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‘I gave everything’ – Bernard reflects on contribution to netball

first_img The backlash against the team from the World Cup disappointment left a bitter taste in Bernard’s mouth. “Jamaicans only respect medals, and we suffered great disrespect because we did not get a medal. They quickly forgot the (bronze) medal we won at the Commonwealth Games. But netball is something that we have to be proud of,” she insisted. She backs new president Dr Paula Daley Morris to take the association forward and would like to see her complete some of the projects like the two-year-old semi-professional league. “We had a specific plan, but the new association (leadership) will have to forge their own plans …, so it is for Paula and her team to look at it and see what they can manage. But she must be given the opportunity to lead the association in the direction she sees fit. “I would like to see it continue because semi-professional is the way to go. England, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa are not fools in doing it. We must also grow the parish associations so they can be vibrant,” she said. Bernard will continue to contribute to netball in her new capacity as treasurer of the Federation of Americas Netball Association. However, her focus will be on her family business, and she has no aspiration of making it to the top netball post (International Netball Federation president). “I want a break. For 20 years I have been in netball non-stop, and 10 years of hard labour as president, so my time has come,” she declared. The election of the new president, Daley Morris, was shrouded in controversy, with some four lawyers required to cipher the articles of the association. “The articles were done by a reputable law firm, and all the lawyers who looked at it said there was nothing to prevent a director from seeking a higher post. In the final analysis, we chose one leader and we should move on. “In the past not many people wanted to support us, but now that my board has taken it to this level several people want to serve. But it should not be that we have to go through such acrimony because it’s a voluntary service. “We want to put this election behind us and accept the decision. I want us to put aside our feelings and behave appropriately. If we can’t do that then there is going to be division. In life there is going to be differences of opinion, but I know we all want what is best for netball,” she reasoned. Bernard walks away knowing she gave her best to the sport. “I leave the sport knowing that I gave everything and more. I leave the sport knowing that I helped move it from one stage to the next. I leave the sport knowing that I did not embarrass the foremothers and that netball became a household game.” GREAT DISRESPECT UNPRECEDENTED FUNDING After 10 years at the helm, charismatic netball president Marva Bernard rode off into the sunset at the end of her tenure as Netball Jamaica’s president, convinced she had done her very best. Even though the country did not win a medal at the Netball World Cup in Australia in August, the veteran administrator is proud she left behind a lasting legacy and solid foundation on which future administrators of the sport can continue to build. Bernard spent 12 years as treasurer of the netball association before she was elected to the top post in 2005. She is responsible for taking the association from a struggling to a thriving entity, rearranging the administration’s structure so that it could run as a business. “I was able to convince the prime minister to give us a house for our national players and that is an achievement many of the presidents before me wanted. I was able to get players overseas in professional and semi-professional leagues in England and Australia. I am happy that the relationships I have made with Australia, New Zealand and England have helped us,” she said. While former presidents found it difficult to generate funds, Bernard, through persistence, was able to convince sponsors to invest in netball, which brought about unprecedented funding and greater support for programmes and players in ways never seen before. Senior team players were given a stipend each month, new programmes that made many high school girls qualified umpires or near-qualified umpires were also incorporated. “They (sponsors) are proud to be associated with netball. We have built on what others that have gone before us left behind, and we helped to make netball a household game,” she said. However, she desired nothing more than the coveted World Cup gold medal. “The biggest disappointment was not being able to win a medal at the World Cup, but that is sports, that is life. But if you go for something and you do not succeed, you try and try again,” she said. “I am proud that since the rankings was introduced in 2007, even though we have not played as many matches as the higher-ranked teams like England, we are still better than many countries in the world that have much better resources than we have,” she added.last_img read more

LIVERPOOL VS LEICESTER CITY

first_imgLIVERPOOL VS LEICESTER CITYLIVERPOOL (4-3-3)MIGNOLET, CLYNE, SKRTEL, SAKHO, MORENO, HENDERSON, LUCAS, CAN, LALLANA, FIRMINO, COUTINHOLEICESTER (4-4-2)VARDY, OKAZAKI, MAHREZ, KING, KANTE, ALBRIGHTON, DE LAET, FUCHS, MORGAN, SIMPSON, SCHMEICHELLeicester City’s remarkable success story continues amid growing belief that they could actually win the Barclays Premier League title. The 3-2 win at Everton last Saturday extended their unbeaten league run to 10 games, winning eight.The victory at Goodison Park took Leicester five points clear at the top of the Premier League. Though Arsenal reduced that lead to two points following their 2-1 win over Manchester City at the Emirates on Monday, Leicester still go into the Christmas period top of the tree.And past history suggests a happy new year lies ahead for the Foxes; of the past 23 Premier League champions, 11 were top at Christmas, while all but one – Aston Villa in 1999 – finished the season in the top four, suggesting Champions League football beckons for the King Power Stadium.Liverpool, beaten 2-0 by Watford at Vicarage Road last Sunday, have gone three league games without a win, losing two. Leicester have failed to win in their last four league visits to Anfield, drawing last season and losing the previous three. Previously, Leicester had won three in a row at Liverpool.At Goodison, Riyad Mahrez netted two penalties and now has seven goals in nine Premier League appearances in the month of December, including 2015.Liverpool are still missing Joseph Gomez, Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge and give tests to Dejan Lovren, James Milner and Simon Mignloet, who all missed the defeat at Watford. Leicester welcome back Robert Huth after suspension and test Danny Drinkwater and Jamie Vardy.last_img read more

