Netball, a sport played by 20 million people across 70 countries, is rapidly gaining popularity throughout the world. When intosport.com recently received an email from Israel Netball asking to use videos from the Shock Absorber Netball Academy to help promote the sport, it got us thinking...
How is the sport of netball developing around the world, away from countries such as Australia, England and New Zealand?
We decided to catch up with Tal Segev of Israel Netball to find out...
What is your background? How did you become involved in netball?
I've been playing netball since I was 6 years old in South Africa – for both club and school. When I moved to Israel I started playing again after finishing in the army in 2005. I now play, coach and I am part of the Management Committee for Israel Netball.
How many people do you estimate are playing netball in Israel?
Approximately 160 people in the entire country.
How is netball structured in Israel? Is there a national league and supporting governing body?
Last year we set up a league with all five Israeli clubs participating – Ra'anana and Jerusalem (the two veteran clubs), Modi'in (started two years ago), Tel Aviv and Ma'aleh Adumim (both established last year).
For several years we have had a management committee which was mainly composed of Ra'anana club members. The committee was tasked with – among many other things – organizing events in Israel as well as participation in international events. We are currently in the process of setting up an official governing body (Israel Netball) according to all the relevant regulations.
How are coaches being educated in Israel? Have you benefitted from outside knowledge of coaches from countries where netball is popular?
We are associate members of FENA (Federation of European Netball Associations) and of IFNA (International Federation of Netball Associations). As such we are invited to AGMs and congress sessions, although we will only be allowed a vote when we become full members which hopefully will happen this year.
Since we belong to Europe, we have little contact with the other areas. The "richest" member of FENA and our staunchest supporter is England Netball, from whom we have received lots of assistance. Through them our members have participated in coaching and umpiring courses.
How do you see netball in Israel progressing?
Our goal for this year is to recruit more junior players who are obviously the future for the sport. We also hope to hold an international tournament for netball clubs from the countries where netball is developing. Sweden Netball held such a tournament at the end of August and the clubs from Sweden, Belgium, Denmark and Switzerland all expressed interest in coming to Israel.
What does the sport need to do to progress?
Exactly what we are doing – spread the word, recruit more players and find ways of getting more resources!
What international tournaments do the national team currently compete in?
Since 2006, FENA has held a bi-yearly tournament for European teams which are at the developmental level. In addition to that, Israel Netball hosts the netball tournament which is part of the Maccabi Games held in Israel every 4 years.
How has the Shock Absorber Netball Academy at intosport.com helped you?
We only found out about the Shock Absorber Netball Academy recently, hence me getting in contact. It is an excellent resource and we will be using it regularly from now on. The introduction to netball video is especially useful!
It appears as though netball in Israel is beginning to take shape, and we hope the Shock Absorber Netball Academy will continue to help.
A big thank you to Tal Segev for sharing her thoughts and we wish Israeli netball every success for the future!
We would like to hear from other netball fans around the world about their experiences of developing the sport. Get in touch and tell us your story by emailing email@example.com