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Geva Mentor wants netball to have Olympic status

Geva Mentor
Mentor made her England debut in 2000 at 15 years of age

England goal defence Geva Mentor is hopeful netball will be awarded Olympic status, despite losing its bid for inclusion to London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Mentor, 26, who helped England to win bronze at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, has 52 caps for her country.

The Bournemouth-born player told BBC Solent: "It would be the pinnacle for netball to have Olympic status and it would do wonders for the sport.

"It may not happen in my playing career but I want to see it in my lifetime."

The International Olympic Committee approved netball as an Olympic sport in 1995, but it has still failed to gain classification as a participation sport at the games, and lost out to rugby sevens and golf for Rio 2016.

We know we can't compete against football and rugby but to have more recognition and insight into the sport would be great

England goal defence Geva Mentor

Mentor argues that netball will need to gain more support before it can compete with other sports on a global scale.

"Netball needs someone to take that first step," she added.

"The media have a big part to play in raising the popularity of the sport, as well as sponsorship. We need a big-name sponsor and a bit more coverage.

"The participation levels are there, it is just about maintaining that and we'll be up there.

"We know we can't compete against football and rugby but to have more recognition and insight into the sport would be great."

Mentor divides her time between competing in Australia at the ANZ Championship and playing in England with the international squad.

She won the ANZ Championship with Adelaide Thunderbirds last season but, after spending three years at the club, she has now joined Melbourne Vixens.

"We have the World Championships at Singapore in July and that's the main event for our sport because they come round every four years," Mentor continued.

"But before the build-up to that we have the Test series against New Zealand, which starts [on the] 17th January, so it is going to be a big year for our sport."



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see also
England seal netball bronze medal
14 Oct 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Team Bath stars head 'down under'
05 Feb 08 |  Netball
Geva's lesson in netball defending
26 Aug 04 |  Other sport...


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