Bernard hails Sunshine Girls
President of Americas Netball, Marva Bernard, has described Jamaica's silver-medal-winning perfor-mance at the just-concluded Commonwealth Games as a massive boost for the region.
The Sunshine Girls, who are ranked fourth in the world, reached their first-ever international final after beating New Zealand in the semi-finals last Friday. However, they went down 55-51 to Australia in Sunday's final.
Bernard, who served as president of Netball Jamaica from 2006 to 2015, said she is very delighted with the Girls' performance because they have demonstrated that they are among the top two teams in the world.
"Placing second at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham is a huge achievement not only for Jamaica, but also the region," Bernard said.
"Jamaica won bronze in 2002, 2014 and 2018 and they have improved upon that by winning a silver medal in 2022 and so it shows the progression and the upward movement for the country," she said.
"They are the pride of the Caribbean and all of the Americas because we are not just the Caribbean, we are North, South and Central America and so it is a huge region and for Jamaica to continue to perform at this level is an indication of the development programmes that have been in place for this country for several years," Bernard said.
The Americas Netball boss pointed out that Netball Jamaica has made a huge investment in their development programmes over the years and it is now bearing fruit and therefore other countries can look to copy what they have been doing over the years.
"Jamaica has always gone outside to get assistance from the top nations in the world to coach their coaches and to coach their teams and this has been going on from Leila Robinson and it has continued through successive administrations," Bernard said.
"What I would say to the region that I am honoured to lead is what Jamaica has done can be replicated in the individual countries and what my administration had been doing during the downtime of COVID-19 is to prepare the countries and to prepare individual leaders," she said.
"We have had coaching courses because every athlete deserves to be coached by someone who has been trained and certified in coaching. Jamaica has some really good basic coaches and that is something that the region can look to do," Bernard said.