Sunni Arabs campaigning for candidates this time

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake On Monday, al-Qaida in Iraq and four other Islamic extremist groups denounced the parliamentary elections as a “satanic project” that violated God’s law, but they stopped short of an explicit threat to attack polling stations. U.S. officials hope Sunni Arabs will vote in large numbers, a development that could produce a government capable of winning the trust of the Sunnis and defusing the insurgency. That would enable U.S. and other foreign troops to begin heading home next year. Despite the sound of detonations rumbling across the capital and at least 15 deaths in ongoing violence, early voting went ahead in hospitals, prisons and military bases, and President George W. Bush offered encouraging words from Washington to Iraqi voters. “Many Sunnis are campaigning vigorously for office this time around,” Bush told an audience Monday in Philadelphia. “Many Sunni parties that opposed the constitution have registered to compete in this week’s vote.” But Bush cautioned that the elections “won’t be perfect.” BAGHDAD, Iraq – Armed with assault rifles, a group of men in black hoods walked through parts of the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi plastering walls with election posters. The men, who claimed to be insurgents, then raised a large banner supporting a Sunni Arab candidate. Standing next to them was a man, wearing no mask and carrying no weapon, holding up a poster for other Sunni candidates. “Elect them for the sake of defending the rights of the Iraqi population,” the first banner said. “They have pure hands,” said the second. The disaffected Sunni Arab minority could be preparing to turn out in large numbers in Thursday’s general elections. Their participation offers hope that the elections could be less violent than last January’s, when the insurgency threatened to attack polling stations. “Iraqis still have more difficult work ahead, and our coalition and a new Iraqi government will face many challenges,” the president said. In a rare joint statement, the five militant groups denounced the election as a “satanic project” and said that “to engage in the so-called political process” violates “the legitimate policy approved by God.” The groups vowed to “continue our jihad (holy war) … to establish an Islamic state ruled by the book (the Quran) and the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad.” However, the statement contained no clear threat to disrupt voting as in the run-up to the Jan. 30 election and the Oct. 15 referendum on the constitution. The authenticity of the statement could not be verified, but it appeared on a Web site that often publishes extremist material. The absence of a clear-cut threat could reflect the growing interest among Sunni Arabs, the foundation of the insurgency, to take part in the election. The Sunni decision to boycott the January ballot left parliament in the hands of Shiites and Kurds – a move that increased communal friction and cost the Sunnis considerable influence in drafting the constitution. A leaflet that appeared Monday in the Baghdad Sunni stronghold of Azamiyah acknowledged that Sunni Arabs could make gains in the election but that “fighting will continue with the infidels and their followers.” The statement was unsigned but was written in a style favored by Islamic extremists. Most Iraqis disapprove of the presence of U.S. forces in their country, yet they are optimistic about Iraq’s future and their own personal lives, according to a new poll. More than two-thirds of those surveyed oppose the presence of troops from the United States and its coalition partners and less than half, 44 percent, say their country is better off now than it was before the war, according to an ABC News poll conducted with Time magazine and other media partners. Three-quarters say they are confident about the parliamentary elections. More than two-thirds expect things in their country to get better in the coming months. However, only one-third in the Sunni regions were optimistic about their country’s future. In the first day of early voting, about 250,000 Iraqis – soldiers, police, hospital patients and prisoners in jail – cast ballots, according to election official Abdul-Hussein Hendawi. Iraqi television aired footage showing inmates in orange jumpsuits depositing their ballots in jailhouse boxes. The U.S.-led multinational force said 90 percent of all eligible detainees held in facilities under its control participated in the vote. It did not release the number represented by that percentage. Suspected insurgents held in detention but not convicted were eligible to vote, officials said. Deposed leader Saddam Hussein, who is jailed and facing trial for the deaths of more than 140 Shiites in 1982, could also vote, but it was not known whether he did. Abroad, an estimated 1.5 million expatriate Iraqis will begin voting today over a two-day period in polling centers in 15 countries including the United States. Most of the 15 million registered voters will go to the polls Thursday. Sunni Arab politicians have promised an end to what they term abuse at the hands of the Shiite-dominated security services. As voting began, the Human Rights Ministry and the U.S. military said 13 prisoners were hospitalized after being found at an overcrowded prison run by the Shiite-led Interior Ministry. Later Monday, Al-Jazeera television aired a video allegedly showing abuse at another Interior Ministry facility in western Baghdad. The footage showed dozens of men, many with welts and bruises. The station did not say how it obtained the footage or when the alleged incidents took place. Bush said Iraqi prisoners held in secret detention centers apparently were beaten and tortured. “This conduct is unacceptable,” Bush said in the Philadelphia speech. “Those who committed these crimes must be held to account.” Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, ordered an investigation into what he described as an “unhealthy phenomenon.” A similar case also surfaced last month. “I will not allow such treatment of any prisoner,” al-Jaafari said during a news conference. U.S. and Iraqi officials have expected an upsurge in insurgent violence as the election approaches. A U.S. soldier was killed Monday in a bombing in Baghdad, and another American soldier attached to the Marines died the day before in a suicide bombing west of the capital near the city of Ramadi, the U.S. command said. The deaths brought to at least 2,144 the number of U.S. military members killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003, according to an Associated Press count. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more