ISLAMABAD - PNA 14th National Women Netball Championship 2015 inaugurated in very colourful and befitting manner. Australian High Commissioner Peter Hayward along with DG Technical Pakistan Sports Board Dr Akhtar Nawaz Ganjera declared championship opened at Hamidi Hall, Pakistan Sports Complex Saturday.
Pakistan Netball Federation & Punjab Netball Association are organising the championship in collaboration with Pakistan Sports Board. Susan Peter, wife of Australian High Commissioner, Marzio Da Re, Counselor, Australian High Commission with his wife, Mudassar Arain, secretary Pakistan Netball Federation, Masood Akhtar, secretary Pakistan Judo Federation, Malik Sameen Khan, SVP Pakistan Netball Federation, Major Saleem, President, INA, Muhammad Rizwan secretary, PNA, Azam Dar Director (NF) PSB, Assistant Director Hostels Malik Imtiaz Hussain, Syed Touqeer Ahmed, secretary BNA and other dignities were also present on the occasion. The teams from Army, Wapda, HEC, Sindh, Punjab, KPK, Fata, Balochistan, Islamabad and AJK are participating in the mega event.
On the opening occasion, the exhibition netball match was played between Diplomats Women Netball team and best of Pakistan Netball team. Pakistan won 13-3 goals. The diplomat's team consisted Australian and British embassies persons. This was very good gesture shown by diplomats mission and Pakistan Netball Federation
The opening match was played between Army and Higher Education Commission. It was a very keenly contested encounter. Army is one of the title contenders but they had to dig deep to earn hard-fought 26-20 victory. The match was played on 4 quarters rules with each quarter consisting seven minutes. Army led all the four quarters but they never enjoy comfort as HEC girls kept the pressure till the final whistle. In the second match, Sindh girls thump sorry KPK 45-1 in a one-sided affair. Sindh could have easily scored more than five dozen goals. Such was their dominance, KPK girls had no answers to their pace and agility. In the third match, Army brushed aside Islamabad 36-5, while in the 4th match Punjab was awarded walkover against Fata, who arrived late for the match. According to rules 1 goal is must to get walk over, which Punjab girls dully managed to score to get the result in their favour. In the 5th and final match of the day, HEC was too strong for Balochistan as they won the encounter 35-3.
While talking to The Nation Australian High Commissioner Peter Hayward described netball a very popular sports in Australia and played in almost all the states with great zeal and enthusiasm. “We have produced some quality netball players both males and females and this sports enjoy too much fan following. I hope netball also gets same response in Pakistan as well.” He appreciated the efforts of Pakistan Netball Federation secretary Mudassar Arain for doing a wonderful job of promoting the game not only in males but also giving top priority to females as well. Peter highly lauded media for taking time out from other activities and present at the venue in quite numbers.
When this scribe asked Peter who would lift the World Cup final played today between Australia and New Zealand and who is his favourite team, Peter replied of course as an Australian I would whole-heartedly support my team and wanted them to lift the coveted trophy but I know this is the very first time Kiwis are playing the World Cup final. “They are very dangerous opponents and had some quality players including skipper and Martin Guptil.”