T&T's Dr. Bridget Adams succeeds Marva Bernard as AFNA president after unanimous vote on Saturday

By Sports Desk October 16, 2022
The new executive for Americas Netball after the elections of officers at the AGM at Liguanea Club in Kingston.  (L - R) Shirley Benjamin - Secretary, Jacintha Ballentine - Treasurer, Dr. Bridget Adams - President, Marva Bernard - Regional Director and immediate past president, Javon Edwards - 2nd Vice-President and Simone Forbes - 1st Vice-President. The new executive for Americas Netball after the elections of officers at the AGM at Liguanea Club in Kingston. (L - R) Shirley Benjamin - Secretary, Jacintha Ballentine - Treasurer, Dr. Bridget Adams - President, Marva Bernard - Regional Director and immediate past president, Javon Edwards - 2nd Vice-President and Simone Forbes - 1st Vice-President. Colin Reid

Dr. Bridget Adams of Trinidad & Tobago was elected unopposed as the new president of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA) during the federation's Annual General Meeting at the Liguanea Club in Kingston on Saturday and has promised to hit the ground running.

Dr. Adams succeeds Marva Bernard, who served as president since 2018 but had indicated earlier that she would not be seeking re-election. However, the Jamaican will serve as a member of the executive as a regional director until the Netball World Cup in South Africa in 2023.

Meanwhile, former Sunshine Girl Simone Forbes was elected first-vice president and Shirley Benjamin of Antigua & Barbuda was elected secretary.  The will join Treasurer Jacintha Ballentine of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Second Vice-President Javon Edwards of St. Maarten on the executive.

Adams said she was looking forward to taking up the mantle of the presidency and that she intends to continue with the projects initiated during Bernard’s tenure.

“We have started working on several projects, governance, umpiring, coaching, table officiating, high performance and so on and there are some new ones that we would like to do,” she said.

“ We would like to look at the development of the region and in developing the region we will be looking at U14s, U16s, U19s going right up because recently it was announced at the Commomwealth Games that we will have a 14 - 19 age-group Fast Five tournament in Trinidad & Tobago.

“We do not play Fast 5 in that age group so we need to have a programme where we play Fast5 a little more often so the players will be familiar with what Fast 5 is about."

Forbes, a vice-president of Netball Jamaica, was also looking forward to the challenge of improving netball in the region. 

"Two things I would love to see happen, grassroots netball development and playing more competitive netball in the region, and, of course, the athletes having a voice, more player-centered and game centered."

Bernard was reflective on her tenure as president indicating that the executive tried it’s best over the past four years.

"I thought we did our best with the executive with what we had.  We used the development fund that World Netball gave us to up-skill our members until when the pandemic lifted and so we would be in a better position to administer sport in their countries,” she said.

“We trained coaches, we trained umpires, we trained future leaders.  We also did a seven sessions in high-performance systems and structures and we brought experts from New Zealand to help us."

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