Sport

Icon award surprises Rhone

BY HOWARD WALKER Senior staff reporter walkerh@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 12, 2014    

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NETBALL aficionado Molly Rhone was obviously surprised at being named the 2013 recipient of the prestigious Sagicor Iconic Award, particularly because she is a current member of the RJR Foundation selection committee that adjudicates over the national sports awards.

Rhone, who is the first Jamaican woman to head an international sporting body -- International Netball Federation (INF) -- received the Sagicor award for her contribution to the development of the sport in Jamaica and the world.

"I think it's an honour. I am humbled and I am surprised. It was the last thing I expected being a member of the board. They really tricked me this time. I was really surprised," Rhone told the Jamaica Observer at the end of the RJR Foundation National Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year Awards ceremony Friday night at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston.

Rhone was president of the Jamaica Netball Association for 10 years and vice-president of the then International Federation of Netball Associations (IFNA), now INF, from 1999 to 2003.

She has been president of netball's world governing body since 2003 and was re-elected to another four years in office that will take her to 2015.

The INF, with its headquarters in Manchester, England, was created in 1960 and is responsible for world rankings, maintaining the rules for netball and organising the World Netball Championships and all major netball international tournaments. The organisation has five regional areas: Africa, the Americas including the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.

In 2011, Rhone was conferred with the Order of Jamaica and has received numerous other awards as a sports administrator and for her work in netball across the globe.

"It's an honour, especially when your peers recognise you. You don't work to get an award but when you do it is appreciated," said Rhone who was the vice captain of Jamaica's team to the fourth World Netball Championships in 1975.

"I worked hard and I will continue to work hard, not only for my sport but sports in general because I think it's such a unifying thing and it does so much to build character. I have been in sports, probably from I was 10 years old, and it is something I will continue to do. I am really grateful for this award," said Rhone.

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