SINGAPORE — Six teams, including two from Singapore (an ‘Opens’ and an ‘A’ team), will participate in the 2023 Mirxes Nations Cup from Oct 22 to 28 at the OCBC Arena, Singapore Sports Hub. The competition will be held in a round-robin format, with top-ranked teams such as Sri Lanka (15), Cook Islands (20), former champion Papua New Guinea (39), and unranked Canada vying for top honours.
The Singapore Opens team comprises the national players who competed in the recent Netball World Cup. The team also welcomes back Lee Pei Shan and Singapore’s most-capped player, Charmaine Soh, who was sidelined for a year due to an injury. The Singapore A team was established in 2020 to serve as Netball Singapore’s developmental squad and comprises mostly under-23 players. The team also has players from the Opens squad who are seeking more regular playing time or are returning to the national setup after a hiatus from competitive action.
“It’s always an honour to represent Singapore, and I’m thankful for the opportunity to do so again. Overcoming a serious injury has been challenging, and I’m extremely grateful to all who have supported me during my recovery. I can’t wait to compete in front of the fans, friends and family again and contribute to the team’s success at the Mirxes Nations Cup,” said Soh, who made her national team debut in 2011 at the Netball World Cup in Singapore against Jamaica.
Soh, who currently has 123 caps with Singapore, has achieved numerous milestones with the national team, and also serves as a World Netball Athlete Ambassador for Asia. The 33-year-old was part of the winning team at the 2012 and 2014 Asian Netball Championships, and won the gold medal for Team Singapore at the 2015 SEA Games.
Toh Kai Wei and Khor Ting Fang will jointly captain the Singapore Opens team. The vice-captain will be Aqilah Andin, who made her return to competitive netball, representing and captaining the Singapore A Team at the 2022 Nations Cup after giving birth in July last year.
“I have cherished memories of competing at last year’s Nations Cup, especially because I had my son Qaif in the stands watching me play. Being part of the Singapore A Team last year significantly aided my exposure to competitive netball against top-notch teams again after almost being out for some time. This experience was pivotal in my journey back to the Opens team and paved the way for me to play in top competitions such as this year’s Netball World Cup,” shared Aqilah.
Earlier this year, Team Singapore participated in the Netball World Cup, achieving two remarkable victories against Sri Lanka. This marked the first time since 2015 that the national team defeated the reigning Asian champions. However, despite these victories, Singapore faced tough challenges in their Group D matches at the Netball World Cup. They suffered defeats against strong opponents, including Uganda (37-79), Trinidad and Tobago (36-49), and New Zealand (19-80).
In the preliminaries stage two matches, Singapore secured a 55-52 win over Sri Lanka but suffered losses to Barbados (50-55) and Zimbabwe (40-68). Singapore again faced Sri Lanka in the 15th placement match and triumphed 49-46. The two teams also met in the final of the Asian Netball Championships last year. But Singapore suffered heartbreak as they could not break down the Sri Lankan defence, as the South Asian team won the match 63-53.
“The team had a strong showing at the Netball World Cup earlier this year, and we’re determined to build on that momentum. While our team remains largely unchanged, the return of Charmaine brings a wealth of experience, while Pei Shan, with her height and strength, will provide a different challenge to opposing defenders. Together, Pei Shan and Charmaine offer unique strengths and we will continue to build on our strong showing this year as a team,” shared Singapore Opens team coach Annette Bishop.
The Nations Cup returned last year after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The competition was won by Botswana, who defeated Fiji 65-37 in the final. Singapore came in third after their 53-36 win against Ireland. Singapore ‘A’ team had to settle for sixth place, as they suffered a 47-40 loss to Malaysia in the fifth placement match.
Tickets for the 2023 Mirxes Nations Cup are available for purchase through Ticketmaster.
Singapore Opens Team
Toh Kai Wei (Co-Captain), Khor Ting Fang (Co-Captain), Aqilah Andin (Vice Captain), Charmaine Soh, Lee Pei Shan, Amandeep Kaur, Angelina Lim, Tan Yi Jie, Rachel Ling, Kimberly Lim, Jamie Lim, Reena Divya
Reserves: Goh Wei Ping, K. Mishalenee
Singapore A Team
Goh Wei Ping, Priscilla Wong, Rebecca Leong, Sherlyn Yip, Zulfa Rashad, Laura Low, Matilda Su-Yin Narayan, Miki Ng, Faith Lawrence, Norah Paul Gabriel, Shannon Tan, K. Mishalenee
Training Partners: Jenine Ang, Uzma Rashad