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M1 ZONE AGE GROUP PROGRAMME ENHANCES NATIONAL ELITE PROGRAMME
SINGAPORE, 18 January 2017 – M1 Limited (M1) further strengthened its commitment to Singapore’s netball development programmes today through a new sponsorship agreement with Netball Singapore to support the newly developed M1 Zone Age Group Programme.
A joint programme between Netball Singapore and the Physical, Sports and Outdoor Education Branch (PSOEB), Ministry of Education, the Zone Age Group (ZAG) Programme will greatly enhance the development of the elite players pipeline for the National Age Group Squads leading to the National 21&U and National Opens squads.
In 2016, 186 school teams took part in the B and C Division of the Inter-Schools Netball Championships. Of this pool of over 2,200 players, only 15 players per age group (14 & under and 17 & under) were selected for the National Age Group Squads.
From 2017, there will be 14&U and 17&U Age group teams by Zones. 12 players from each age group and each zone (North, South, East and West) will be selected instead. There will now be 48 players for each of the 14&U and 17&U age groups, which will greatly widen the base of elite Age Group players.
Under the new M1 ZAG Programme, the following pathways will be available for the 14&U and 17&U players to be selected into the National Age Groups:
1) Zone Development Team – for players from schools that do not make the national rounds (only the top 4 schools in each zone). 12 players from each zone will be selected at the selection trials. This will be a 6-week training programme. 2) Zone Age Group Teams – selection trials will be held for all players in that zone, after the national rounds are completed. Players will have court training and weekly strength & conditioning sessions with NYSI. All the zone teams will compete in the National League, playing 7 to 8 games over 2 months under the National Age Group coaches. This will provide the players with a longer period to train and to prove themselves during competition. It will also greatly improve the selection process. This will be 9-week programme.
At the conclusion of the National League, the National Age Group teams for the 14&U and 17&U, of 12 players each, will be selected from the zone teams. They will then have intensive training for a 4-week period before playing in a series of competitive matches against their equivalent age group teams from Malaysia.
Many of the zone players will be identified by the existing M1 Talent Identification (TID) Selectors, working together with the Zone coaches. These TID players will be in addition to the players nominated by their schools, so that the best players have several paths to the selection trials.
Separately, a new 19 & Under Tertiary squad will be formed, in addition to the 19&Under Schools team, to cater for the students opting for the Polytechnic and ITE route. The 19&Under Schools team will compete in the ASEAN School Games, hosted in Singapore, while the 19&Under Tertiary team will compete in the series against the Malaysian 19&Under team.
M1 is also the title sponsor of the M1 Netball Super League (NSL), the elite competition for the best players in Singapore and the selection base for the Singapore National team, as well as the M1 Sunfish team, the 21 & Under team competing in the M1 NSL.
Besides the elite programme, M1 also supports other school programmes such as the M1 Schools Challenge League (SCL), which is an event for schools that were eliminated in the Zonal Inter-Schools Championships at the preliminary stage. The competition offers more opportunities and play time for these schools, many of whom have train all year long only to end their season playing a mere three to four games. Schools are pitted against other schools of comparable standard, hailing from different zones in the M1 SCL.
A sponsor of Netball Singapore since 2009, M1 also sponsors netball equipment for the Primary School Netball Co-Curricular Activity (CCA) Programme which was launched in May 2016 as well as the M1 Corporate Netball Challenge.
“M1 has been a partner of Netball Singapore since 2009 and we thank them for their tremendous support in the schools programme, elite programme and corporate netball. The sponsorship of the M1 Zone Age Group Programme will help netball in Singapore progress further as it enhances the elite selection pathway. It is our aim that this will provide a good base of talents and develop better players who will in turn, be our Singapore National Players,” said Jessica Tan, Member of Parliament, President of Netball Singapore.
“We are happy to see our long-term partnership with Netball Singapore grow the Singapore netball scene from strength to strength. The M1 Zone Age Group programme, in delivering more playing opportunities to our promising netball talent, will enable them to scale even greater heights,” said Mr Ivan Lim, Director, Corporate Communications, M1.
M1 Limited (M1) is Singapore’s most vibrant and dynamic communications company, providing mobile and fixed services to over 2 million customers. Since the launch of commercial services in 1997, M1 has achieved many firsts, including the first operator to offer nationwide 4G service, as well as ultra high-speed fixed broadband, fixed voice and other services on the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN). With a continual focus on network quality, customer service, value and innovation, M1 links anyone and anything; anytime, anywhere. For more information, visit www.m1.com.sg.
About Netball Singapore
Netball Singapore is the national body for netball in Singapore. This well-established organisation has progressed dramatically since it commenced in 1962. It has become a professionally run National Sport Association which generates a proportion of its expenditure through sponsorship and other streams of revenue-generation. The association supports over 60 multi-team club members and over 230 schools have netball in their curriculum.
Netball Singapore’s mission is to encourage, promote and develop netball in Singapore. Singapore successfully hosted the World Netball Championships in July 2011 and the Mission Foods Asian Netball Championships in 2014 at the Singapore Sports Hub with the National team winning the trophy and a place in the 2015 World Cup. Singapore was also victorious in the 2015 SEA Games, winning the Gold medal in the netball event Our netball team was named the Team of the Year (Team Sport) in the Singapore Sports Awards for two consecutive years, in 2015 and 2016. The National Team are currently ranked 20th in the World.