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Scottish Thistles: Two-match series against Barbados set for December

Scotland's national side are currently ranked eighth in the world, while the Bajan Gems sit in 13th and the two encounters will be part of a UK tour by the Caribbean side

Scotland and the Bajan Gems will meet in early December
Image: The Scottish Thistles and the Bajan Gems will meet for a series in early December

The Scottish Thistles have announced a two-match series against Barbados at Glasgow's Emirates Arena on December 2 and 3.

The matches will be the first official World Netball ranking contests for the Scottish national side under new head coach Tamsin Greenway.

Greenway, who took the reins in early 2020, had a challenging start to her role, due to the impact of COVID-19 and not being able to meet or provide in-person training to all of her players.

However, recently she's been able to have contact-time and also witness the Thistles take on South Africa, England's Vitality Roses Academy and England's U21s.

Scotland's national side are currently ranked eighth in the world, while the Bajan Gems sit in 13th. The two encounters will be part of a UK tour by the Caribbean side, as both teams look to build towards next year's Commonwealth Games.

"It has been a huge focus of ours to get greater exposure to nations across the world, as we build towards the bigger picture," Greenway said.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for our players to finally get some Test match exposure, under pressure against tough opposition and we really look forward to the challenge."

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The Scottish Thistles skipper Claire Maxwell is equally elated ahead of the Tests and cannot wait to be back on a home court.

"I'm incredibly excited to wear the Thistles dress in an official Test and in front of our Thistles Army. Playing for our country, and in front of fans, is something we'll never take for granted."

This international series will mark the first netball matches played at Glasgow's Emirates Arena since the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

"The return of international netball to Scotland has been a long time in the making," Claire Nelson, CEO of Netball Scotland and Strathclyde Sirens, said.

"Being an indoor, team, contact sport we were heavily impacted by the effects of COVID and our national team has lost precious training and playing time in the build-up to next year's Commonwealth Games.

"This event marks a critical milestone in our recovery and rebuild, both on and off the court.

"More importantly, it represents an opportunity to showcase women's sport and athletes, at a time when the country really needs to shine a greater light on them."

Netball Scotland appoint sustainability partner

Prior to Glasgow hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) at the end of October, Netball Scotland have announced the appointment of environmental start-up Carbon Jacked as their Sustainability Partner.

The two outfits will kick-start their partnership by working together to calculate and offset the carbon emissions associated with the travel of the Barbados team for the entire series.

This is the first partnership of its kind in netball and Carbon Jacked's aim is to assist businesses and individuals in combatting climate change, through carbon footprint reduction, rewilding and education.

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