$468k for Pearls

Members of the Fiji Pearls netball side at the Nadi International Airport yesterday before flying to New Zealand. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

The Fiji Pearls side . Picture: BALJEET SINGH/FILE

THE Fiji Pearls squad received $468,790 from the Fiji National Sports Commission yesterday to help in their preparation for the Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England in June.

Commission chairman Peter Mazey said the commission was pleased that it could extend the overseas grant to netball as the major female sport in Fiji.

“This is a pinnacle event in the sports calendar and Netball Fiji had clearly articulated and justified the need for this grant in their submission to the commission grant committee last year,” Mazey said.

Fiji Netball president Wainikiti Bogidrau said they were grateful to the Government and to the commission for providing them the fund becauser this would be one of the most expensive tours ever for the Fiji Pearls.

Bogidrau said the grant was for airfare and accommodation.

“As with all grants, we are required to provide acquittals with all the necessary payment vouchers and receipts to the commission,” she said.

“We acknowledge the Australian government and Netball Australia who has also provided financial support to our World Cup preparations.”

She said the commission assisted with a $158,920 grant for the recent Singapore Test series and the New Zealand Test series that will see Fiji play the Silver Ferns as part of their final round of preparation.

The Fiji Pearls will travel to Sydney, Australia in the first week of June for a three-week training camp before they fly out to Auckland, New Zealand for the Test series.

The team leaves for Liverpool on July 5 and the competition proper will be from July 12-21.

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