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Suit of President too tight

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01.JUL.11

Editor: It saddens my heart to see the sport of Netball has become so distasteful and prejudicial. As I read the article entitled “Netball Faceoff” in a recent publication, I empathize with the Managers of the team Nature Netters, but I am still unmoved, because some of these same persons who criticized Godfrey Harry are the same persons who are responsible for voting him President and were beneficiaries of Mr. Harry’s decisions in the past.{{more}}

As a former national player, coach and advocate for the sport, it is no surprise that the current organization is in the state it is. Mr. Harry serves several portfolios, which are all a conflict of interest with each other. Just to name a few, Harry is the president of the Netball Association, Umpire, Coach and Manager of four teams in the Tournament and Selector of the National Team. Therefore, I am not surprised about the discrepancies of the Division 4 game. Mr. Harry’s style of ruling manifests itself in the lack of flavour and dismal and poor attendance in this year’s ‘drawn out’ National Tournament.

As I look back at the National Team for the past ten years, their unsatisfactory results are an indication that the Association is disorganised in their selection, preparation, coaching and mentoring of these teams. Where are the netball icons like Kenlyn Clouden, Dellarice Duncan, Clothel Young, Joanne Ballantyne, Elizabeth Caruth and ‘Ringy’? Have these women lost interest in the sport which has become so “waterdown”? I will not blame these people because the managers and coaches for the national teams are handpicked from among Mr. Harry’s followers.

As I examine the rural tournament, the quality of the National Tournament has become contagious and marked with minimum participation and attendance.

My dream is to see Netball regain its vigour, where I can visit the Kingstown Netball Centre and not hear disgruntled players and spectators, where I can see the score of the game and use the bathroom and patronize the bar without having to request the permission of the President, where coaches and managers are selected on merit rather than friendship, where I can go any day of the week and enjoy a keenly contested game of netball in true sportsmanship.

While I recognize that Mr. Harry is an excellent coach and was awarded such on several occasions at the National Sports Awards, the reality is the suit of President is too tight for him, and he should give it to someone who understands the true spirit of the game.

Concerned Veteran Netballer

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