The world’s six-most experienced Fast5 women’s teams in New Zealand, Australia, England, Jamaica, South Africa and Malawi are set to compete in the Fast5 Netball World Series. These six nations will battle from 11 – 12 November in the Christchurch Arena, with New Zealand as host of this action packed version of Netball.
In 2022 the popular shortened version of the game made an anticipated return to the international stage for the first time in three years after a COVID-enforced hiatus.
New Zealand, is the most successful side with seven Fast5 NWS titles, and England have two.
Netball New Zealand Head of Events and Competitions, Emma Fowlie says, “We’re delighted to be building on the success of last year’s Fast5 Netball World Series in Christchurch.’’
“It will be another special occasion as we welcome the world’s top-class female players.
Speaking on the importance of the Fast5 NWS World Netball President Dame Liz Nicholl DBE said: “The Fast5 Netball World Series is a key part of our thrilling world-class international events calendar, as we continue to bring more netball, to more people, more often.
“This innovative, dynamic and fast format of our game is helping us to reach new markets and drive game development.
“We know that the hosts New Zealand, as well as the competing teams, will ensure that our sport is shown in the best light.”
The Fast5 Ferns, playing in front of a lively and energetic home crowd, will be eager to improve on their bronze medal finish at last year’s event. Netball New Zealand announced Marianne Delaney-Hoshek as head coach and Paula Smith as assistant for the Fast5 Ferns in June 2023.
“Fast5 is right up my alley and I’m really excited to be a part of this format, which brings so much fun to the netball court,” Delaney-Hoshek said.
“The fun factor is such a strong element to this tournament, and New Zealand has a proud record on the Fast5 netball court which is something that Paula and I want to continue in Christchurch.”
Australia come into this tournament with the hopes of defending their title and become back-to-back winners. It won’t be a walk in the park though for the defending champions as they face the world’s best.
“This is a great opportunity to expose our aspiring Diamonds athletes to international netball while developing their abilities on the court and as a cohort,” new head coach Nicole Richardson said.
“We are looking forward to embracing the Fast5 format whilst embedding Diamonds specific skill sets which transfer well across both formats of the game.
“I am thrilled to be coaching this group of talented athletes alongside some excellent support staff, including my former teammate Natalie Avellino, and look forward to seeing our efforts on display in Christchurch.”
Led by coach Martha Mosoahle-Samm in 2022, the Proteas came back with a Silver medal, the highest finish for South Africa in the history of Fast5 Netball.
Netball South Africa President, Cecilia Molokwane says: “We did exceptionally well last year with our Fast5 team in New Zealand, they won us a silver medal and we’d love to do better this year when we go back. For us to do better, we will obviously need to choose the best players for the job. As the Executive Committee, we believe that the best players were chosen, and they will represent the country well later when they head out to New Zealand.”
The Jamaicans finished sixth at the last competition, but they have won three silver medals at the championships thus far: in 2009, 2017, and 2018.
However, Shawn Murdock, a co-coach of the side along with Nicola Aiken-Pinnock, said the Sunshine Girls are upbeat and confident of doing well at the championships.
“I am feeling very good about this trip, but I know that it is going to be a challenging trip for us, but I know that the girls will be up for the task down there in New Zealand,” said Murdock.
“We are going into this tournament knowing that is a form development for our ladies, but we know that we have some quality players on our team that are ready to deliver for us. This is the Fast5 and it is an exciting shorter version of the game and so the results can go either way,” he added.
England, who finished fourth last year, will be coached by Vitality Roses Assistant coach Sonia Mkoloma: “I am looking forward to leading the Fast5 Vitality Roses. They are a team made up of exciting talent, returning Fast5 favourites and this will pose great opportunity for them to showcase their talents on the Fast5 stage.
After missing last year’s event, Malawi makes a return in 2023, their highest finish being third in 2016. Shooter Mwai Kumwenda has excused herself from the Malawi National Netball Team’s squad and made way for younger players. Takondwa Lwazi, an exceptional player for Malawi at the 2023 Netball World Cup, announced her resignation from Queens after the South Africa Netball World Cup is also not in the squad.
Fast5 has captivated fans since its inception in 2009. This unique format features multiple point shots, power plays, five players – a – side, and shortened quarters, adding excitement and strategy to the game.
FAST5 2023 SQUADS
Danielle van Nieuwenhuysen
Tinita van Dyk
Didintle Keebine (non-traveling)
Chantelle Swart (non-traveling)
Romelda Aiken-George (captain)
Adean Thomas (vice-captain)
Photo Caption: The world’s elite Netball countries have submitted their best squads to compete at the Fast5 Netball World Series, where hosts New Zealand will battle defending champions Australia, South Africa, England, Malawi and Jamaica