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New President targets big goals for netball

Published:Thursday | November 19, 2015 | 11:00 AMLivingston Scott
New president of Netball Jamaica, Dr Paula Daley Morris, addresses members of the fraternity at the annual general meeting at St Hugh’s High School.

New president of Netball Jamaica (NJ), Dr Paula Daley Morris, wants to improve the popularity of the sport locally and help the Sunshine Girls take that next step on the international stage, as she embarks on her tenure for the next two years.

Dr Daley Morris, who was elected unopposed at the association's annual general meeting last Saturday, said although she believes changes are necessary to improve the sport, they will go through a process to ensure that whatever works is retained.

"My vision is to spread it across the island; I want it to be popular like other major sports, I want the game to be viewed more than it is being viewed on TV, I want it covered more in the newspapers," she said.

"Like the schoolboy Manning Cup, on any given day, you are supposed to be able to hear it on one or two stations. I don't want Jamaicans to just be interested when the Sunshine Girls are playing but interested in the sport on a whole," she insisted.

"Internationally, like all other Jamaican presidents, I have the same aspiration, to be on top of the (World Cup) podium," she pointed out.

Dr Daley Morris added that the semi-pro league, which started two years ago under previous president Marva Bernard will play a great part in the development of the sport as her administration sees it as part of the bigger picture.

"We have been taking a very professional approach to transition. We have the services of a change management company named JACE (management consultants).

"We are looking into the organisation to see how we have been doing things. We can't make wholesale changes. There has to be a process and we are trying to understand where we are as a body, then we are going to meet the stakeholders," she explained.

Taking the association out of it's present financial predicament and putting it on firm footing at the end of the next two years is her primary objective.

"My biggest challenge is funding. We are in the red and it's not easy to take over something in the red and that is why we have to get a handle on things so we can come out of the red.

"I want to leave the association in good standing. I want to leave a structure that is good so the company can develop. My constitution must sustain development and improve performances all round.

"So our ladies, our operations, our training, even the way the common girl looks, when they play the game it must be different," noted Daley Morris, who thanked Jamaicans for their outpouring of support for her appointment.