Bernard happy to assist St Maarten Netball Association's board

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, February 01, 2018

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Given her vast experience and wealth of knowledge in various areas of netball, it comes as no surprise that former Netball Jamaica President Marva Bernard has been called upon to assist St Maarten through their development process.

Bernard who was the chief driving force behind local netball for 10 years, from 2005 until she demitted office in 2015 will assume the voluntary role of Mobile Director with responsibility for development and governance as part of the Dutch nation's netball board.

She will hold the position over a two-year period in the first instance, after which a decision will be made on a possible extension. Bernard's first order of business will be to present a paper on transformation leadership and marketing on April 5 as a part of St Maarten Netball Association's five-year celebration.

The former netball boss was beaming with pleasure about being afforded the opportunity to aid in the Dutch Island's netball development.

“Yes, and I'm looking forward to it too. They asked and I said 'yes' and I'm looking forward to helping them, especially to present the paper on transformational leadership. It is being presented to a wider audience than just the netballers, so I'm happy for this opportunity.

“So I am going there for a week, leaving in April... I'm not going there to live, so I will be attending meetings by Skype. The board meets monthly and so we talk and interact a lot by email and WhatsApp,” Bernard told the Jamaica Observer.

Bernard explained that the first line of communication came about when she visited the island in her capacity as treasurer of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) during the Netball World Youth Cup qualifiers in 2016.

“When I went there I saw that they needed an extra hand and so rolled up my sleeves and dug in. As treasurer, I get to interact with all the presidents in the region and so when I was asked to assist I never hesitated.

“My firm belief is that knowledge shared is never lost and knowledge is power, so if I can help in anyway, once I am asked I will easily say 'yes',” Bernard noted.

She continued: “I am helping with governance and I have strong views on that. Marketing was not my studied discipline at university, but during my journey as netball president I had the opportunity to learn from some of Jamaica's finest.

“So, again, I'm going to pass it forward so they can benefit. Fund-raising is also something I want to teach them how to do, and I will offer all of these ideas plus others freely in the transformational leadership presentation.”

During her tenure as president, Bernard took Jamaica's netball to higher heights with a number of achievements coming under her administration, including bronze medals at the 2009 and 2013 World Youth Netball Championships, and a Commonwealth Games bronze medal feat by the senior Sunshine Girls in 2014.

Meanwhile, Javon Edwards, president of the association, expressed the board's delight to have Bernard on-board to assist them in taking netball to the next level.

“The board of the St Maarten Netball Association is delighted that Mrs Marva Bernard has accepted our cry to come on board,” Edwards said in a release.

“With the knowledge and experience of Mrs Bernard, we can only grow from strength to strength. Mrs Bernard has been very instrumental to our growth behind the scene from the beginning, and she is no stranger to us [as] I had the honour of working with her during the 2016 AFNA World Youth Cup Qualifiers in St Maarten,” he added.

Other members of the board include Chief Executive Officer Desmond Seymour; Vice-President Trena Gums; Lauren Simpson, secretary; Mellica Boothe-Timothy in charge of marketing; and Financial Director Leonard Hyman.

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