The girls’ netball team Saba Aces went to St. Eustatius on Friday, February 17, for a tournament on the sister island.
Twenty girls age 10 to 18 and five chaperones, including coaches Tevonille Dunchie and Telong Childs, left on the Makana ferry in the afternoon. “The girls are so excited and highly motivated, and they have improved a lot,” said Dunchie upon the team’s departure.
On St. Eustatius, Saba Aces plays against the St. Eustatius team on Friday evening and on Saturday. On Friday evening, Saba Aces won 29-15 against St. Eustatius. Sunday is a free day. The team returns to Saba on Monday. Five days later, on Saturday, February 25 and Sunday, February 26, Saba Aces will again be competing, this time in St. Maarten.
Five teams will be participating in the St. Maarten tournament: Guadeloupe, Anguilla, St. Eustatius, Saba and St. Maarten. The last competition in St. Maarten, the big closing on the final day, will take place between St. Maarten and Saba. An honor for the Saba team, which will be represented by 13 team members, said Dunchie.
Despite the intense fundraising, Saba Aces was unable to secure enough funding to bring all 20 Saba Aces team members to St. Maarten next weekend. The team will continue to raise funds for the next big trip to Guadeloupe from April 6-11.
Six teams are slated to participate in the three-day tournament in Guadeloupe: British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Saba and Guadeloupe. In Guadeloupe, the Saba Aces team will also have the opportunity to participate in umpiring and coaching sessions to gain more knowledge of the game. The Saba team has been offered an island tour by the host, Guadeloupe.
“We still need some funding for the Guadeloupe trip. We are planning more fundraising events, a food sale, a raffle and a car wash. We did a sponsorship walk in January to raise funds, and we plan to do another one,” said Dunchie, who thanked the Public Entity Saba, the Saba Electric Company (SEC), Saba Wishes Supermarket, Satel NV and the Sacred Heart School for their contributions.
Netball is a popular sport among the Saba girls and Dunchie gets more requests to join the team than she is able to accommodate. In December last year, Saba Aces hosted its first inter-island tournament with participation of St. Maarten and St. Eustatius.