Three-year deal and government gift to netball
THE future of Island netball has been secured beyond 2021 thanks to a new deal involving the Government of Jersey.
The Jersey Netball Association has been spared the threat of homelessness by a three-year agreement between themselves and Les Ormes, with an extra boost coming in the form of a States-donated indoor sports floor which has lain unused since the 2015 Island Games. A long-lost ‘legacy’.
The Bosdet Foundation, which manages Les Ormes, initially hoped to repurpose their four netball courts in March 2020, before offering the JNA a one-year extension. That stay has now been pushed out to March 2023, with the nearly-new floor – used for basketball and volleyball during the Jersey Games – due to be transported to the St Brelade facility in the coming weeks.
As well as providing security for the Winter League and the JNA's development programmes, the decision means Team Jets could return to their former home if and when they host England Netball league fixtures again, having being forced to move to Fort Regent in 2015.
JNA president Linda Andrews said: ‘We’re very thankful to the Bodest Foundation for giving us this extension and to the government for providing this brilliant playing surface for us. It will be all four courts for three seasons, which is great. It gives us a bit of stability again.
‘To be able to play on a Taraflex floor is just brilliant. It cushions the landings and makes for a much better experience for everybody. And it’s in the agreement that we will be using Les Ormes for all of our high-level games again – Team Jets and the big meets like the inter-insulars and the Uptons.’
The new deal bridges the gap to what the JNA hope will be a purpose-built home later this decade. Discussions relating to a new venue have been ongoing for a number of years, with a new medium-term facility at Les Quennevais believed to be among previous considerations.
Andrews added: ‘The government had worked so hard in looking at the provision of facilities for us and we were really close to realising that opportunity. We’re in uncertain times now but at least this gives us breathing space in which we can keep working with the government and keep exploring ideas. Once the Island is back up and running again we’ll see what can be done.’
In letter written to the Bosdet Foundation, seen by the JEP, Senator Steve Pallett emphasised that the floor donation comes on the condition of there being no further financial commitment from public resources.
More in Monday's JEP.
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