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Wednesday, 6-Jul-2011 01:09
Netball chief does not want men's competition
International Federation of Netball Associations president Molly Rhone (pictured on right) told Reuters that the key to getting on the Olympic programme was showcasing it at multi-sports events around the world.

Speaking on the sidelines of the 2011 World Championships in Singapore, Rhone said netball should be allowed to join synchronised swimming and rhythmic gymnastics as women-only Olympic sports.

"I don't think it (men's netball) has developed to the level where you would be seeing a World Championship," Rhone told Reuters. "But I will say it again, I really hope that it is not one of the criteria for being included in the Olympic programme.

"One of the five pillars of our strategic plan is having world class events, and that doesn't necessarily mean World Championships - that means at a national level, at a regional level so anywhere you see netball it is done in a very professional way."

Rhone said it was crucial for netball to boost its visibility by being included in more multi-sport events such as the All-Africa Games, for which it has recently been accepted.

"We are in contact with the IOC every year, we're a recognised sport and what we're trying to do is get into more multi-sports events," Rhone said during New Zealand's 80-25 demolition of Fiji in their opening match of the championships.

"When you take part in these multi-sports events then more people see your sport. The IOC get their people (to attend) who are voting on which sports should come in.

"There is a questionnaire that comes out, we fill it out every year, we have really good meetings with them every year. We just have to keep doing what we do well," the former Jamaican vice captain added.

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