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Commonwealth Games: Legacy Netball

Australia avenged their 2018 final defeat and won gold as the Commonwealth Games netball came to a thrilling conclusion in Birmingham.

Jamaica took silver in the Sunshine Girls’ first Commonwealth final appearance and the Silver Ferns bagged bronze as England were edged out of the medals.

With eight of the 12 nations competing housing players from the Vitality Netball Superleague, it has been a week of stand-out sport as VNSL stars took centre stage.

Here’s just some of the best quotes from our VNSL players on what the lasting legacy of Commonwealth Games netball means to them:

Roses retirement

Former Team Bath netballers and England Roses stalwarts, Eboni Usoro-Brown and Stacey Francis-Bayman announced their retirement from professional netball after Birmingham.

Both will leave the sport with Commonwealth medals from previous Games, helping England to bronze in Delhi 2010 and Usoro-Brown part of that iconic 2018 gold medal winning squad.

Speaking after their bronze medal match, Usoro-Brown said: “It’s been absolutely incredible. The crowd, in general, have been amazing for the whole competition but I think it was extra special for me because after having Savannah, I didn’t think I would be back here. 

“To finish off today, obviously not how we wanted to, but hopefully inspiring others who want to consider motherhood and being an elite athlete, and having a career potentially, is actually possible and especially in this red dress.

Uganda united for the future

Uganda’s Mary Cholhok helped her team to a fifth-place finish in their inaugural Commonwealth Games, fighting to a 54-48 victory over South Africa.

The Loughborough Lightning player now hopes their impressive performance can increase the exposure of the sport back in Uganda.

She said: “It was amazing how we played. We were patient, held the ball and everyone carried out their individual responsibilities. I’m proud of the performance, and acquiring the fifth position means the world to us.

“We wanted to be united and go hunting for the ball if we lost it. In the first quarter they led us by three, but we didn’t let our heads drop. We had the mindset to fight until the end.

“This needs to be the start of developing netball and taking it seriously. We are not at the very highest level, so hopefully this will show people that we’re actually worth it.

“There’s a lot of potential, but there’s a lot of things we lack. If those things are in place, we can create a massive difference in not just netball, but the lives of girls in Uganda.”

Powell-Davies set for Superleague

Wasps’ Ella Powell-Davies was overcome by her team’s performance during the Games and is now looking ahead to a packed season of netball come September.

Wales finished the Commonwealth Games in eighth place following a 62-53 loss to Malawi in the classification rounds.

Powell-Davies said: “I just think that we’ve shown everyone what Wales netball is all about.

“Behind closed doors, which is where most of the progress happens, not everyone sees it and it’s at these major competitions where everyone sees the growth so to really showcase what netball in Wales is all about and how it’s changing.

“[It’s now] build up for the World Cup Qualifiers here with Wales and then getting stuck into my Superleague season.

“There’s going to be new teams and lots of movement across the Superleague season so I’m excited for that and just to keep progressing myself, progressing with my team and just enjoy it.”

Strong Shaquanda 

A highlight for Trinidad and Tobago, Shaquanda Greene-Noel has shone in these Games and now hopes that their victory over Barbados in the Classification round can lift spirits ahead of the 2023 World Cup. 

She said: “There have been some dips for us, but it was important that we got momentum for this final game. 

“We’re going into (2023 Netball World Cup) qualifiers in about a month’s time, so it was important that we finished strongly so that we can continue that progress into those qualifiers.

“I’ve loved it. When we are playing our best netball, we have fun. I’ve really appreciated the support – the UK has some of the best fans in the world, and I’ve really enjoyed playing here.”


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