“It is your generosity, your inspiring and diverse outreach programme, your commitment to communities and empowerment off the court that set you apart as a Federation. This clearly aligns with the core values of the Commonwealth Sports Movement as a whole – creating peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities through sport.”
Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation
The INF Congress took place in Gaborone, Botswana, on 6th and 7th July 2017 with Louise Martin CBE, President of the Commonwealth Games Federation as Keynote Speaker. Here is an overview of some of the key happenings at Congress:
- INF President, Hon Molly Rhone OJ, CD, opened Congress and welcomed delegates and a list of the departed was honoured. The President’s full address can be seen here.
- CEO Clare Briegal presented the Board Report focusing on the strategic planning decisions for Netball 2020 – see report here.
- Ann Tod, INF Finance Director, presented the Financial Report to delegates,
- The Governance Working Group, led by Independent Director, Octavia Gibson, delivered their report to Congress. Changes to the INF Articles of Association were approved unanimously. The updated articles may be found here: INF Articles of Association (July 2017)
- Joanna Adams, CEO of England Netball and Lyndsey Impett, Operations Manager of Netball World Cup Liverpool 2019, presented their latest plans and progress for NWC2019.
- Netball World Cup Draw Format Working Group – Joanna Adams, Clare Briegal, Janet Young and Octavia Gibson – presented their report with confirmation on the draw format for the NWC2019.
- A presentation was made by Waikiti Bogidrau President of Netball Fiji on their plans for hosting Netball World Youth Cup 2021 to be held in Suva, Fiji.
- Cheryl Danson, Chair of the Rules Advisory Panel (RAP) presented the RAP Report and Congress approved some minor amendments to the Rules of Netball to be implemented from 2017.
- CEO Clare Briegal launched the Bidding Process for NWC2023 and Fast5 NWS 2019/2020.
- Applications for Membership had been received from the UAE, which will be handled through an email ballot. Guinea also put in an application for Associate Membership, which was approved by Congress.
- Vice President Sue Taylor was elected for a further four years as Vice President.
- Octavia Gibson from Barbados, Shirley Hooper from New Zealand and Mimi Mthethwa from South Africa all presented to Congress for Election of Further Director. Shirley Hooper was elected as Further Director – see here. President Molly Rhone thanked Octavia Gibson for her service over the last ten years and congratulated Shirley Hooper on her new appointment.
- On day 2, Congress featured a keynote speech from Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin CBE.
- Ugandan Netball Captain, Peace Proscovia, also addressed Congress, telling her incredibly moving story of her journey through netball and the challenges faced by young girls in her country and the cultural boundaries in their way.
- The theme of women’s empowerment continued with the signing of the Declaration of Women in Sport by the International Working Group for Women in Sport (IWG). The IWG, which is based in Gaborone, invited delegates and observers from each INF Member country to sigh the Brighton Plus Declaration on Women in Sport. The overall aim of the IWG is to develop a sporting culture that enables and values the full involvement of women in every aspect of sport and physical activity. IWG Host Co-Chairperson Ruth Maphorisa addressed Congress before the mass signing.
- President Molly Rhone announced the INF Service Holder recipients as New Zealand’s Dame Lois Muir and Kereyn Smith MNZM, and Lucille Dell Seymour from the Cayman Islands. See their full citations here.
- Congress 2017 concluded and the President thanked all delegates. The next INF Congress will be held in Liverpool, England 10th & 11th July 2019.
Images: BenDan Photography