KINGSTON, Jamaica – For the first time ever, Jamaica’s senior netball squad, the Sunshine Girls, will lace up spikes and participate in a sprint relay at the Gibson McCook Relays on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at the National Stadium.

The squad will field a team for the 4x400m Invitational Relay as part of an overall training program to improve their on-court fitness for this year’s Netball World Cup, which will be held in Sydney, Australia in August.

Roy Thomas, the team’s strength and conditioning coach, emphasized that the fitness program includes road races and weights training mixed in with lighter activities like soca exercise classes.

About the Sunshine Girls’ participation in the mile relay he said, “It’s a great opportunity to incorporate speed work into our program while giving support to an event that honors the memory of a sporting legend like Teddy McCook.”

The Sunshine Girls participated in the last weekend’s Sagicor SIGMA Corporate Run where the team’s top performer was Goal Attack Shanice Beckford, who finished 17th out of 6,403 females in a time of 25:38 and 1st in the 17-19 year age group.

Future 5K races include the Everyone’s a Winner Best Dressed Chicken Road Race Series in March, April and June that will be staged in Hope Gardens. “The fitness program is personalized for each athlete and their progress is being tracked, with special attention paid to developing netball specific strengths while improving flexibility and minimizing injuries,” explained Thomas.

Head coach Minneth Reynolds added, "We've seen marked improvement in the Sunshine Girls’ fitness since Roy joined the coaching staff leading into last year's Commonwealth Games and without a doubt, this contributed to us winning the bronze medal. His goal is to get us physically strong to match-up against any of the world’s top teams at the Netball World Cup and the entire squad has bought into it."


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