Bernard insists series of AFNA webinars will aid development throughout regionWednesday, May 12, 2021
BY SANJAY MYERS
AS the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) prepares to roll out another series of webinars to boost governance structures among its membership, President Marva Bernard has doubled down on the initiative, insisting it opens the door for broad-based development throughout the region.
“Effective governance, leadership and administration must be present to ensure the development of national sports associations. As leaders we must provide opportunities to empower and upskill our members,” she said in reference to planned webinars this summer after a “successful” series last year.
She said through the webinars, AFNA's governance committee — with support from the International Netball Federation (INF) and the Faculty of Sport at The University of the West Indies — aims to promote effective leadership and better equip members to execute plans.
“I am truly pleased that my administration would've been the first to embark upon this initiative. Last year we had an inaugural series of governance webinars. We never had anything like that before where there was a structure in place to empower and upskill the people in netball in our region.
“We had over 130 people from the Americas taking part over the course of four months last year. It was a certificate course and it was very successful. It's going to be a part of the staple of services that we offer to our members, because good governance translates to performances on court. Sport is a business, so we must prepare the business leaders to lead,” she told the Jamaica Observer.
Bernard, the former boss of Netball Jamaica, said transparency and accountability as well as giving members insight into how the INF and its internal systems work will feature heavily on this year's agenda.
“Accountability and accuracy of information on which decisions are based are important. Sponsors or investors use this information to decide whether to invest in a sport, so we cannot overemphasise the importance of keeping proper accounting records and the effect it has on sporting organisations.
“Another thing is that some people in netball are unaware of how the international body runs. INF will have a webinar because INF believes there must be a sharing of knowledge. INF believes that those who know and who have been there and done that should share with emerging nations. So what we are doing is to help to empower and enable our members to create an environment where the game will prosper and grow,” she reiterated.
AFNA governs countries from the Caribbean, as well as South, Central and North America.
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.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login