Bernard elected AFNA president
Newly elected Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) president Marva Bernard insists that she wants to put post-election emotions behind her and concentrate on building on what her predecessors left behind to move the sport in the region forward.
Bernard, Netball Jamaica president before Paula Daley-Morris took office three years ago, did not receive any support from Netball Jamaica, who threw their support behind Glynis Roberts. Her slate included Daley-Morris, who ran as first vice-president.
Bernard was instead nominated by the St Martin Netball Association, where she is a director. She also received overwhelming support from Eastern Caribbean islands and came out on top in the recent elections.
"We have got to put aside all the post-election issues and start working together to move the sport forward," said Bernard when she spoke to The Gleaner.
"My objectives are to build on what I have inherited and to make the region better than I found it. Umpiring, coaching, administration are critical areas for further development. Constitutional amendments are envisaged, competition, too," she added.
Bernard insisted that she had no intention of contesting the elections. However, she admitted that she bowed to the pressure after members of various Eastern Caribbean netball associations convinced her to be their candidate.
"I was asked to run by a number of countries in the Eastern Caribbean. I have been helping in St Martin as director for a number of years, and being (AFNA) treasurer for the last four years also put me in contact with the members. I had initially said no (to being nominated) as I could not be bothered. But they would not go away. They appealed to my family, and even though I was content as treasurer and [with doing] my work at Excelsior, I eventually bowed to the pressure," she said.
Part of the reason why the Eastern Caribbean was so impressed with Bernard's leadership and administrative abilities was her organisation of the recent AFNA High School Championships held here in Jamaica.