Minister of Sports, Stephen Lashley, has praised the Barbados Association of Netball Umpires (BANU) for its recognition of the achievements of netball umpires in Barbados.

The commendation came as the Minister addressed BANU???s Awards and Graduation Ceremony over the weekend.

Mr. Lashley stated that such efforts went a long way in promoting a high level of professionalism, and would also encourage persons to get involved in netball umpiring.

Observing the need for more international and regional netball umpires, he encouraged those present to seek to upgrade their skills, and to move from the basic standard (Level 1) ???to even higher levels of accomplishment???.

???It (umpiring) advances the empowerment of women and promotes gender equality as it gives women in the sporting arena opportunity for leadership duties. Ultimately, it is a vehicle for building human and social capital,??? he contended.

Of the 45 netball umpires currently in Barbados, 30 are at Level One, six at Level Two, and nine at Level Three. There is only one local umpire qualified to umpire international netball matches.

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