Dear INF Members and Regions,
It is now just over two weeks since I sent my message to you soon after the conclusion of our most recent INF Board meeting. I promised then to send to you a fuller communication on the matters discussed.
The Board is, of course, mindful of the fact that the whole world is currently challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are determined to press on with our long term planning to secure the future of our sport so that we are in a stronger place when life eventually returns to ‘business as usual’. In the meantime our priority must be to play our part in stemming the spread of the virus while continuing to follow the COVID-19 guidance of our nations’ governments.
Over the last few weeks I have been hearing more about the challenges faced by nations and individuals and our netball friends, families and loved ones. The virus and the critical social distancing measures that are necessary to stop it spreading are impacting on us all – on sporting events, commercial leagues and their franchises; on income, employees, athletes/players and volunteers and our lives in general. It is testing leaders at every level.
Our nations are at various stages of this journey and we will all have our personal stories. My own family is well, but a member of our Board recently contracted the virus, went through the period of isolation from her young family and has now thankfully recovered. There will be others within our world-wide netball family who have similar experiences and others who have been or will be less fortunate. It’s tough. No words can make it easier but we can all make a difference by finding our own ways to reflect our commitment to being a socially responsible sports movement that has a positive impact in our communities.
In time this will become a distant memory and in the meantime we are already finding new ways of working and communicating. I have been hugely impressed by the various new netball initiatives that are being promoted online to encourage learning, activity and well-being. These are just a few great examples:
- Coaching From Home with SPAR Proteas assistant Coach, Chauke Dumisani
- Netball Scotland’s Strathclyde Siren’s isolation workouts
- England Netball’s Officiating Net-Fix.
- Message to our #NetballFamily from Bermuda Netball Association
- Netball Northern Ireland #EverydayWarrior series
- Netball Australia partnership with NETFIT to launch free online Netball Sessions
- Netball New Zealand partnership with NETFIT to launch Netfit NZ
Keep creating and sharing. Keep well, keep up the social distancing, keep positive and keep supporting each other.
Liz Nicholl CBE