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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

South Africa improves access to services

first_img30 October 2012 The proportion of South Africans with access to electricity, piped water and sanitation increased considerably over the past decade, according to the country’s latest national census. Statistics South Africa released the results of census 2011, the country’s third population count since democratic elections were first held in 1994, in Pretoria on Tuesday. The previous census took place in 2001.Access to electricity According to the census, conducted in October 2011, 84.7% of South African households use electricity for lighting (up from 70.2% in 2001), 73.9% use electricity for cooking (up from 52.2%), and 58.8% use electricity for heating (up from 49.9%). The results also show a significant improvement in access to piped (tap) water in South Africa, with the number of households with no access dropping to 8.8% in 2011 from 15.6% in 2001. Nearly half, or 46.3%, of households have tap water inside their homes (up from 32.3% in 2001), according to census 2011, while 27.1% have tap water inside their yards (down from 29.0%), 11.7% have tap water on their community stand less than 200 metres from their homes (up from 10.7%), and 6.2% have to walk more than 200 metres to reach tap water on their community stand (down from 12.4%).Household sanitation Census 2011 also showed a marked improvement in household sanitation in the country, with 60.1% of households using flush toilets (toilets connected to the public sewerage system) in 2011, up from 51.9% in 2001. The use of chemical toilets (from 1.9% to 2.5%) and pit latrines with ventilation (from 5.7% to 8.8%) were slightly up, while the use of unventilated pit latrines dropped from 22.8% to 19.3%, and of bucket latrines from 4.1% to 2.1%. Municipal waste removal services also improved compared to 2001, according to census 2011, with the number of households enjoying weekly municipal removals increasing from 52.1% to 62.1%.Living standards on the up At the same time, the number of households living in formal dwellings increased, from 68.5% to 77.6%, while the number living in traditional dwellings dropped from 14.8% to 7.9% and the number living in informal dwellings dropped from 16.4% to 13.6%. Compared to 2001, census 2011 also showed big increases in household ownership of mobile phones (from 32% to 88%), television sets (from 53% to 74%), refrigerators (from 51% to 68%) and computers (from 8% to 21%). However, the surge in popularity of mobile phones and television came at the expense of radio ownership (down from 73% to 67%) and landline phone ownership (24% to 14%). SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Rafael Nadal loses to Richard Gasquet at Kooyong Classic

first_imgRafael Nadal suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Richard Gasquet of France at the Kooyong Classic exhibition in Australia.He went down to Gasquet 4-6, 5-7.This was Nadal’s first match in a while. He withdrew from the 2017 ATP Finals in London due to a right knee injury. However, despite the loss to world No.31, he remained upbeat about his physical condition, reports Xinhua news agency.”It’s not an official match but still a test for me and good practice, that’s the most important thing, that’s the most important thing for the whole season,” the 31-year-old Spaniard said, reaffirming his need to keep practising hard to be prepared for the Australian Open.WATCH”I had a long year last year, so I had to start my preparation later than usual. But I’ve arrived with plenty of time and it’s a good day to start again the feelings of playing a match,” the 16-time Grand Slam champion added.Nadal is all set to play against Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, world No. 14, at the Tie Break Tens in Melbourne, where matches are going to consist of tie-breaks only, with no games and no sets.Nadal’s first official match is scheduled to take place at the Australian Open, following his withdrawal from the Brisbane International tournament and from an exhibition held in Abu Dhabi.(With inputs from IANS)ALSO WATCH:last_img read more

InterAmerican Development Bank Representatives Pay Courtesy Call on Minister Symonette

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#IDBVisitsBrentSymonette, #magneticmedianews Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, May 31, 2017 – Nassau – Representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) paid a courtesy call on Minister of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration the Hon. Brent Symonette, May 25, 2017 at the offices of the Ministry.Pictured from left: Kendrick Anderson, Financial Trade Officer MFS; Tanya Murray, Project Manager; LaTonya Symonette-Tinker, Consultant; Sherrylee Smith, Permanent Secretary; Minister Symonette; Maria Florencia Attademo-Hirt, Country Representative/The Bahamas, Inter-American Development Bank Group; Alexandria Newbold, Project Manager BFS; and Allen S. Wright, Economist/Senior Specialist, IDB.(BIS Photo/Raymond A. Bethel, Sr.)#magneticmedianews#IDBVisitsBrentSymonettelast_img read more

Host Communities Push Projects to Sustain Travis AFB

first_imgOfficials from the communities that host Travis Air Force Base in northern California are considering several projects to support the installation.Under one proposal, Solano County would issue bonds to finance the construction of a civil engineering facility that would allow the base to consolidate more than 50 scattered engineering operations and buildings, reported the Daily Republic. A new facility would make the base more efficient and free up space needed for flight operations, said Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine, who traveled to Washington, D.C., last week with colleagues from Fairfield and the county to promote Travis on Capitol Hill and at the Pentagon.The budget for the project, which does not yet have a specific timeline, is between $20 million and $30 million, Augustine said.“Our plan is we want to move forward with the base as quickly as possible,” said David White, city manager for Fairfield.The delegation also discussed plans to develop a 70-acre parcel under the Air Force Community Partnership Program. The plan is intended to provide a new source of revenue for the installation through a lease for the property.“Nothing is on paper, so anything is possible,” Augustine said. “But I don’t think it would be housing. It would more likely be commercial and maybe some light industrial.”The delegation also discussed efforts to secure a more reliable water source for Travis. With several of the base’s existing sources expected to end, the installation intends to develop more groundwater sources. At the same time, Travis is discussing the possibility of obtaining a secondary water source from Fairfield or Vacaville, according to the story. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more