AFNA boss to focus on capacity-building, succession planning


AFNA boss to focus on capacity-building, succession planning

Senior staff reporter

Saturday, August 15, 2020

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MARVA Bernard, the president of Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA), says building the governance capacity among the membership and succession planning are high on the agenda of the current administration.

“We have been trying to improve governance because we believe that if the governance is improved the performance of the teams on court will be better,” she said after last Saturday's first in a series of eight governance webinars hosted by AFNA.

AFNA's governance committee hopes that the webinars, backed by the Faculty of Sport at The University of the West Indies and International Netball Federation, can promote effective leadership and bring members closer to executing plans.

The committee's think tank believe those will be attainable by improving efficiency, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness and adherence to governance laws.

Bernard, former head of Netball Jamaica, said the framework is being set for new leaders.

“We who have served for long must prepare the leaders of tomorrow. I fervently believe in succession planning and my executive believes in it as well. A president and executive can change, so we as the governing body have to do something to help people who are potential leaders,” the experienced netball administrator told the Jamaica Observer during a telephone interview.

“Potential leaders exist in the clubs, [and] they exist in our teams, so plenty of the players who will eventually stop playing you have to prepare them for leadership. So whether you're a coach, or umpire or club manager or team manager we believe that if you really want to continue with the sport and stay in the game that administration is the next step for you.

“Leaders who are on our way out should see it as being very important to prepare those who are going to take over from us. If we don't do that we would be failing in our duty to prepare our associations and administrations to continue in a sustainable manner,” the administrative head of netball in the region — covering the Caribbean and South, Central and North America — added.

While noting the “positive” reaction from the opening webinar, which was attended by INF President Liz Nicholl, Bernard stressed the importance of a continuous thrust, with the second session to be held today.

“We expect that we are going to continue next year using the funding support we get from the INF to help our members to better administer their associations. The turnout was very encouraging last week. We had 135 people registered and I think about 80 or 90 turned up, which is very good.

“I've had very good, positive feedback — a lot of persons messaged and said they learnt lot and they are looking forward to this week. It was interactive and they participated and that is what we want.

“I believe that in this arena if you make a difference to one or two you would have succeeded because they can go on and share with five and that's a ripple effect,” Bernard explained.

Caribbean nations Jamaica (fourth), Trinidad and Tobago (10th) and Barbados (13th) are the Americas' teams in the top 15 of the world rankings. Australia, world champions New Zealand and England are ranked first, second and third, respectively.

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