Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Bernard ready to serve again

Published:Saturday | June 24, 2017 | 12:34 AMLivingston Scott

Former Netball Jamaica president, Marva Bernard, said when the call came from, aspiring Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) president, Vishu Tolan, to run on his team as general secretary, she couldn't ignore it because sports administration is what she loves and she has a very strong conviction that Tolan's team is more than capable of building on Mike Fennell's strong legacy.

"Since I retired and went back to Excelsior (as netball team manager), it energised me. I was very happy working there and excited about making a difference and serving in administration, which is really what I love... So when I got a call from Vishu Tolan to serve as his general secretary I was really excited.. because I really love sports administration," she told The Gleaner.


Experience key


She said the team Tolan has assembled is full of experience and she has no doubt these individuals can impact the Olympic association in a positive way.

Tolan and herself are very accomplished former and current sports administrators and has total faith in their abilities to advance the Olympic body.

"We want the right people in place, and we are going to put in a general manager at a very senior level.

I will be using my body of knowledge from Netball Jamaica, Air Jamaica, Jamaica Information Service to take to this administrative post, and once I am given the job, whatever tools I need, I know where to go and get them," she said.

With her more than 30 years experience in corporate administration, Bernard is very enthused about her proposed role as general secretary as she believes she can directly affect the association from that position..

"The general secretary is the administrator and administration is what I bring. I have 24 years working in administration at Air Jamaica, nine years in JIS accounts department, so I am very capable and it's the one thing I know, I know (administration)," she stated.

"We must build on Mr Fennell's legacy. We want to stand on Mr Fennell and his previous team's shoulders, so we can move sports further. We want to increase the number of training courses on offer for minor sports. Solidarity money is available, not only athletes but coaches and administrators and to support every aspect of an association to make them better."

But despite her confidence in Tolan's team winning the election, she is aware that their opponents cannot be underestimated.

"We want to believe we did a lot of work ... and we are doing what it takes to show that 'Team new vision' can make improvement in the JOA for the next four years.

"We have some plans... and we are confident in our ability and our integrity.

We think we can win but member association are fickle and we are acutely aware that someone will tell you that they will vote for you and when they go behind the booth they change their mind.

"But we are doing a lot of work to convince them that voting for us would be a vote for change, for improvement, for accepting the legacy of Mike Fennell.

"It is going to be close. We don't think it will be a situation where we get 35 votes and they get one, but I hope it won't be a situation where the best team doesn't win.

But if the people pick the other team, we have to support and work with them," she insisted.