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'Embracing everybody' - Commonwealth boss signals Games rebranding

17 April 2018, 05:13 | Cameron Gross

England beat Jamaica in dramatic fashion to secure a place in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match

England beat Jamaica in dramatic fashion to secure a place in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match

An extraordinary performance saw England's netballers crowned Commonwealth Games champions with a 52-51 win over hosts Australia.

"This is the best day of my life and it's the best day of all these girls lives", said an elated Housby.

Just by making it to the final, England had broken down a barrier that had existed since the advent of the sport. "It's just incredible, it means so much to this group".

"The messages I really love have come from parents of kids with disabilities who say their child has just lost a leg to cancer and they want to be like me because they see us on TV because I never had para-athletes I could watch", Cole said.

The win is England netball's best result yet, after having won silver at the 1975 World Cup.

Despite a cavernous gap in finances and coverage afforded to both sides, for 60 minutes at the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre on Sunday they were equals.

Australia led by four goals in the final quarter, but England wrested the initiative and Housby delivered when the pressure was at its height.

Defeats and victories to the southern hemisphere nations have been more frequent than ever due to the Quad Series and its introduction over the last two years has played its part.




Goals were exchanged before England claimed a vital rebound late on and it looked like it was heading for an extra period when Harten missed. Housby was not going to let the second opportunity slip through her grasp.

Kiwi Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday, meanwhile, that hosting a future Commonwealth Games event is "not now on the table".

I'm reading a great book at the moment called How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, but to be honest, I haven't read it for about 10 days as I have found the secret to stopping time - the Commonwealth Games!

"The form Australia had in this tournament was absolutely exceptional".

"We have worked so hard over the last global phase, we've been put in here against the world number ones and we've not beaten them once in the whole cycle that I've been in".

The question now is what effect this victory will have on netball in England.

The Kiwi team finished with 15 golds and 46 medals overall - one more than Glasgow four years ago.

With netball already near the top of participation tables among Britain's young women, Neville hopes this triumph will help it grow even further. We are going to go back to club competitions. "The changes yesterday and today were key to us winning". Crucially she has also trusted those who have been in the system for a long time to prosper in the new era, and prosper they have with the most spectacular of gold medals.



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