President of the Jamaica Netball Association (JNA), Marva Bernard, has expressed delight after receiving a service award from the International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA) at its annual congress in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.
Bernard, along with former Sunshine Girls' Technical Director Australian Gill McIntosh, was presented with a similar award for her contribution to the sport.
"It's a good feeling to be recognised for what we love to do," said Bernard. "It's not like work, it's fun. It's a lot of work, but you enjoy it," she said. "I am happy that this award has been bestowed on me and I will just continue working.
"I think what overwhelmed me more was the Australian lady who presented me with the award was crying, and so I didn't have to cry," she noted.
Bernard added that although nominated for the award by the JNA, she was surprised.
"I didn't know how many awards were going to be presented and when Jill got it (award). I thought it was one, and then, I said, 'Okay, I didn't get it, because I know that Jamaica had submitted me'," Bernard said.
"When they mentioned a player, going all the way back to their Excelsior days, I still didn't think it was me either, but when they got to the part about IFNA and accounts and stuff, then I realised that there was going to be more than one award handed out," said Bernard.
Meanwhile, Bernard pointed out that Jamaica's Under-21 netball team has settled well in Glasgow, ahead of their opening game at the World Youth Netball Championships tomorrow against Samoa.
"I should imagine that they are ready," Bernard said. "They are young and they are always in high spirits and I think they are having a great time, and I hope that they are remaining focused. It is a new experience for them. I want them to enjoy every moment of it," she said.
The Oberon Pitterson-Nattie-coached junior Sunshine Girls, who arrived in Glasgow on Tuesday, will be hoping to at least retain the bronze medal they won in the Cook Islands in 2009.
- Robert Bailey