Netball Europe’s Championship tier has been back by a development programme which has already captured interest from other nations.

Innovative strategies to continue its development during the global pandemic further bringing the focus onto the Rock which recently saw Gibraltar Netball captain Bryony Rovengo chosen as one of the Voices of World Netball alongside a handful of top elite players. The association also having seen one of its top umpires Nadine Pardo-Zammitt umpiring at world youth levels in recent years.

With Gibraltar netball also this Autumn hosting its Schools Rocks initiative where it hopes to attract visiting schools to participate in its international tournaments, alongside its scheduled hosting of netball Europe events, and its drive to attract international sides to use Gibraltar as a training camp, the latest announcement is expected to see its reputation climb within the international scene.

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